Creative Community Builders was launched in 2003 as the vehicle for Tom Borrup’s consultancy based in Minneapolis and Miami. Tom soon began helping clients of all kinds across North America (and beyond). CCB is now very often the center-point of diverse project teams conducting very special projects, and has placed Tom and CCB at the forefront of thinker/practitioners in the interrelated fields of arts organizational development, creative sector development, community building and creative placemaking. The body of work CCB teams have conducted grow each year:
- project leadership of a variety of teams
- collaborations with many national and international practitioners
- work and interactions with clients of all types and sizes
- production of industry papers and publications
- thrilling set of community immersions, as paid practitioners, in many interesting cities and districts
About Tom Borrup
Tom’s 25-year career in nonprofit arts and cultural management has helped him appreciate the valuable role of artists in extracting, forming, and re-forming meaning in the everyday and in the extraordinary. The last dozen years of near constant travel as a consultant, speaker, educator, and writer has brought Tom to cities and towns across the U.S. and to many parts of Europe, Asia, and Latin America – allowing him to witness the vast variety of ways people of different cultural, social, and economic backgrounds see and experience the world and engage in cultural practices. Enrolling in a Ph.D. Program in his 5th decade gave Tom renewed access to the worlds of research and theory, helping him evolve as a scholar-practitioner – or as one friend labels it: “pracademic”. His Ph.D. Dissertation, completed in 2015, examined grassroots leadership structures in urban cultural districts and how stronger cross-sector or “horizontal” networks resulted in more equitable and sustainable communities.
Extensive case study research by Tom commissioned by the McKnight Foundation, Wilder Foundation, and a St. Paul/Travelers Company Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhood grant resulted in the publishing of The Creative Community Builders Handbook, which has been described as a seminal work in the field of Community Building and Creative Placemaking. Read more (pdf)…
“Growing up in a small town in New England, family life and community life were one in the same. My extended family and neighbors included themselves in civic, church, and cultural organizations and activities. As a young person I discovered photography, filmmaking and writing as passions that helped me develop new ways to see and understand the world; at the same time they served as tools for contributing to and making change in my community.
I grew up seeing as normal the interconnected nature of community life and the centrality of both verbal and visual inquiry and self-expression all while developing a deep commitment to principles of social justice. I hope my experiences can bring value to communities and organizations wanting to better appreciate their cultural and human resources and to apply their capacities towards building more just and prosperous communities.” -Tom Borrup