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UCLG 2nd World Culture Summit: Jeju, South Korea

The 2nd UCLG Culture Summit will take place May 10-13, 2017 in Province of Jeju, Republic of Korea. The Summit is the leading annual convening for municipal governments and key stakeholder groups concerned with advancing the essential role of culture in sustainable development. I will participate in an interactive panel that will examine different approaches to evaluating cultural aspects of sustainable development.

Entitled “Commitments and Actions for Culture in Sustainable Cities,” the 2nd UCLG Culture Summit will respond to the growing importance given to the nexus of culture, cities and sustainable development by international organizations and frameworks by focusing on the following themes:

Implementing Culture 21 Actions: How are cities in different world regions working to fully integrate culture in their sustainable development strategies, programs, and projects? What progress can we observe? What are the challenges?

Towards a Global Culture 2030 Goal: The Summit will review progress made towards the goals outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda and identify critical steps to strengthen global knowledge on culture and sustainable development long-term.

Cultural Rights and Local Alliances for Culture: Participants will learning from emerging efforts around the world to advance cultural rights and inclusive practices. Around the world, many cities have established participatory models of local governance have integrated cultural practices into sustainable development. Internationally, progress in the field of cultural rights is also being made by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, who will present current research at the 2017 Summit.

Strengthening Economies in the West: A Regional Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities

Event: Strengthening Economies in the West: A Regional Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities

Date: April 19 – 21, 2017

Location: Denver, Colorado

Is your county or region experiencing economic challenges due to the contraction of the coal industry?  Are you seeking effective approaches to support economic diversification, workforce development, and improved quality of life in your community? Join the National Association of Counties and the NADO Research Foundation in Denver for a free forum designed to help coal-reliant regions in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming imagine alternative futures.
This convening will bring together stakeholders from a variety of public and private sectors for an educational and interactive gathering to share best practices, lessons learned, and new opportunities to support economic diversification.  Prepare for a mix of plenary sessions and smaller group discussions covering a variety of topics including infrastructure, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, local foods and arts, and tourism.
Join me the afternoon of Thursday, April 20th to explore how creative development strategies can help regions in transition achieve greater cultural vitality, equity, and environmental resilience.


Art of the Rural: Next Generation National Advisory Group

Next Generation: The Future of the Arts & Culture Placemaking in Rural America engages artists, organizations, and communities across the public and private sector to advance collaboration, share innovative strategies and research, and elevate emerging leaders in the field. With support from The University of Iowa and the National Endowment for the Arts, this initiative is designed and facilitated by Art of the Rural and the Rural Policy Research Institute in concert with a range of partners. I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful group as we celebrate the many faces of American life and create thriving places beyond our metropolitan regions.

Next Generation operates through three interlinked activities: Regional Networks that spark exchange, collaboration, and dissemination of best practices; a Digital Learning Commons that shares this knowledge and contributes further perspectives from across the rural arts and culture field; and a Rural Creative Placemaking Summit that will merge the activities of the Networks and Commons and expand the rural placemaking network.


Art of the Rural is a collaborative organization with a mission to help build the field of the rural arts, create new narratives on rural culture and community, and contribute to the emerging rural arts and culture movement. They work online and on the ground through interdisciplinary and cross-sector partnerships to advocate for engaged conversation and policy that transcends imposed boundaries and articulates the shared reality of rural and urban America.

Photo 1 courtesy of The 100 to 115 Rural Arts and Culture Map has been developed by M12 Creative Director Richard Saxton to highlight the rich offerings of the High Plains and Rocky Mountain West regions of the United States. This map is intended to bridge both geographic and cultural distance and offer a platform for connection between artists, institutes, cultural sites, and tourists in the expanse of the American landscape that is roughly bracketed by the 100 and 115 latitudinal meridians.

Photo 2 courtesy of the incredible mural artist Chip Thomas, aka Jetsonorama.


GIA 2015 Conference: Experience the Unexpected

Event: Evaluation Test Kitchen

Date: October 19th, 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Location: Los Angeles, California

Responsible evaluation of arts and social change work will require disrupting mainstream evaluation practices that can undermine or distort the connections between art, culture, and social justice. Evaluation Learning Lab (ELL) is a partnership of Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, the Arts X Culture X Social Justice Network, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Over the past year, ELL has convened arts practitioners, evaluators, and funders to develop these resources. Participants will test frameworks and criteria designed for assessing social and aesthetic qualities and outcomes and increasing equity and access in review processes coming out of the Lab’s test kitchen. Participants will offer feedback regarding usefulness of frameworks in their grantmaking and in balancing power in evaluation. Discussion will inform positive actions grantmakers can take in their own review and evaluation activities and guide further development of practical field resources.

