Speakers come to town for creative placemaking talks

Austin continues to put itself at the forefront of the creative placemaking movement, this time with a series of speakers coming to town.

Creative placemaking, or when groups come together to shape the physical and social aspects of a community through artistic and cultural expressions, has been making waves recently with $731,500 in grants given to groups in Austin and programs such as thinkEAST.

The series begins Aug. 27 with Maria Rosario Jackson discussing how creative placemaking can add value to what already exists in the area. Jackson has researched the issue for 20 years and has an expertise in revitalizing communities, the roles of art in a community and ethnic dynamics in cities, according to a news release.

On Sept. 10, Ann Markusen will speak on how to successfully execute a creative placemaking project. Markusen is a professor at the University of Minnesota who has done research for many decades to help advise artists on their careers, artistic, and cultural organization efforts.

Mark Stern will present Sept. 18 regarding neighborhood revitalization, natural cultural districts and social well-being indicators. A professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Stern's work documents how community cultural providers can help improve the quality of life in urban communities.

Each presentation, hosted at at the Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Road, is free and open to the public. Each event starts at 7 p.m. with a prior reception at 6:30 p.m.