A summit to ignite New England's creative potential

New England is at the forefront of the creative community building movement. Leaders from across New England will meet in Providence to share strategies for engaging the creative sector and to begin to develop a regional network of creative communities. Participants will discuss a regional approach for collectively promoting our creative communities through policy, research, programming, and resource development.

Come participate in this shared conversation about how cities, towns, and regions are leveraging creative community development to enhance their prosperity and quality of life. 



Those spearheading creative initiatives in their local community who want to connect with other leaders from across New England.  Participants will represent a broad slice of the community including but not limited to: government officials, arts administrators, artists, business and civic leaders, creative entrepreneurs, funders, and researchers.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010 (optional)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.   Walking Tours of Providence (optional); meet in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel 

  • Providence Art Windows led by Rebecca Siemering, Director of Providence Art Windows and Exhibition Coordinator for the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island.
  • AS220 led by Umberto Crenca, Artistic Director of AS220.

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.   Registration & Networking

10:00 a.m.   Welcome & Summit Overview

  • The Connecting Creative Communities summit is designed for participants to:
    • Share strategies that cities, towns, regions, and self-defined communities are using to engage the creative sector 
    • Begin to develop a regional network of communities leveraging creative community development to enhance their prosperity and quality of life
    • Discuss a regional approach for collectively promoting and supporting creative community development through policy, research, programming, and resource development
    • Build the capacity of the creative sector to take a leadership role in making New England a better place through creative community building
  • Sessions will begin with presentations and a facilitated dialogue by practitioners who have successfully implemented creative community strategies within their own communities.  Summit participants are invited to share their own stories and work together to identify common themes and opportunities for future action. 

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   

  • Beyond Our Borders: Planning, Policy, and Prosperity in New England
    What if New Englanders took the same “borderless” approach creative industries do to help develop regional prosperity? Panelists will examine key details from several recent successful creative economic development plans to identify strategies New Englanders might use to tap into this momentum.
    Session Leaders: 
    • Lynne McCormack, Moderator
      Director, Department of Art Culture + Tourism, City of Providence (Providence, RI)
    • Jason Schupbach
      Creative Economy Industry Director, Massachusetts Office of Business Development (Boston, MA)
    • Jack Templin
      RI Nexus/Providence Geeks/Betaspring (Providence, RI)
    • Helena Fruscio
      Director, Berkshire Creative (Pittsfield, MA)

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.   Lunch & Networking

  • Welcome from David N. Cicilline, Mayor, City of Providence (Providence, RI)

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.   

  • A) New Conduits for Creativity
    Learn more about the innovative pathways New England communities are taking to foster collaborative community building. How does more effectively marketing your community with new technologies help support shared goals? What are the best working models for organizational hybrids? How can regional collaborations support your local creative sector? Panelists in this workshop will share examples of what is working for their regions. Afterwards, we will break into small groups to brainstorm.
    Session Leaders:
    • Erin Williams
      Cultural Development Officer, Worcester Cultural Coalition (Worcester, MA)
    • Frumie Selchen
      Executive Director, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (Littleton, NH)
    • Catherine Peterson
      Executive Director, ArtsBoston (Boston, MA) 
  • B) Artist-Driven Solutions for Community Change
    Artist-led initiatives in many communities are stimulating creative responses to complex social and economic issues. In the name of the public, artists are working to break down traditional silos and facilitate increased cooperation among government, nonprofit, and commercial entities.  Learn from other problem-solving projects about how art, culture, and creativity can bridge sectors to bring about community-wide change
    Session Leaders: 
    • Maren Brown, Moderator
      Director, Arts Extension Service, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Hadley, MA)
    • Mary Pottenger
      Director, Arts & Equity Initiative, City of Portland (Portland, ME)
    • Loren Spears
      Executive Director, Tomaquag Museum (Exeter, RI)
    • Matthew Perry
      Co-Founder & Artistic Director, Vermont Arts Exchange (North Bennington, VT)