Organized by Pam Korza and Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Co-directors, of Animating Democracy at Americans for the Arts. Presented by Kiley Arroyo, Executive Director, Cultural Strategies Council, Denise Brown, Executive Director, Leeway Foundation, and Mark Valdez, independent artist.


Image courtesy of Populous / HMC Architects 


The Art and Science of Place-Based Evaluation

Event: The Art and Science of Place-Based Evaluation

Date: October 5th and 6th 2015

Location: San Diego, California

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, and the Neighborhood Funders Group will host this national convening on effective practices and new approaches to evaluating place-based initiatives.

“The Art and Science of Place-Based Evaluation”  builds on two prior events hosted by the Aspen Institute “Towards a Better Place” and the University of Southern California “Prioritizing Place” to provide a deeper, targeted discussion about how to use evaluation to improve understanding of place to accelerate change.

The results of this convening will be curated into a central portal, designed to extend the lessons learned from GEO’s Place-Based Evaluation Community of Practice. This convening, and its resulting Community of Practice, will ensure an ongoing dialogue for continued learning on place-based evaluation’s role in affecting positive change. Stay tuned for a review of the event and the insights that emerge.

 Photo credit: J.R. – Inside Out Project – Naplouse, Palestine (2011)



Keynote Speaker—8th International Conference on Planning and Design, Taiwan

Event: 8th International Conference on Planning and Design (ICDP), National Cheng Kung University
This focus of this biennial international forum is to exchange knowledge and emerging research on the leading edge of industrial design, architecture, urban planning, and technology.

Theme: Agenda Tomorrow

Date: May 25th – 28th, 2015

Location: Tainan, Taiwan at the National Cheng Kung



SFMOMA: Resilience / Resistance Workshop

Event: Public Dialogue -—Resilience / Resistance Workshop

Date: February 27, 2015

Location: San Francisco Planning & Urban Research (SPUR)

Role: Speaker, participant, general provocateur

Carmargo Foundation: Cassis, FR

In September of 2014, I had the good fortune to travel to the Carmargo Foundation a residential center located in Cassis, France. Founded by artist / philanthropist Jerome Hill, the Foundation offers time and space in a contemplative environment to think, create, and connect. The Foundation encourages the visionary work of scholars, artists, and thought leaders in the arts and humanities.

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My travel companions to Cassis were none other than Tom Borrup of Creative Community Builders, DeAnna Cummings of Juxtaposition Arts and Wendy Holmes of Intermedia Arts. Together, the Foundation’s director of programs Julie Chenot as our guide, we explored a diverse range of culture driven urban development projects developed throughout Marseille as part of the 2013 European Capital of Culture program.

Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture, has been described by organizers as a “shared revolution” and “meeting point to show our differences, stage our disagreements and glorify our contradictions” in ways only a region as diverse as this could achieve. Over the course of one year, regional stakeholders transformed Marseille-Provence into a vibrant mosaic of cultural expression. Uniting the Roman ruins of Arles, the medieval buildings of Salon-de-Provence, the industrial zones of Istres and Martigues, the cultural center of Aix-en-Provence, the clay sector of Aubagne to the early Greek heritage of Marseille.

Stay tuned for a further research on the dynamic approaches to creative placemaking, cultural development, and neighborhood revitalization underway across this incredible region.

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2014 Museum Camp, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Event: Museum Camp – Social Impact Measurement

Date: July 31 – August 1, 2014

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Role: I had the great privilege of serving as a counselor at the 2014 Museum Camp. My counselors explored community bridging, the neurological effects of live music, and Santa Cruz country resident’s perspectives on the the arts, culture, and public displays of creativity. What fun!

6th World Summit on Arts & Culture, Santiago de Chile

Event: IFACCA 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture The 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture was jointly hosted by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CNCA), the Chilean Government’s entity in charge of implementing public policies for cultural development. The theme for the 6th World Summit was Creative Times: new models for cultural development. The summit addressed how globalisation, shifts in social and economic development and new forms of communication are generating an array of challenges and opportunities within the cultural field, with an impact transcending the artistic realm.

Date: January 2014

Location: Santiago de Chile

Role: US Delegate

2014 International Conference of Cultural Policy Research

Event: International Conference of Cultural Policy Research

Date: September 9-13, 2014

Location: Hildesheim, Germany

Speaker and/or moderator for the following panels:

  • International Cultural Policy: Trends and Challenges
  • Art and Sustainability in Cities
  • Who will lay down their life for art? A Research Agenda in support of Artists as Change Agents