The Role of Art and Design in Community Development

Kennesaw State University's Department of Architecture has initiated a one-day Creative Place Making Symposium in partnership with AIA GeorgiaArt PapersArchitecture & Design CenterAtlanta Regional CommissionGenerator and MA! The symposium will explore how integrating design and art into urban development projects from the beginning can be the catalyst for innovation. Speakers will discuss their involvement in collaborative projects by multi-disciplinary teams of various governmental entities, community members, planners, artists, and designers, among others. The event is designed for academics and students of relevant fields, elected officials, policy makers, artists, arts professionals, architects and planners. #ATLplacemaking #placemaking
many people walking in a city


  • November 8, 2018


    Kennesaw State University, Marietta Campus
    1100 South Marietta Parkway
    Marietta, GA 30060
    Architecture Department, D2 Building


    Off-campus guests may park in the P60 deck on the 3rd floor and up. Please do not park in the visitor spots on the 2nd floor. There is no parking fee in the designated area.

  • 8:30 - 9:00am | Coffee and Registration

    9:00am - 9:20am | Welcome
    Mine Hashas-Degertekin, PhD, Founding Chair of the Creative Place Making Symposium,Associate Professor, KSU Architecture Dept.
    Beth Malone, Dashboard

    9:20 - 10:50am | Inspirational Panel
    Moderated by Jim Durrett, Buckhead CID, Atlanta
    Maria Galarza, City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department
    Snoweria Zhang, MIT, Senseable City Lab, Boston
    Ron Finley, Artist, Gangsta Gardener, and Community Activist
    Kristi Maiselman, Executive Director, CulturalDC

    10:50 - 11:00am | Coffee break

    11:00 - 12:30pm | Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver Panel

    Moderated by Dr. Renée Skeete, ORISE Research Fellow, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Stephanie Allen, Hogan’s Alley Working Group member, Founding Director of Hogan's Alley Society

    Eric Fredericksen, City of Vancouver, Public Art Program
    Kenneth Luker, Design Principle, Perkins + Will
    Megan Pate, City of Vancouver, Engineering Department
    Holly Sovdi, City of Vancouver, Planning Department

    12:30 - 1:30pm | Lunch - Walk to the N building Gallery

    1:35 - 1:45pm | Walk back to Design 2 Building Auditorium

    1:45 - 3:15pm | Destination Crenshaw, Los Angeles Panel

    Moderated by Odetta MacLeish-White, Director, TransFormation Alliance
    Malcolm E. Davis, Practice Leader and Senior Associate, Perkins + Will
    Larry Earl, Historian and Community member
    Ron Finley, Artist, Gangsta Gardener, and Community Activist
    Joanne Kim, City Council Staff, City of Los Angeles

    3:15 - 3:25pm | Coffee Break

    3:25 - 4:25pm | Interactive Session
    During this session attendees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and collectively reflect on the day's presentations while sharing aha moments, projects in progress and discuss challenges.

  • Inspirational Panel

    This panel sets the tone for the day by presenting examples of innovative solutions to urban issues that were made possible by employing non-traditional models of working collaboratively and across disciplines. The City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department has been working with an interdisciplinary team of design professionals and collaborating with community to revitalize the whole city. MIT's Senseable City Lab uses research and science for innovative urban design solutions by partnering with industry, metropolitan governments, individual citizens, and disadvantaged communities. CulturalDC is a non-profit arts organization that builds sustainable communities by collaborating with developers, artists, city officials, residents, and other key stakeholders for community-based creative placemaking and innovative real estate developments. Ron Finley is an artist, designer, and gangsta gardener, who worked with members of his community, green activists, creative leaders, media, and city officials to remedy food desert issues in South Central LA. 

    Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver Panel

    Hogan's Alley was a four-block long lane that formed the center of Vancouver's first African-Canadian community. Most of Hogan’s Alley was among the first areas to be demolished by urban renewal efforts in the 1960s when the Georgia Viaduct was installed to connect to a major freeway. As a result, Hogan Alley’s black population was displaced and dispersed. When the City of Vancouver initiated the demolition of the viaduct in recent years, the community, the City, and an architecture firm joined forces on an urban design project. The vision for the project is to transform the neighborhood into a cultural destination and to celebrate the history and context of displaced and forgotten communities.

