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ArtPlace America Director Speaks at Cornish

Executive director of ArtPlace America, Jamie Bennett, will arrive on campus Thursday, January 19, to meet Creative Corridor students and speak on art in the community.

The interim chair of Creative Corridor, Genevieve Tremblay, was delighted to get a note from ArtPlace America, one of the premiere organizations seeking to drive collaborations between artists and their communities. The folks behind ArtPlace America had found “Creative Corridor,” Cornish College of the Art’s new interdisciplinary elective program online, and wanted to learn more about how students were putting into practice many of the ideals of their organization. ArtPlace America’s executive director, Jamie Bennett, was excited to hear about the ways the Creative Corridor program and Cornish were working building ties to the community, and Tremblay wanted her students to learn more about what his organization was doing. As Bennett was traveling to Seattle this month, he graciously agreed to talk about "Arts, Culture, and Equitable Communities" this Thursday, January 19, at 3:00 p.m. at Cornish’s Main Campus Center, 7th Floor Board Room.  This “Creative Corridor Presents” event is open to the entire Cornish community.

“The day Jamie Bennett is coming is the first class day for the Creative Corridor’s spring semester launch, the pilot,” says Tremblay, “so it is perfect timing for our Creative Corridor students. A great kickoff!”

The focus of ArtPlace America is to support artists, arts organizations, and cultural activities with an eye toward strengthening the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities – no matter the size. It is “a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.” Bennett has focused on the concept of “Placemaking,” which is a new term he says is an old concept involving the power of artists and the arts to enhance the sense of “place” in a community.

Two of classes in Creative Corridor will be most involved in the visit: “Community Arts & Social Practice” and “In the Public Art: SLU Streetscape Project.” For the latter class, students will work developing site-specific art for a major complex in South Lake Union under development by Holland Partner Group, which will be a part of the streetscape. The “Community Arts & Social Practice” class activates an extended partnership with the members of Recovery Café, where students work as practitioners to promote creative expression, education, and community building with underserved Seattle residents.

The work of the classes meshes well with the ArtPlace program, which “focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.”

Before becoming executive director of ArtPlace America Jamie Bennett worked at the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Columbia University, the Agnes Gund Foundation, The Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Philharmonic.