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Posted on: March 15, 2022

Schenectady to Host Northeast Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

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SCHENECTADY – The City of Schenectady is proud to announce that the 2022 Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit will be held at Proctors Theatre on April 21-22, 2022. The Summit, which is expected to bring civic and cultural leaders from around New England and the Mid-Atlantic states to the Electric City, will be followed by a public artmaking activity on Saturday, April 23, 2022.


All are welcome to participate in the Summit. Early registration tickets range from $60 for the online portion of the Summit to $280 for the complete Summit. Special ticket prices are available for students. Capital Region residents can get a 20% discount on all tickets.  Use discount code: CR20


Creative placemaking is about helping cities, neighborhoods, and other places by strategically engaging local arts and cultural activities to address social, economic, environmental and cultural issues. Creative placemakers place great value on inclusiveness and social equity, and work with community members to respect local histories and protect local cultures. 


“We are excited to host the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Summit here in Schenectady,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy.  “It is a great opportunity for people from all across the northeast to see the incredible progress our community has made in its revitalization and experience firsthand everything that our community has to offer.”


The Summit will feature more than two dozen sessions on such topics as managing gentrification, youth and community empowerment, technology for community planning, equity, and inclusion, and growing local creative economies.    


There will also be Strategy Labs in downtown Schenectady and Hamilton Hill, as well as in downtown and North Central Troy. In these sessions, Summit participants will explore the communities and offer ideas on how to address issues such as public safety, making places feel more welcome to more people, community building, supporting local businesses, and growing creative economies that benefit more people. 


A Community Weave activity will take place from 10:00am – 2:00pm on April 23, 2022 on Jay Street's pedestrian marketplace. Traditional and innovative looming techniques will be on display along with educational information to foster greater awareness and understanding of fabric related issues from sustainability to cultural practices. Community input at this activity will inform a future larger event to take place in Schenectady. 


The Summit is produced by Creative Placemaking Communities in partnership with Union College and Smallwander. The Summit is also supported by many local and regional organizations – which includes The Schenectady Foundation; Union College; Smallwander; Proctors Collaborative; Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation; Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority; Discover Schenectady; City of Schenectady; Troy Business Improvement District; Northern New Jersey Community Foundation; Redburn Development Partners; Sizz Handmade; the American Planning Association’s Upstate New York Chapter, New York Metro Chapter, Latinos and Planning division, Urban Design and Preservation division and Arts and Planning Interest Group; The Arts Center of the Capital Region; Goucher College; Museum of Innovation and Science; Capital Region Chamber of Commerce; Center for Economic Growth; Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy; Duryee Community Foundation; Hammock Way of Life; Biz Idea Shower; Capital Region Planning Commission; Electric City Barn; ArtPride New Jersey, PlacemakingUS, Scotland Shop,  Shelterforce, and Center for Creative Land Recycling.


Dozens of arts, community development and local economic development professionals from New York’s Capital Region are involved in developing the Summit content.  


Dr. Lorraine Morales Cox, Ph.D., who chairs Union College’s Visual Arts Department is a co-executive producer of the Summit, along with Dr. John Delconte, Ph.D., Principal of Smallwander in Troy.


"This is an amazing opportunity for people of Schenectady, the Capital region, New York and other states from Maine to Virginia to meet, collaborate, and advance their awareness and professional development related to the role of arts and culture in supporting community and economic development,” Dr. Cox said. “This will be an incredible catalyst for future activity in the Capital Region."


It is the first time that a Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit has been hosted in New York since the program began in 2014.  Schenectady was selected through a competitive bidding process. The City won the opportunity to host because of the revitalized downtown, presence of arts and cultural activities, and the large number of local leaders who wanted to get involved with the Summit, noted Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP, President of Creative Placemaking Communities. 



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