Chairman of National Endowment for the Arts Visits Tucson:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
12:00 to 1:30 p.m
Creative Placemaking Conversation Open to Public
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman will visit Tucson on February 28. The public is invited to a panel discussion and community conversation on Creative Placemaking with him at noon at the Leo Rich Theatre.
The chairman’s visit to Tucson is prompted by his interest in learning more about the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s NEA “Our Town” grant – which supports cultural asset mapping associated with the Warehouse Arts District and TPAC’s P.L.A.C.E. (People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement) Initiative. Landesman also will be a guest at “FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue,” an initiative of the Sundance Institute taking place in Tucson in partnership with the Loft Cinema.
The free public event on Creative Placemaking with Landesman and other panelists will be from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. TPAC also has scheduled a morning walking tour for Landesman of Tucson’s Art Warehouse District with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Elizabeth Burden of the Warehouse Arts Management Organization and civic leaders.
Landesman is the tenth chair of the NEA. He ran a private investment fund before becoming president of Jujamcyn, a company that owns five Broadway theatres. His Tony award winning productions include “Big River,” “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches,” “Angels in America: Perestroika” and “The Producers.” He also has a passion for minor league baseball and country music. He holds a doctorate in dramatic literature from Yale.
“We know that when we bring the arts and artists into towns and cities, it changes those places profoundly,” he said. Landesman is visiting many communities across the country that have received Our Town grants. “Creative placemaking is about how the arts can change and transform places, where the arts can intersect with the real world,” he has said.
Also participating in the panel discussion and community conversation are Maribel Alvarez, program director of Tucson Meet Yourself, Tucson artist Bill Mackey and Gail Browne, executive director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center.
Alvarez is a recipient of a TPAC P.L.A.C.E. initiative award to conduct a neighborhood cultural asset mapping project with the San Ignacio Yaqui Council in Old Pascua, a historic barrio in Tucson.
Mackey received a P.L.A.C.E award for a participatory arts project – the Worker Transit Authority – which looks at the relationship between infrastructure and choice as it relates to the built environment. The Worker Transit Authority explores the question How do you move through the city?
Browne and the Poetry Center have an extensive history of community partnerships and programs that illuminate placemaking through collaborative practices.
The free Creative Placemaking event will be moderated by Roberto Bedoya, executive director of TPAC. The event is free to the public, but TPAC requests an advance RSVP with names of attendees sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bedoya said, “Tucson is a community that values and supports creative placemaking and that is why the chairman is visiting us. His visit will offer him opportunities to learn more about how our local arts community creates civic belonging, contributes to the local economy and feeds the vitality, distinctiveness and identity of what makes Tucson unique.”
For more information, contact TPAC at 624-0595.
TPAC has served as the arts agency for both the City of Tucson and Pima County for more than 25 years. TPAC awards grants, oversees public art programs, offers professional development services to artists and arts leaders, and maintains a roster of teaching artists for community projects and public art. TPAC also partners with Americans for the Arts on economic impact research and implements community-based cultural development projects with funding from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Kresge Foundation and Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.