Creative Placemaking Symposium - Extraordinary Journeys: Tapping the Creative Place, Inside and Out

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

May 15, 2014

Carolyn Holbrook
Author Carolyn Holbrook
Jackson Flats Gallery
901 18 1/2 Ave N.E.
Minneapolis  Minnesota  55418
United States

Join writer, educator and life-long arts advocate Carolyn Holbrook and internationally acclaimed place makers, Tom Borrup and Kelley Lindquist in a discussion with Polly Nyberg moderated by Adaobi Okolue. 

What happens when we establish spaces for everyday leaders to think bigger and bolder? In this informal symposium, internationally acclaimed place makers, Tom Borrup and Kelley Lindquist will discuss the literal and not so literal spaces they have created for artists who live and work in the Twin Cities and beyond.

The two will be joined by Polly Nyberg, founder of The St. Paul Companies Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods (LIN) program, and Carolyn Holbrook, author of Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys: How The St. Paul Companies Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods (LIN) Program Changed Lives and Communities. Both will discuss how LIN enabled them to design and expand on innovative programming inside established spaces, the challenges that came along with that, and the long-term effects LIN had on their work and the Twin Cities community.  

The symposium will be moderated by Adaobi Okolue, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Coloring Circles.

This event is free & open to the public.

Panelist biographies

Carolyn Holbrook is the proud mother of five and grandmother of eight. She is a writer, educator, and long-time advocate for the healing power of the arts. Her passion for providing grassroots accessibility to the literary arts inspired her to create The Whittier Writers’ Workshop in 1981 and to serve as its Director until 1989, and then to found SASE: The Write Place in 1993, and to lead as its Artistic/Executive Director until 2006, when she spearheaded the organization’s merger with Intermedia Arts. She was Program Director at the Loft Literary Center from 1989-1993, where she managed the organization’s signature programs, and she designed the Givens Foundation for African American Literature’s writers-in-the-schools program in 2005. She was awarded a LIN grant in 1996 and developed and coordinated LIN alumnae activities from 1999 until the program ended in 2002.

Her other awards include the MN Book Awards Kay Sexton Award, 2010; Black Poetic Fusion Community Service Award, 2002; and a YWCA Leader Lunch Award, 1984. In 2000, she was named one of "100 Rising Stars" by Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine. She was a finalist for the Audre Lorde Legacy Award, Union Institute & University, 1997, where she earned her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Creative Arts Leadership in 2002.

Her book Ordinary People, Extraordinary Journeys: How The St. Paul Companies Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods Program Changed Lives and Communities was published in 2013 (North Star Press/MN Council of Nonprofits). Her essays have been published in numerous publications including A Poverty, Equity and Education Reader in Many Voices (2013) The Black Body (2009), Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir (2008), White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms (2006, 2011), Teachers as Collaborative Partners (2005) and Water~Stone (2001), and a collection of her essays will be published in 2014. In 2004, The Twin Cities Women’s Choir composed and premiered "I Want To Know My Name," a choral piece based on her memoir-in-progress. She is an adjunct assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN and an adjunct instructor at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. She lives in Minneapolis.

Polly Nyberg serves as a consultant to a number of national non-profits and funders. She currently a senior consultant to the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, and, is working as a senior editor for The Real Estate Review. Under the auspices of the University of Maryland and the Neighborhood Development Collaborative, she organized and managed a 2005 symposium on the future of senior housing design. She has served on the advisory board of the schools of architecture at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Ms. Nyberg was Midwest Regional Director for the Fannie Mae Foundation, and served for 17 years as the Community Affairs Manager for The St. Paul Companies (now Travelers Companies, Inc.).

Tom Borrup is a leader and innovator in creative community building and creative placemaking – leveraging cultural and other assets to advance economic, social, civic, and physical regeneration of place-based communities. He consults with cities, foundations, and nonprofits across the U.S. to integrate arts, economic development, urban planning and design, civic engagement, and animation of public space. His 2006 book The Creative Community Builders’ Handbook, remains the leading text in the field. It profiles communities that have transformed their economic, social, and physical infrastructures through the arts. From 2003 to 2009 he consulted with the Ford Foundation’s Shifting Sands Initiative to assist community-based cultural organizations to take leading roles in local revitalization.

As Executive Director of Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis from 1980 until 2002, Tom helped transform a diverse urban neighborhood while building a nationally recognized multidisciplinary, cross-cultural organization. He has served as a member of many nonprofit boards and funding panels for public and private agencies, and was a trustee of the Jerome Foundation in Saint Paul from 1994 to 2003 where he served as Chair from 2001 to 2003. With the National Endowment for the Arts, Tom served on a variety of funding and policy panels over 25 years in the media arts, visual arts, presenting, design, and advancement program categories.

Tom is a Ph.D. Candidate in Leadership and Change at Antioch University researching the role of social and organizational networks in the planning and management of cultural districts. Tom has an M.A. in Communications and Public Policy from Goddard College and was a 2001-2002 Fellow in the Knight Program in Community Building at the University of Miami School of Architecture. He serves in an administrative capacity as Director of Graduate Studies for the University of Minnesota’s Masters in Arts and Cultural Leadership and teaches in Graduate Programs in Arts and Culture Management at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and online for the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts and for Drexel University’s Arts Administration Graduate Program. He also teaches Creative Placemaking for Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture’s Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Program.

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