Cultural Arts Division 
City of Austin Cultural Arts Division 


Thursday September 18, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM CDT

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Asian American Resource Center 
8401 Cameron Road
Austin, TX 78754

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Imagine Austin Speaker Series

Imagine Austin Speaker Series: Mark Stern

The topic of creative placemaking - in which public & private partnerships use arts, culture, and creativity activities to strategically shape the physical and social character of a place - has come to the forefront of conversation around the future of Austin.

Imagine Austin Speaker Series is a series of annual talks presented by nationally known experts in the fields of land use, transportation, development, the economy, the built and natural environment, social equity and sustainability to promote and implement the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. 

Mark Stern

Speaker: Mark Stern
Stern is a professor of Social Policy, co-director of the Urban Studies Program, and principal investigator for the Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP); all at University of Pennsylvania. Stern’s work has documented the role of community cultural providers in improving the quality of life in urban neighborhoods and has been credited with coining the phrase, “natural cultural districts.” With funding from ArtPlace America and the NEA, and in collaboration with The Reinvestment Fund and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and creative Economy, SIAP helped to create the Philadelphia CultureBlocks – a free online cultural mapping and policy tool to assess social well-being in Philadelphia neighborhoods that supports people making decisions about place and creativity in Philadelphia.

As part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Impact of the Arts Project, Stern is conducting a multi-city study to explore how arts and culture influence the economic and social well-being of urban neighborhoods. Come hear about SIAP’s multi-dimensional approach to well-being, some Philadelphia findings, as well as plans for Austin, one of the cities under study.

Doors will open at 6:30 pm for a reception, presentation will begin at 7 pm. Free parking is available at the Asian American Resource Center.

This event is hosted by the City of Austin’s Planning & Development Review Department in partnership with the Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division.