School of Social Policy & Practice

Founded as one of the nation's earliest schools of social work in the United States, the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) has trained social work professionals for over 110 years. In the 21st century, its scope expanded to include public policy and nonprofit leadership as natural extensions of applied social research. Today, SP2 offers masters programs in social work, public policy, and nonprofit leadership; doctoral programs in social welfare and clinical social work, and a wide range of certificate programs and specializations. The school is home to several research centers, including the Center for Carceral Communities, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the Center for Social Impact Strategy, the Center for Social Mobility and Prosperity, the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research, and the Ortner Center on Violence and Abuse. Faculty and graduate work is rooted in social justice, community care, and advancing equity-based policies worldwide.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • Publication
    “Natural” Cultural Districts: A Three-City Study—Report Summary
    (2013-02-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This summary of the full research report--"Natural" Cultural Districts: A Three-City Study (February 2013)--presents the rationale for the study as well as findings and implications for policy and research. Policy issues noted are: differential ecology of "natural" cultural districts; economic inequality and location advantage; and trends in the development and management of cultural space. Research questions noted are: change in neighborhood cultural ecology over time; new models of cultural production; displacement vs community revitalization; and reconnecting the arts with culture.
  • Publication
    Arts In Place: Philadelphia's Cultural Landscape
    (2005-05-01) Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP)

    To inform the debate over costs vs benefits of arts-based development to neighborhood revitalization, Penn Urban Studies Program chose "arts in place" as the theme of its Third Annual Public Conversation Series 2003-04. This document is a synthesis of the narratives and insights gleaned from the series--eight events with 23 speakers over five months--to share with a wider audience. The report describes the models and theories about how the arts influence development raised in six site-based discussions. Lastly, the report presents themes and issues that cut across Philadelphia's cultural landscape aired during the culminating session and throughout the series.

  • Publication
    Culture and Urban Revitalization: A Harvest Document
    (2007-01-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This document provides an overview of the state-of-the-art literature on culture and urban revitalization. Part 2 places the creative sector in contemporary context with a discussion of three social dynamics: the “new urban reality”, the changing structure of the creative sector, and the emergence of transactional policy-making. Part 3 turns to the major dimensions of current literature on culture-based urban revitalization: the promise of the creative economy; culture’s role in building community capacity; and the negative consequences of culture-based development. Part 4 uses the critical synthesis afforded by the review of literature to propose a new model of a neighborhood-based creative economy. Part 5 concludes with a reflection on research gaps and implications for community development policy and practice. Here the authors postulate that U.S. cities have the potential to regenerate urban neighborhoods through culture-based strategies that combine wealth-creation and social justice—but only by digesting the lessons of past experience.
  • Publication
    Civic Engagement and the Arts: Issues of Conceptualization and Measurement
    (2009-01-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This report focuses on one aspect of the social impact of the arts--their influence on civic engagement. The inquiry was undertaken during 2008 in collaboration with Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts. The purpose was to assess the state of knowledge about the relationship of the arts to civic engagement and to suggest ways that artists, cultural and community organizations, philanthropists, and public agencies could improve the quality of that knowledge. The approach was a review of literature drawn from the social sciences, the humanities, and public policy in an attempt to bridge theory with practice and research with evaluation. The authors structure the report as a conventional research design--that is, they define terms, conceptualize relationships among variables, identify methodological challenges, and assess data gathering strategies. Lastly, they propose a three-tier approach--with organizational or program-scale strategies, regional-scale strategies, and initiative-scale strategies--to improve the field's ability to document and understand the impact of the arts and culture on civil society.
  • Publication
    Creativity and Neighborhood Development: Strategies for Community Investment
    (2007-12-01) Nowak, Jeremy
    In this publication, Jeremy Nowak, President and CEO of The Reinvestment Fund, examines the role of community-based arts and cultural activity in neighborhood development and points towards strategies for building an integrated vision of creativity and development. The monograph focuses on the ways cultural activity and neighborhood development have complementary and in some ways intertwined missions. Nowak also offers a framework for flexible investment and funding that supports the synthesis of creativity, development, and knowledge and contributes to imaginative and substantive urban revitalization.
  • Publication
    Knight Creative Communities Initiative (KCCI) Evaluation: Interim Report
    (2007-12-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    During the summer of 2007, SIAP was asked by the Knight Foundation to undertake a process evaluation of its Creative Communities Initiative (KCCI) underway in Charlotte, North Carolina; Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin; and Tallahassee, Florida. This memo reports on initial findings of the experience of KCCI participants from catalyst selection in March through October 2007. The memo begins with an overview of the logic of KCCI and then examines participants’ experience of the initiative using a chronological structure: the selection of catalysts, the initial two-day seminar, the organization of the action or initiative teams, and the history of the teams to this point. The memo closes with general observations about participants’ perceptions of the initiative.
  • Publication
    Documenting Civic Engagement: A Plan for the Tucson Pima Arts Council
    (2009-06-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This 2009 report is the product of SIAP’s collaboration with the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) on a plan to document TPAC’s impact on civic engagement in Tucson and Pima County, Arizona. The goal of the project was to develop a plan to enable TPAC to phase in systematic collection and analysis of data on various forms of engagement. The report begins with a review of the policy context in which the project was undertaken, including the findings of the Pima Cultural Plan. The report then discusses a strategy and recommendations for documenting civic engagement and outlines a staged implementation plan. Specifically, Stern and Seifert propose five strategies: improving organizational data gathering, telling stories, documenting artists and the informal cultural sector, identifying institutional networks, and using geographic information systems to integrate data for analysis.
  • Publication
  • Publication
    Cultural Asset Mapping Project: Progress Report
    (2012-12-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    This report describes SIAP work undertaken from December 2011 to December 2012 as part of the Philadelphia cultural asset mapping project. SIAP research and data analyses underway, in collaboration with Reinvestment Fund, included: a cross-sectional analysis of associations between cultural assets and social and community indicators by neighborhood; a time-series of the geography of cultural assets between 1997 and 2010, using SIAP’s historical database; and a Philadelphia livability/social inclusion index that links information on cultural assets with other community indices on neighborhood vitality and social wellbeing.
  • Publication
    Knight Creative Communities Initiative (KCCI) Evaluation: Final Report
    (2008-07-01) Stern, Mark J; Seifert, Susan C
    The objective of the Knight Creative Communities Initiative (KCCI) was to promote community transformation based on Richard Florida’s creative class theory to stimulate economic development. KCCI was implemented by Richard Florida's consulting firm, Creative Class Group, in Charlotte, North Carolina; Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin; and Tallahassee, Florida. The KCCI final evaluation report begins with an overview of the logic of KCCI. It then examines participants’ experience of the initiative, from March 2007 to March 2008, using a chronological structure: the selection of community catalysts, the initial two-day seminar, the organization of the action teams, and the history of the teams. The report concludes with a framework for evaluating the medium- and long-term impacts of KCCI on the three communities.