The Artist as Problem Solver II: Building the Capacity of Artists & Cultural Workers as Civic Leaders

Last year, as part of their annual series of convenings to raise awareness around the Joyce Awards (more here) in the Great Lakes region, the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program joined with some of the leading thinkers in arts-based community development to spotlight the pivotal role that artists and cultural workers are playing in leading regional placekeeping and placemaking efforts. That first two-day summit held in Indianapolis attracted over 150 artists, arts and community organization representatives, creative entrepreneurs, municipal department staff, planners, designers, educators, researchers, and neighborhood and policy leaders.

To follow up the enthusiastic response to that dynamic first summit, the Joyce Foundation is pleased to host the second convening, The Artist as Problem Solver II: Building the Capacity of Artists & Cultural Workers as Civic Leaders,  in Cleveland from March 21 to 22. Co-sponsored by the Gund Foundation, this event is free and open to those actively working or deeply interested in the role of the arts in fostering and preserving equitable communities, neighborhood health and resilience, economic mobility, spatial justice, memory and heritage, and collective civic imagination. In addition to the themes addressed by our roster of national arts leaders, particular attention will be placed on placekeeping and placemaking case studies from Chicago. Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Confirmed speakers include Roberto Bedoya, City of Oakland Manager of Cultural Affairs; Arts-based community development leaders Phyllis Boyd and LaShawndra Crowe; Ty Dafoe, Native dance artist; Michael Gill, Collective Arts Network Journal and Triennial; Esther Grimm, Executive Director 3Arts;  Daniel Gray-Kontar, Founder and Executive Director of Twelve Literary Arts; Juana Guzman, national arts strategist; Jamie Hand, Director of Research Strategies, Art Place America; Photographer and spatial justice advocate, Tonika Johnson; Amanda King, founder of Cleveland-based Shooting Without Bullets; Roy Priest, Past President & CEO National Congress for Community Economic Development; Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking; Fidel Verdin and Shalina Ali, Co-Directors of Milwaukee’s TRUE SKOOL; Jim Walker, Co-Founder of Big Car Collaborative; Bryan Thao Worra, Poet and Laotian cultural leader;  and many more.

Those attending from out of town will find the broadest range of hotel accommodations in Cleveland’s downtown area with options for a quick commute or longer walk to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church. One of the final stops on the Underground Railroad for enslaved Africans before boarding boats bound for freedom in Canada, St. John’s is one of Cleveland’s most important place-based assets.

You can register for both the keynote and reception as well as the workshops at Eventbrite. I look forward to seeing all of you who can make it there!

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