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • A) Finding and Engaging Unexpected Partners
    Are you trying to initiate a creative sector partnership in your community? Would you like an existing alliance to generate greater impact? Presumably working together can lift all boats – but getting there is too often becomes a process of decision-making by committee rather than one of helping to identify and support shared goals. This dialogue will focus on strategies for fostering collaboration across different communities in an effort to deepen partners’ engagement and deliver an array of meaningful community benefits.
    Session Leaders: 
    • LZ Nunn, Moderator
      Director of Cultural Affairs, City of Lowell & COOL (Lowell, MA)
    • Robert McBride
      Director, Rockingham Arts & Museum Project (Bellows Falls, VT)
    • Elena Calederon Patino
      Community Arts Program Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (Providence, RI)
  • B) Facing Facts: Getting Results with Data
    Counting heads is an obvious first step in data collection, but figuring out what else you need to know in a data-saturated landscape can be a mind bending business. How does collecting information help develop your community, institution, or enterprise and boost its profile? If you can’t answer these questions, why spend the money? At this session, you’ll hear from people who’ve been deeply involved with these questions, and who will share stories about the sometimes surprising political and financial consequences of their work.
    Session Leaders:
    • Meri Jenkins, Moderator
      Program Manager, Adams Arts Program, Massachusetts Cultural Council (Boston, MA)
    • Dee Schneidman
      Research Manager, New England Foundation for the Arts (Boston, MA)
    • Chris Dwyer
      Senior Vice President, RMC Research (Portsmouth, NH)
    • Jennifer Hutchins
      Director of Communications and External Affairs, Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (Portland, ME)
  • C) Creative Incubators
    Creativity often inspires more creativity.  Giving artists time and space to create work is critical to the creative process and is the foundation of creative incubator programs.  Join us at AS220 to hear how a few successful programs got their start and transitioned from grassroots efforts to established organizations.   Our group will discuss some of the unique opportunities and challenges that creative incubators face as their leaders try to introduce new ideas in the context of the existing arts ecosystem.
    Session Leaders:
    • Caitlin Strokosch, Moderator
      Executive Director, Alliance of Artist Communities (Providence, RI)
    • Sara Coffey
      Co-Founder, Vermont Performance Lab (Guilford, VT)
    • Umberto Crenca
      Artistic Director, AS220 (Providence, RI)
    • Andrea Sachdeya
      Director of Evaluation & Curriculum for the Cloud Foundation and The Boston 100K ArtScience Innovation Prize (Boston, MA)

6:00 p.m.   Dine Arounds

  • Dine arounds provide an informal opportunity for creative people to get to know each other better, to swap war stories, and to explore some of Providence’s creative spaces and restaurants.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  

  • Breakfast Plenary: Communicating About the Arts to Build Broad Support
    Presented by Margy Waller, Vice President, Arts & Cultural Partnership of the Fine Arts Fund (Cincinnati, OH)

    In late 2008, leaders of the Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati embarked on a year-long research initiative designed to develop an inclusive community dialogue leading to broadly shared public responsibility for arts and culture in the region.  The Arts Ripple Effect summarizes a year of work and important findings for widespread use by others.  Margy Waller will review findings and offer examples of how the community is using the research to develop the conversation.

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.   

  • Building Your Capacity: Creative Leadership in the Creative Sector
    The creative sector plays an important leadership role in developing a community’s potential – creatively, economically, and socially.  What tools are New England’s leaders using to advance this work in their organizations and communities?  This hands-on, peer-to-peer workshop will focus on methods and current practices available to address the sector's day-to-day needs - space, healthcare, funding and capacity building – as well as more complex matters such as navigating cross-sector relationships, promoting workforce development, and regionalism, and stoking the creativity at the heart of it all.
    Session Leaders:
    • Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Moderator
      Co-Director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts (Washington, DC)
    • Meri Jenkins
      Program Manager Adams Arts Program, Massachusetts Cultural Council (Boston, MA)
    • John Cusano
      Community Development Coordinator, Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism (Hartford, CT)
    • Steven Dahlberg
      Director, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination (New Milford, CT)

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   

  • What's Next? Drafting a Regional Agenda
    This final session will bring all summit participants together to identify key themes and actionable items that will form the basis of a New England wide regional agenda for the creative sector.   











Presented in partnership with Americans for the Arts Animating Democracy, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, COOL/Cultural Affairs & Special Events, City of Lowell, International Centre for Creativity and Imagination, The MacDowell Colony, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, and Worcester Cultural Coalition.



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