    Destination Crenshaw, Los Angeles Panel

    Destination Crenshaw will be a 1.1-mile-long open-air museum running along Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. The project will celebrate the culture, history, art, music and technology of Black Los Angeles through public art and streetscape design. It was born as a response to the new Crenshaw/LAX light rail line passing through the neighborhood, thought of as the heart of Black Los Angeles. Community activists worked with the City, elected officials and an architectural office to create a one-of-a-kind “transformative place-making project” via a rigorous community participation process. The project will incorporate permanent and rotating public art, neighborhood history (recorded and newly unearthed), and existing businesses along the corridor to create a hub for locals and an essential stop for visitors heading to and from Los Angeles International Airport.

  • Stephanie Allen headshot

    Stephanie Allen

    Hogan’s Alley Working Group member, Founding Director of Hogan's Alley Society

    Stephanie Allen is Vice President Project Planning and Partnerships at Catalyst Community Developments Society, a not-for-profit real estate developer. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, is a certified Project Management Professional, and is currently completing her graduate degree in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on housing practice and policy though a justice framework, especially as it relates to racialized and marginalized communities. Stephanie serves on the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Advisory Panel and is on the board of the Hogan’s Alley Society, a non-profit organization focused on delivering an African-Canadian cultural centre and affordable mixed use neighbourhood committed to by the City of Vancouver in the Northeast False Creek Neighbourhood Plan.

    Malcolm E. Davis headshot

    Malcolm E. Davis

    Practice Leader and Senior Associate, Perkins + Will

    Malcolm Davis is an award-winning architect and civic leader whose cultural and urban design projects are informed and improved by inclusive community participation. Malcolm’s noteworthy projects include Destination Crenshaw Outdoor Museum in Los Angeles, University of North Carolina Center City Building, Johnson C. Smith University Science Center, the mixed-use design for Transamerica Square, and the area planning study for the Gateway Multimodal Station Plan in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Malcolm is a volunteer leader in several civic, cultural, and professional association roles including serving on the Board of Directors of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Executive Board member of the Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Advisory Board member of the Charlotte Branch of Mechanics and Farmer’s Bank (MF Bank), and Board member of the national nonprofit school literacy organization Reading Partners of Charlotte. He is a registered architect and a graduate of Tuskegee University. 

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    Jim Durrett

    Buckhead CID

    Jim Durrett is executive director of The Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID) – a local governmental entity with taxation power. The mission of the Buckhead CID is to create and maintain a safe, accessible and livable urban environment in the heart of the Buckhead commercial area in Atlanta, GA. They meet the challenges of growth by investing tax dollars collected from commercial property owners within the district, as well as other funds they leverage from outside the district, to make meaningful improvements in the transportation network and public realm that connect people and places. He has in-depth expertise in transportation, land use and creating livable communities.

    Prior to heading up the Buckhead CID, Durrett was founding executive director of the Livable Communities Coalition, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote smart growth development in the Atlanta region. Prior to that, Durrett served for five years with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an organization dedicated to land use and real estate development issues, as the first executive director of ULI's Atlanta District Council, and the second district council executive director in the U.S.

    In addition, Durrett was with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as the vice president of environmental affairs, and was the senior vice president and chief operating officer of The Georgia Conservancy. Durrett began his professional career as a hydrogeologist in the Atlanta office of Golder Associates, an international geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting firm.

    Durrett is actively involved in the community and currently serves on the following boards and councils: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) board of directors (which he chaired in 2011); Biophilic Institute executive board president; Livable Communities Council of ULI Atlanta; the Responsible Property Investment Council of ULI; ULI’s Health Leaders Network; and 3Keys board of directors. He is the co-host of the annual Biophilic Leadership Summit, along with Tim Beatley of the Biophilic Cities Project and Steve Nygren of Serenbe. He is a leader in a couple of initiatives in the Atlanta region working to address housing affordability.

    From 1998 to 2005, Durrett was a member of the Georgia Environmental Advisory Council, appointed by the Governor to advise the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Governor on environmental policy matters. He is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, and the Regional Leadership Institute. He chaired the advisory committee for Georgia For a Lifetime, an initiative of the Georgia Council on Aging. He also has served on numerous collaborative committees and task forces working on growth management, affordable housing and environmental issues in the state of Georgia.

    Previous non-profit board experience includes Georgians for Passenger Rail; the Georgia Conservancy; PEDS; the Hambidge Center; and VSA Arts of Georgia.

    Durrett attended the Westminster Schools in Atlanta and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in Geology from the University of Georgia. He completed post-graduate work in hydrogeology at the University of Texas. He is an Atlanta native and lives in DeKalb County with his wife, Pat. They have two grown sons, James and Ryan.

