11-1 - Registration
Check in and get your swag bag!
1:00 - Welcome and Introductions
Learn about what to expect over the course of the conference and meet your guides. You might meet a few of your fellow attendees as well!
1:25 - Jeremy Holmes
Roanoke at a Human Scale
In 2016, starting with CityWorks (X)po, RIDE Solutions ran a series of street-level, roleplaying based explorations of several of Roanoke’s neighborhoods. The treasure-hunt-style adventures revealed some interesting things about what it takes to navigate the community without a car.
1:35 - Nexus Partners
Building more Engaged and Powerful Communities of Color:
Throughout its 13-year history, Nexus Community Partners has been dedicated to building more engaged and powerful communities of color in the Twin Cities and beyond. The key to this work lies in the interconnectedness between authorship, leadership and ownership. Come learn how Nexus is engaging communities to ensure they have authorship of their lives and their future; how they are strengthening the leadership of individuals to represent their communities at multiple tables; and how they are building an infrastructure to support alternative economic development models so people can own the wealth they have helped to generate.
2:00 - Ted Jutras
BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH ART + ACTIVATION
Whether your goal is showcasing a neighborhood’s existing community and cultural assets, or seeking to establish a new identity for an emerging neighborhood, finding ways to combine public art with activation can be a particularly effective way to bring people together.
During this session, Ted Jutras, a planning and activation professional from People Make Place in Washington DC, will explore how public art (permanent or temporary) can be paired with a wide variety of activations – pointing to examples from his own projects as well as innovative projects from around the country.
The session will also touch briefly on creative strategies for funding these types of projects leveraging a broad range of funding sources.
2:15 - Tim Lampkin
2:40 - Vanessa Guerra
Beyond Informality: A new approach to inclusive cities
As cities deal with the effects of climate change and population growth, informal practices have become more common over the years. Although these practices are often stereotyped as urban mistakes, acknowledging the potential of the informal sector, and paying attention to what we can learn from it, could lead to the start of a new approach to alleviate poverty, empower isolated communities, and promote sustainable development.
2:55 - Doug Jackson
Where the heck is BOOK CITY?
From the storied creative writing program at Hollins University to Star City Reads’ nationally recognized Campaign for Grade Level Reading, a wide range of assets contribute to the city’s bookish vibe. But who pulls it all together and to what effect? The emerging BOOK CITY ★Roanoke experiment is exploring if community identity might be strengthened from the essentially solitary activities of reading and writing, and if local models of publishing, bookselling, and placemaking might evolve in a BOOK CITY.
3:05 - Akilah Watkins-Butler
Inclusive Neighborhoods, Thriving Places and People: Strategies for Building Equitable Communities
There is growing consensus among policymakers, public systems leaders, community-based organizations, and community residents that inequality of income, wealth, and access to opportunity, accentuated along racial lines, is the key social issue of our time. Children and families of color experience many disadvantages, including disparities in family income, health care, and access to quality education– which can potentially extend into subsequent generations – by vast inequities in neighborhoods, schools, and labor markets.
This Talk will explore how low-income, vulnerable communities of color are integrating land use and economic development strategies to renew their neighborhoods and build community and residents’ skills and wealth. I will share national models of best practices from community-based organizations, local and regional planners, economic developers, and businesses on how they’re working together to address health and environmental concerns, provide more housing and transportation options, promote wellness, increase access to opportunities, train workers, support local businesses, build on community assets, and develop strategies for growth that uplifts all residents. My Talk will conclude with a call to action by leaders on how their organizations will support equitable development in their respective communities in the year ahead.
3:25 - Mary Miller
RAMP: The Regional Accelerator and Mentoring Program
A peek inside the door of a new business accelerator as we close in on finishing our first cohort.
This short presentation will address how’s it going, where’s going and why it will keep going. As Harry Turman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
Business accelerators are a popular strategy to increase the likelihood that a business will be successful. These cohort-based programs provide the mentoring and educational support to give startups the tools to deal with business growth and the visibility to attract the funding support that may be needed, resulting in the golden egg, job growth.
3:45 - Maureen Best
Why does local food matter?
Our school systems and holidays still nod to our agrarian past. But for most us, our lives are not structured around soil preparation, planting time, harvest schedules, or feeding livestock. And, if at all, we only spend a couple minutes a day thinking about where our food comes—and that time is probably focused on the logistics of purchasing food from a retailer and/or consuming a prepared meal. In a
complex, industrialized society— we specialize. And in that sense, the food industry is no different. But at what cost? This talk will explore what we can do as individuals, organizations, and communities to shift power dynamics and create more equitable food systems.
3:55 - Valerie Warren
Participatory Budgeting: Community Capacity Building for Change
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process that gives ordinary people direct control over a portion of a public budget. It empowers residents, engages them in finding solutions, and knits communities together. Since first implemented in Porto Alegre Brazil in 1989, PB has spread to over 3,000 cities around the world, and has been used in counties, states, housing authorities, schools, universities and other institutions. The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) has worked with elected officials and community partners in 17 cities to support PB processes that engage over 300,000 people in deciding how to spend $238,000,000 on projects that benefit their communities.
