The relationship between creativity, identity, place, and community resilience: the renaissance of Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States
This paper examines the relationship between creativity, identity, and place for the small economically challenged Delta City, Mississippi of Clarksdale, United States, a once prosperous manufacturing and farming community. Promoted as the Delta’s epicenter of blues music, over the last twenty years key business stakeholders in the city’s renaissance have been committed to developing local and international awareness of Clarksdale’s historic architecture, culture and blues heritage. It was not until 2008 when economist and town planner John C. Henshall formulated the Downtown Clarksdale Action Plan for Economic Revitalization that the city secured a comprehensive guide to growth. The plan was designed to support downtown infrastructure and tourism through a creatively based strategy, dependent on the tourism potential of blues performances and the imaginative efforts of those invested in the ongoing renewal project. Drawing on incentives aligned with the plan’s objectives, and seven semi-structured interviews with local entrepreneurs and revitalization participants, this paper examines the connection between collaborative creativity, collective identity, connection to place, and community resilience.
This work is licensed under a .
Barron, F. (1955). The disposition towards originality. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 478–485. http://doi.org/10.1037/h0048073
Beaulieu, L. J. (Ed.). (2019). The Rural South in crisis: challenges for the future. Series: Rural Studies Series. Routledge. http://doi.org/10.4324/9780429314407
Berkes, F., & Ross, H. (2013). Community resilience: toward an integrated approach. Society and Natural Resources, 26(1), 5–20. http://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2012.736605
Bryant, Ph. (2016). 2016–2019 State of Mississippi Delta Region Development Plan. http://dra.gov/images/uploads/content_files/Mississippi_State_Plan-DRA_FINAL-2016.pdf
Chryssochoou, X. (2003). Studying identity in social psychology: some thoughts on the definition of identity and its relation to action. Journal of Language and Politics, 2(2), 225–241. http://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.2.2.03chr
City of Clarksdale. (2020). Clarksdale, Mississippi. http://www.cityofclarksdale.org/
Dollinger, S. J., Clancy Dollinger, S. M., & Centeno, L. (2005). Identity and creativity. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 5(4), 315–339. http://doi.org/10.1207/s1532706xid0504_2
Drake, G. (2003). “This place gives me space”: place and creativity in the creative industries. Geoforum, 34(4), 511–524. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7185(03)00029-0
Evans, Ch. (2020). Sanborn Insurance Map [unpublished source].
Friedman, A. (2017). This Is not America. Biteback Publishing.
Glăveanu, V. P. (2010). Paradigms in the study of creativity: introducing the perspective of cultural psychology. New Ideas in Psychology, 28(1), 79–93. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2009.07.007
Glăveanu, V. P., & Tanggaard, L. (2014). Creativity, identity, and representation: towards a socio-cultural theory of creative identity. New Ideas in Psychology, 34, 12–21. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2014.02.002
Hamlin, F. N. (2012). Crossroads at Clarksdale: the black freedom struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II. Series: The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture. W. E. Martin Jr. & P. Sullivan (Eds.). The University of North Carolina Press. http://doi.org/10.5149/9780807869857_hamlin
Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 569–598. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416
Henshall, J. C. (2012). Delta Blues at the crossroads: cultural tourism and the economic revitalization of Downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi. Thesis Eleven, 109(1), 29–43. http://doi.org/10.1177/0725513612444559
Henshall, J. C. (2008). Downtown Clarksdale: an action plan for economic revitalization. Essential Economics Pty Ltd.
Henshall, J. C. (2019). Downtown revitalization and Delta Blues in Clarksdale, Mississippi: lessons for small cities and towns. Palgrave Macmillan. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2107-8
Jacks, W. (2019). Po’ Monkey’s: portrait of a Juke Joint. University Press of Mississippi.
Juke Joint Festival. (2020). Juke Joint Festival. http://www.jukejointfestival.com/
Kay, A. (2000). Art and community development: the role the arts have in regenerating communities. Community Development Journal, 35(4), 414–424. http://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/35.4.414
King, S. A. (2004). Blues tourism in the Mississippi Delta: the functions of Blues Festivals. Popular Music and Society, 27(4), 455–475. http://doi.org/10.1080/0300776042000264667
King, S. A. (2011). I’m feeling the blues right now: blues tourism and the Mississippi Delta. Series: American Made Music Series. D. Evans (General Ed.). University Press of Mississippi.
Landry, Ch. (2008). The creative city: a toolkit for urban innovators. Commedia/Earthscan.
Lee, W., & Chhabra, D. (2015). Heritage hotels and historic lodging: perspectives on experiential marketing and sustainable culture. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 10(2), 103–110. http://doi.org/10.1080/1743873X.2015.1051211
Leeuwen, van L., & Westwood, D. (2008). Adult play, psychology and design. Digital Creativity, 19(3), 153–161. http://doi.org/10.1080/14626260802312665
Magis, K. (2010). Community resilience: an indicator of social sustainability. Society and Natural Resources, 23(5), 401–416. http://doi.org/10.1080/08941920903305674
MDAH. HRI Historic District Profile. District Properties. (2020). Properties in Clarksdale Historic District. http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/Public/district.aspx?id=204&view=propList&y=1057
Meikle, P. A. (2016). Globalization and its effects on agriculture and agribusiness in the Mississippi Delta: a historical overview and prospects for the future. Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 31(2), 130–154.
Meraki Roasting Company. (2020). Meraki roasting company by griot arts. http://merakiroasting.com/
Nardone, J. (2003). Roomful of Blues: Jukejoints and the cultural landscape of the Mississippi Delta. Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, 9, 166–175.
Pratt, R. (1986). The politics of authenticity in popular music: the case of the Blues. Popular Music and Society, 10(3), 55–78. http://doi.org/10.1080/03007768608591250
Reid, A., Petocz, P., & Bennett, D. (2016). Is creative work sustainable? Understanding identity, motivation, and worth. Australian Journal of Career Development, 25(1), 33–41. http://doi.org/10.1177/1038416216637089
Robinson, P., Heitmann, S., & Dieke, P. (Eds.). (2011). Research themes for tourism. CABI. http://doi.org/10.1079/9781845936846.0000
Runco, M. A., & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The standard definition of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24(1), 92–96. http://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2012.650092
Sawyer, R. K., & DeZutter, S. (2009). Distributed creativity: how collective creations emerge from collaboration. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 3(2), 81–92. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0013282
Stein, M. I. (1953). Creativity and culture. The Journal of Psychology, 36(2), 311–322. http://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.1953.9712897
Stolle, R. (2019). Mississippi Juke joint confidential: house parties, hustlers and the blues life. The History Press.
Town Charts. (2019). Clarksdale, Mississippi Economy Data. http://www.towncharts.com/Mississippi/Economy/Clarksdale-city-MS-Economy-data.html
U.S. Census Bureau. (2019). Quick Facts: Clarksdale City, Mississippi. http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/clarksdalecitymississippi
Wang, N. (1999). Rethinking authenticity in tourism experience. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(2), 349–370. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(98)00103-0
Winnicott, D. W. (2005). Playing and reality. Routledge.