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    Larry Earl

    Historian and Community member

    Larry Earl is a Leimert Park resident and owner of 1619 Exhibits, a dynamic boutique arts firm that specializes in designing distinctive exhibitions, providing expert archival solutions, producing engaging public programming, and activating public spaces with vibrant civic art and cultural projects. With well over two decades of experience in museums and the field of cultural arts, Larry has been associated with some of our nation’s preeminent cultural institutions. Prior to founding 1619 Exhibits, Larry served as Executive Director of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum located in Culver City, CA and was the Founding Executive Director of the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC).

    Larry has served as a consultant for George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, the New York Historical Society, the National Park Service and the National Portrait Gallery. In addition, Larry has authored a number of scholarly works. This work includes an enhanced music CD titled Ear to Ear: The Passage of African Music through American Slavery, "Only Toni", a retrospective catalogue of fashion designer Toni Whitaker’s designs and several other works. Larry has also contributed to several Emmy award winning works on film including Jefferson’s Monticello, Liberty, Slavery in the Making of America, and the 2006 educational broadcast, No Master. 

    Ron Finley headshot

    Ron Finley

    Artist, Gangsta Gardener, and Community Activist

    How Do You Change Culture? If you’re Ron Finley your Weapon of Choice would be a shovel, some soil and seeds.

    Ron has come to be known as the “Gangsta Gardener” and his unexpected tactics have made him one of L.A.’s most widely known artivists.

    Frustrated by his community’s lack of access to fresh, organic food, Finley inadvertently started a revolution when he turned the parkway in front of his South Central L.A. home into an edible garden in 2010. When the city cited him for his plantings, Finley started a bureaucratic battle, that ended with local city officials altering the parkway ordinances to include edibles.

    Growing Your Own Food Is Like Printing Your Own Money!

    Ron’s goal was simple; bring healthy food to an area where there was none. Ron decided he did not want to live in a food prison anymore so he began to plant his own food. This simple logic inspired Ron’s mission to turn food prisons into food forests.

    With donated tools, saplings and seeds, he organized volunteers and led “dig-ins” citywide, planting edible gardens in resident parkways and yards, schools and homeless shelters. Eventually Finley’s work earned him an invite to the annual TED conference, an event where innovators share their ideas through storytelling. Finley’s TED Talk is a testament to his passion for the work. It has been viewed by over three million people to date on YouTube. Countless phone calls, emails and website messages have told Finley that his words and actions have affected people from Kauai to Qatar.

    With so much momentum behind him, he began to focus his energy on The Ron Finley Project, an organization which is changing culture from the ground up. Finley now speaks at global conferences and in classrooms regularly, spreading his gardening gospel wherever he’s invited.

    Eric Fredericksen headshot

    Eric Fredericksen

    City of Vancouver, Public Art Program

    Eric Fredericksen is Head of Public Art at the City of Vancouver, BC. He was formerly the Waterfront Public Art Program Manager for the City of Seattle, and the director of Western Bridge, an art exhibition space and collection in Seattle. As an independent curator he has organized exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Or Gallery, and Artspeak, all in Vancouver; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and Open Satellite, Bellevue, Wash. 

    Maria Galarza headshot

    Maria Galarza

    City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department

    Maria M. Galarza is a Designer and Urban Planner in the Strategic Planning Division of the Planning and Development Department for the City of Detroit. Maria is an advocate for collaborative and participatory design, and is interested in the intersection between the built environment, cultural identity and civic engagement. In her current role, Maria leads special projects and initiatives focused on arts and culture that highlight the great and unique character of Detroit’s neighborhoods. Current projects include the implementation of Spirit Plaza (a civic public space pilot in front of city hall) and efforts to incorporate arts and culture into capital projects.

    Prior to joining the City of Detroit - Planning and Development Department, Maria lived in Washington DC and Dallas, Texas where she was an architectural designer.

    Maria holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University.

    joanne kim headshot

    Joanne Kim

    City Council Staff, City of Los Angeles

    Joanne manages the Capital Projects team and sets the strategic priorities for business development, housing, and transportation projects. She also advises Councilmember Harris-Dawson on economic development and planning and land use issues.

    Before joining the Council District 8 office, Joanne served as the Chief Operating Officer of Community Coalition. There she was responsible for overseeing the management and leadership teams, setting the strategic vision for the organization and building up the human resources infrastructure.

    Joanne Kim received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Master of Public Health from University of California, Los Angeles. She resides in the West Adams area of South Los Angeles with her husband and two children. 

