Episode 60: Gateway Cities & Creative Placemaking

Benjamin Forman, Director of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute at MassINC, says residential property values are higher in communities that have more arts and culture. He says municipal leaders should take stock of that when considering modest public investments in strategies such as Cultural Districts and the economic returns that they yield.

Ben FormanBenjamin Forman has served as MassINC’s research director since 2010. Prior to joining MassINC, he oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation. He also has experience as a researcher at the Brookings Institution and as a research assistant at Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.
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Episode 50: Mission-Driven Commercial Development Afoot in Roxbury

Edmund Barry Gaither, Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, says this moment in Roxbury is “a moment of becoming.” He discusses work underway by Elma Lewis Partners and the recently-designated Roxbury Cultural District to use economic development to gift a community with a first-rate cultural and educational institution by 2020.

Edmond Barry GaitherEdmund Barry Gaither is Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and its Museum Division, and Special Consultant to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. At the National Center of Afro-American Artists, he developed its museum from a concept to its present operation with collections representing the visual arts of the black world, and an exhibition record of 45 years. At the Museum of Fine Arts, he has served as Adjunct Curator for 11 exhibitions since 1970, as well as administering the long-standing collaborative relationship between the National Center and the MFA.
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Episode 48: Cultural District as Framework for Unifying Community Vision

Wrapped inside the cozy neighborhoods of a leafy mill town in Boston’s Metro West, Maynard’s downtown is a dynamic micro-city. Tim Hess, an architect and former chair of the Maynard Cultural Council, shares the journey undertaken to create what is now Maynard’s Assabet Village Cultural District.

Tim HessTimothy Hess, AIA, CNU-A, SEED
Tim Hess is a member of the Maynard Cultural Council, and chaired that group through state designation of the Assabet Village Cultural District. His place-making approach helped to shape the framework and goals for the District, identifying four place-assets of particular civic value to its identity and cohesion, and outlining a series of special events meant to initiate cycles of exploration, imagination, planning, and investment in those places. Continue reading “Episode 48: Cultural District as Framework for Unifying Community Vision”

Episode 37: Springfield Cultural District Fuels Downtown Growth

A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth’s most powerful economic development assets. Morgan Drewniany, Executive Director of the Springfield Central Cultural District, shares their work in harnessing arts and culture for the future of Springfield.

Morgan DrewnianyMorgan Drewniany is Executive Director of the Springfield Central Cultural District. She attended Hampshire College with a focus on the intersection of environmental chemistry, public health, and social justice. Her passion for serving all of the population, not just those with a high level of education and privilege, brought her to the field of economic development after graduation.

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Episode 35: Rooted in Arts, Activism, and Social Justice

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is the CEO of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, a community development corporation dedicated to empowering individuals through education, workforce development, and arts programs. She shares IBA’s holistic approach to youth development and how the arts unleash the collective power and voice of the young people they serve.

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D.Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is the CEO of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, a community development corporation dedicated to empowering individuals through education, workforce development and arts programs, and to creating vibrant affordable housing communities. Through her leadership, IBA has become the largest Latino-led nonprofit organization in Greater Boston.

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