Speaking at the 2012 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts & Humanities on May 24, Mayor Angel Taveras celebrated Providence as a hub for creative placemaking and reaffirmed his commitment to supporting arts and humanities in the Creative Capital.
"I have the privilege of leading a city where the arts and humanities are not just amenities," said Mayor Taveras. "My administration understands the arts are core strategies in reinventing and reviving our city. From youth development to economic development, from neighborhood planning to transit enhancements, from civic dialogue to interventions in public space - our city's arts and cultural organizations and artists have worked hand in hand with elected officials and business leaders to shape the past, present and future of our city."
The fourth-annual Pell Lecture, hosted this year by AS220, honors the late Claiborne Pell, who represented Rhode Island in the United States Senate from 1961-1997 and is best remembered for being a champion of education, the arts and humanities.
The 2012 event, Creative Place-making: Providence the Creative Capital, Fact or Fiction?, was a conversation about the role of arts and culture as a tool for building strong communities, revitalizing neighborhoods, catalyzing economic activity, and fostering meaningful connections between people and places. The panel was comprised of noted national and local experts: Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center at the Urban Institute (UI) and director of UI's Culture, Creativity and Communities Program, Jason Schupbach, Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts, Colin P. Kane, Chairman of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, Principal of the Peregrine Group LLC, Admiral of the Rhode Island Commodores, and Manya K. Rubenstein, Co-founder and Publisher of Outpost Journal. Marc Joel Levitt served as moderator.
Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center at the Urban Institute (UI) and director of UI's Culture, Creativity and Communities Program. Her research expertise includes neighborhood revitalization and comprehensive community planning, the politics of race, ethnicity and gender in urban settings, and the role of arts and culture in communities. Her projects in cities throughout the United States have explored the characteristics of place that lead to cultural vitality, the measurement of arts and cultural vitality and the integration of new topics into policies and programs concerned with quality of life.
Jason Schupbach manages the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) urban design initiatives, including the Mayors' Institute on City Design and the Our Town program. He previously served as the Creative Economy Industry Director for Massachusetts, where one of his primary focuses was the growth and support of all types of design businesses. Schupbach has also worked as Capital Projects Manager for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Director of Boston's ArtistLink, an organization that creates a stable environment for Massachusetts artists as they seek workspace and housing. From 2003 to 2007, Schupbach served as National Artist Space Initiative Consultant for Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) where he was the key editor for two reports from the Urban Institute on developing artist space.
Colin P. Kane is Chairman of the 195 Commission, a Rhode Island workgroup tasked with planning the redevelopment of 40 acres in downtown Providence created by the relocation of Interstate 195. Kane is also the lead partner at Peregrine Group, LLC, in charge of project transactional activities, project planning, asset acquisition and sales, leasing, financial analysis and debt/equity capitalization. Prior to helping found Peregrine in 2001, Kane worked as a Development Manager for Gilbane Properties. Kane currently serves as Admiral of the RI Commodores, appointed by Governor Lincoln Chafee. He served in the United States Navy as a guided missile destroyer division officer and Flag Lieutenant, is a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm, a graduate of Harvard Business School, Georgetown University, and the US Naval Academy.
Manya K. Rubinstein is co-founder and publisher of Outpost Journal, an annual non-profit publication on art, design and community activism in smaller cities, as well as Bandit Consulting, an online marketing consultancy. Prior to that, she worked at Google for 3 years as a Senior Analytical Lead and before then at CondeNast, with stints at PAPER magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and CondeNet. She is currently an associate partner at Social Venture Partners RI, as well as an advisory board member for The Wooly Fair Art Carnival and the Institute of Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Rubinstein holds an MBA from Columbia University, an MA in media studies from the European Graduate School, and a BA in comparative literature from Brown University.
Marc Levitt, moderator, is a writer, storyteller, educator, radio and TV host, filmmaker and audio artist living in Wakefield, RI and NYC. Levitt has won awards for his story recordings, for work in his unique musical/narrative historical storytelling style, for his work in radio and for his work in the arts and in the humanities. A 1971 graduate of Cornell University, Levitt created the nationally recognized Charles Fortes Elementary School Museum-in-a-School Project and the educational philosophy called Site Specific Education. He is creative producer and host of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Rhode Island Council for the Humanities funded Action Speaks, Underappreciated Dates that Changed America, a 16 year old live panel discussion and radio show, presented at AS220 and heard in over 300 markets in the last two years, that looks at contemporary issues through the lens of history.