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    Kenneth Luker

    Design Principal, Perkins + Will

    Kenneth Luker is a Design Principal for the North Carolina Practice of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. He is an award-winning designer, mentor, and thought leader in applying cultural awareness to design programming. Kenneth leads the studio’s design process on project types including museums, libraries, higher education, corporate office, healthcare, and science + technology. His work has garnered numerous design awards and has been featured in publications for its thoughtful compositions that elevate the human experience by connecting architecture with its cultural context.

    Kenneth’s recently completed projects include the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Emancipation Park in Houston, and the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at NC State University in Raleigh. His current work includes the City of Vancouver Hogan’s Alley development, the Destination Crenshaw outdoor museum in Los Angeles, and the new Research Triangle Park Campus for Wake Technical Community College.

    Kenneth is active at the NC State College of Design where he serves on the DesignLife Board of Directors, teaches as an adjunct professor in architecture, and is a frequent visiting critic. Kenneth has also participated in several design award juries and is engaged with his local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

    Kristi Maiselman headshot

    Kristi Maiselman

    Executive Director, CulturalDC

    Kristi Maiselman joined CulturalDC in June of 2015.  In October she was promoted to the position of Executive Director. While at CulturalDC, she has been responsible for major projects including the VISIONDC Arts and Urban Innovation Summit and the launch of the city’s first ever Mobile Art Gallery.

    Kristi brings over 15 years of experience in nonprofit and for-profit arts organizations including the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Rubell Family Collection, Conner Smith, Hamiltonian Artists and the National Gallery of Art.

    Maiselman is an artist herself who has benefited for nearly 15 years from CulturalDC’s work to support local creatives. Kristi’s first solo show in 2004 – Incorporating Process, a showcase of abstract, color photograph collages – was at CulturalDC’s Flashpoint, DC’s premier arts incubator. She was an inaugural occupant for the city’s first affordable artist live/work condominiums at Mather Studios in Penn Quarter, completed in 2003. 

    Kristi received her BFA in Photography from James Madison University and her MA in Arts Management from American University.

    Odetta MacLeish-White headshot

    Odetta MacLeish-White

    Director, TransFormation Alliance

    Odetta MacLeish-White is the Managing Director of the TransFormation Alliance, a partnership of nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses working strengthen communities through transit. TFA’s work is driven by racial equity and seeks to partner with residents of impacted communities in shaping better health, climate, and economic outcomes through arts & culture-based community engagement, and by improving housing, transit and jobs access.

    Prior to joining the TransFormation Alliance, Odetta was a Senior Program Director with Enterprise Community Partners in their Southeast market. She supported comprehensive community stabilization efforts around the country with a focus on equitable Transit Oriented Development initiatives and nonprofit capacity building in the state of Georgia and the Southeast.

    Odetta has also served as a community development specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and was the staff director for Florida's Affordable Housing Study Commission. She discovered her love for affordable housing while working for a developer in Gainesville, Florida. Odetta earned her juris doctorate and LLM in International Law from Duke University School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard-Radcliffe University.

    beth malone headshot

    Beth Malone

    Dashboard Beth Malone is the founding executive director of Dashboard, a curatorial venture that encourages artistic risk-taking and immersive practice. The organization has presented award-winning exhibitions in cities around the nation including Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, and Detroit. Dashboard has been a springboard for the careers of 150+ artists.

    In 2017, Beth received a TED Residency in NYC. She gave a TED talk that has been seen by over 1M people. Beth was a Civic Fellow, a program by Sarah Blakely (SPANX) Foundation and the Center for Civic Innovation that supports female entrepreneurs. She is a graduate of Urban Land Institute’s Center for Leaders (2015) and Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (2015), and participated in Ford Motor Company’s National Gathering of Innovators (2015) and Innovate Atlanta. Beth was on the founding steering committee for MARTA's new Art Council, ArtBound. She has sat on Forward Arts' Emerging Artist Committee and American Art Museums' Public Engagement Committee. In 2013, Creative Loafing labeled her a "Person to Watch." The same year, Beth was one of 12 curators selected worldwide to participate in Independent Curators International’s Intensive on time-based media.

    Beth has been a guest lecturer and curator at the University of Georgia, Atlanta Contemporary, Georgia State University, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Perimeter College, Southern Polytechnic, and The Westminster Schools. She has been an expert panelist on innovation, curation, land use, public art, art education and community development for the Alliance for Artist Communities, Georgia Institute of Technology, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Atlanta Regional Commission, Urban Land Institute, Ford Motor Company Fund, Elsewhere, Commercial Real Estate Women, WonderRoot, C4 Atlanta, and others. She did a TEDx Talk at TEDxAtlanta in 2015.

