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Creative Placemaking: A Conversation with Rip Rapson + Jamie Bennett

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May 8, 2014
May 8, 2014
Segal Theatre


FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Thursday, May 8 at 6:30pm. Begun in 2011, ArtPlace America is collaboration among 14 foundations, six financial institutions, and eight federal agencies committed to creative placemaking. The Segal welcomes ArtPlace America’s recently-appointed Executive Director, Jamie Bennett (formerly of the National Endowment for the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs), and Rip Rapson (CEO of The Kresge Foundation and current chairman of ArtPlace’s Funders Council) for a conversation about the ways that the arts can and should play a central role in shaping the social, physical, and economic futures of their communities.  Drawing on examples from New York City, Detroit, and rural and urban communities all across the US, Rapson and Bennet will present the case that the arts should be represented in any conversation about the future of a community, as well as the challenges and opportunities in getting elected, civic, business, and arts leaders to share that vision.

 This event is part of the GC Public Program’s initiative “Cultural Capital: The Promise and Price of New York Creative Economy.”


Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 14 foundations, 6 financial institutions, and 8 federal agencies dedicated to strengthening the field of creative placemaking, in which communities and their arts sectors work in partnership to shape their social, physical, and economic futures.  To date, ArtPlace has awarded $42.1 million in grants to 124 organizations in 79 communities of all sizes across the United States. Until December 2013, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts. Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs during.  He also represented DCA on two public-private partnerships: the New York State Cultural Data Project and Materials for the Arts. Jamie has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College. His non-profit affiliations have included the Board of Directors of Art21 and HERE Arts Center; the Foot-in-the-Door Committee of the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation; and Studio in a School’s Associates Committee.  Jamie received his B.A. from Columbia College in New York City.


Rip Rapson, attorney and expert in urban policy, is president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, a $3 billion national, private foundation based in metropolitan Detroit. He came to Kresge in 2006 and led the almost 98-year-old philanthropy in a multiyear transition to expand and recalibrate its grantmaking. Seven strategically focused programs emerged – Arts and Culture, Community Development, Detroit, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Each seeks to expand opportunities in America’s cities so that vulnerable people can lead self-determined lives and join the economic mainstream. Rapson has put into practice the use of multiple funding methods, including operating support, project support, and program-related investments. Program-related investments, such of loans and loan guarantees, allow Kresge to use its capital in ways that extend beyond traditional grantmaking. In 2012, the Board of Trustees approved 410 awards totaling $130.5 million; $150.3 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. More at kresge.org




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