The Creative Communities Field Guide is a hand-held guide to help you launch projects that will make your town an amazing place to call home. Designed to easily fit in your back pocket or a bag while you are out in your community, this book is filled with 20 self reflection prompts, 30 design questions to ask of your neighbors, 20 examples of prototypes you can test, and numerous frameworks for mapping out your idea, team, and key partners. The Field Guide walks you through six simple steps, known as the CANVAS Framework, for leading change in your community:

  • Step 1: Chart Your Path – Determine what success would look like, how your unique style will influence the idea, and how to move past fears preventing you from getting started.
  • Step 2: Ask Probing Questions – Get a pulse on what your community needs by getting face-to-face, testing your assumptions, and learning how to ask curious questions.
  • Step 3: Name Early Adopters – Identify those who are most eager to rally behind your idea and build momentum by asking for deeper engagement over time and incrementally.
  • Step 4: Visualize a Prototype – Develop moments of wonder, which are small experiments to tangibly test your idea and learn what works. Think small, cheap, and fast to test the boundaries of what’s possible.
  • Step 5: Articulate Your Story – Design a clear and compelling narrative for your project that stands out and is easily shareable, while leveraging various media forms.
  • Step 6: Sustain Efforts With Partners – Find partnerships that satisfy a mutual need and learn how to lean on your network’s trust as a critical currency of partnership-building.

This field guide can be used as a standalone tool, or paired up as the companion guide when reading ‘Designing Creative Communities’ by Spud Marshall, which breaks down the CANVAS Framework into more detail.