    With specialization in experiential education and public programming, Beth spearheaded the Teen Program at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. While there, she supported the program's expansion into all areas of the Woodruff Art Center (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), and engaged tens of thousands of teens with the Museum's collections and exhibitions. Beth was also responsible for conceiving and producing the wildly popular Teen Nights and College Nights, welcoming tens of thousands of young people to the Museum.

    Beth’s short films have screened in Atlanta and New York, and her visual art has been presented throughout the South. Her fiction and nonfiction writing has appeared in international publications including Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Creative Loafing, and The Skinny.

    She holds a Masters of Letters from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

    megan pate headshot

    Megan Pate

    City of Vancouver, Engineering Department

    Megan Pate is the Utilities Lead and Deputy Project Manager for the City of Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek (NEFC) Infrastructure Project. Her role has been integral in developing designs and the implementation strategy for the removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, including from the Hogan’s Alley block, and ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is in place for the future Northeast False Creek neighbourhood. She has been with the City for almost six years and a critical part of the City of Vancouver’s inter-departmental NEFC project office.

    Holly Sovdi, RPP, MCIP headshot

    Holly Sovdi, RPP, MCIP

    City of Vancouver, Planning Department

    Holly works with the City of Vancouver’s Planning Department as a Senior Planner with the Special Projects Office. Over the past three years, he has been responsible for leading an interdisciplinary planning and design team to create and begin implementing a 20 year Area Plan for Northeast False Creek, the final undeveloped piece of downtown Vancouver’s False Creek waterfront.

    Prior to his work on Northeast False Creek, Holly led a variety of community and physical planning initiatives across Canada. Holly’s interest in city-building is rooted in creating places for people that are meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable. 

    Renée A. Skeete, Ph.D. headshot

    Renée A. Skeete, Ph.D.

    ORISE Research Fellow, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Dr. Renée Skeete is an urban sociologist working at the intersection of housing, built environment, and health. She is currently an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education research fellow assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she works on research translation and behaviorally optimized strategies to increase participation in chronic disease prevention and management programs. Renée has also completed a systematic review of built environment interventions to promote physical activity, and is an executive committee member of the CDC’s built environment scientific work group. Prior to CDC, Renée worked on various research projects, including three federally-funded studies, gaining expertise in community surveys, in-depth interviews, built environment audits, and publishing peer-reviewed articles. Renée is passionate about affordable housing and built environment interventions to increase quality of life. Her professional interests are around using sociological knowledge to improve decision-making in urban policy, real estate development, and public health. Renée is a proud alumna of Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology from Georgia State University.

    Snoweria Zhang headshot

    Snoweria Zhang

    MIT, Senseable City Lab, Boston

    Snoweria Zhang is currently a Research Fellow at the MIT Senseable City Lab, where she focuses on smart cities and urban narratives in the age of big data. She studied architecture and mathematics at Harvard University. Her design work was recently featured on the cover of Nature, and she was awarded an Architizer A+ Jury Award in 2017 for her proposal to hybridize a mosque with an incinerator. 

  • Mine Hashas-Degertekin, PhD, Founding Chair of the Creative Place Making Symposium, Associate Professor, KSU Architecture Dept.

    Beth Malone, Dashboard



    Inspirational Panel

    Maria Galarza, City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department

    Ron Finley, Artist, Gangsta Gardener, and Community Activist


    Snoweria Zhang, MIT, Senseable City Lab, Boston

    Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver Panel


    Eric Fredericksen, City of Vancouver, Public Art Program


    Kenneth Luker,
    Design Principle,Perkins + Will



    Holly Sovdi, City of Vancouver,
    Planning Department


    Megan Pate, City of Vancouver, Engineering Department


    Destination Crenshaw, Los Angeles Panel

  • Mine Hashas-Degertekin, PhD, Founding Chair of the Creative Place Making Symposium, Associate Professor, KSU Architecture Dept.

    Kathryn Bedette, AIA, President, American Institute of Architects (AIA) GA

    Saskia Benjamin, Executive Director, Art Papers

    Elayne DeLeo, Co-founder, MA!

    Heather Infantry, Executive Director, GENERATOR

    Nathan Koskovich, AIA, Chair, Architecture and Design Center

    Josh Phillipson, Principal, Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC)

    Deanna Murphy, AICP, Principal, Sizemore Group LLC, Architecture and Design Center Board Member

  • Registration for the 2018 event has closed.
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For questions pertaining to the symposium, please contact Kathleen Marchman at or (470) 578-7253.