PBP’s Valerie Warren will speak to how participatory budgeting processes can act as capacity generators in communities and the critical potential for PB in this moment to support emergent leadership.
4:10 - Sarah Obenauer
Building Communities with Design
Design captures attention, evokes emotion and tells a story. It also bridges communities, builds new connections and expands worldviews. Sarah will discuss what she has learned about community engagement and design equity from founding Make a Mark, an organization that brings together humanitarian causes and nonprofits with designers, developers and other creatives for the greater good of a community.
“Graphic design shouldn’t just be for those that can afford it.” -Aaron Draplin
5:00 - Happy Hour
We are excited to partner with our parent organization, the CoLab, to put on a happy hour for all of our attendees!
Enjoy some free adult beverages and meet some of your fellow fascinating attendees.
Choose Your Own Adventure: Thursday Night Activities
We have four great options for attendees to take part in. Choose your own adventure!
7:50 - Doors Open
8:00 - Claire Hitchins
Claire Hitchins weaves a musical fabric that is at once spacious and intimate, enfolding and holding listeners in the warp and weft of her sincere, soulful folk melodies. Her homespun musical sensibility was fashioned among the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, formed as much by the deciduous forests and swimming holes of her home state as by the traditional songs of the American South. Since the release of her 2016 album These Bodies, Claire has enchanted audiences all over the country. Her nuanced voice glimmers among currents of guitar and banjo, illuminating the depth and clarity of her generous songwriting.
8:30 - Morning Announcements
Learn what to expect for the day and meet some more of our special attendees!
8:50 - Stephanie Fallon
“But I’m Not Creative” & Other Myths Busted at the Museum School
Stephanie Fallon wants to set the record straight: there is no magical, innate prerequisite needed for getting to hold a pair of scissors. Children do it all the time! But sit an adult down in front of a table set with a watercolor palette and watch them squirm. Even if it’s shiny! Even if it’s new! Even if it’s got their favorite colors and you provide candy and a glass of wine and the whole thing is free! There’s an entire contingency of adults who would rather relive high school debate or do mental math for a crowd. Over smushing around some paint!
What happens between Kindergarten and a professional life that convinces someone they need to be qualified to muck around with some clay? Determined that this is a surmountable barrier, Stephanie began a series of afternoon art workshops at the Taubman Museum of Art with the sole objective to create an environment where adults would feel comfortable playing. Believing whole heartedly that creativity isn’t a characteristic you’ve got or not, she began to build intentional spaces that encourage adults to play and discover creativity through artmaking.
After nearly a year, she was able to build the workshops out into a full museum school, offering classes that cover arts foundations & crafts all based on the fundamental belief that anyone can learn to be creative.
9:00 - Rev. William Lee
The Intersection of Temple and Town
I have been reflecting on our vacation two years ago in Tuscany, Italy. In my notes I reference how the church was the center of all the towns and cities we visited. One guide informed us that the church was built first and the town was built around it. I would imagine that configuration help the citizen’s to some degree maintain a moral compass as they went about their daily lives.
My friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. William Barber is calling the nation to regain her moral compass. In my presentation, I hope to engage participants to once again find the intersection of Temple and Town. An entrepreneur spirit, a world moving at warp speed with technology needs the intersection of Temple and Town more than ever.
9:15 - Ben Kittelson
9:30 - Bob Cowell
Bob Cowell is the City Manager for the City of Roanoke. He has served in local governments throughout the Midwest and Texas prior to joining Roanoke. His education as an urban planner and 20-plus years of experience in city building has developed in, Bob a firm belief that a well-planned, well-governed city is the best physical place for one to realize their greatest potential. He is especially interested in urban design and neighborhood development. Bob has worked in all facets of city development and is a student of the history of city planning—its good and bad aspects! He holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Tennessee, is a member American Institute of Certified Planners, an Accredited Member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a Credentialed Manager with the International City and County Managers Association, and is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture at Texas A&M University. When not at work in cities, Bob enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with his wife, Ellen.
9:40 - Ian Fortier
The Grandin Theatre Film Lab – Community Connectivity through Experiential Student Filmmaking
Join Grandin Theatre Executive Director Ian Fortier as he shares the process, pitfalls, and positive outcomes of developing the Grandin Theatre Film Lab, a unique model for experiential student Filmmaking in the Roanoke Valley. Learn how this community based program not only works directly to help teenagers find their voice and creativity through the cinematic medium, but also the multiple ways in which the Lab serves the community that supports it.
9:55 - Elvir Berbic & Dadhi Dangal
More Info Soon…
10:05 - Clark Whittington
10:20 - Ariella Cohen
Why Detroit Just Hired a Chief Storyteller and Other Secrets of Urban Reporting
Narrative powers place and in 2017, that has never been more true. At a time when local newspapers are floundering, it’s essential that cities like Roanoke have platforms to tell their story and more importantly, know how to use them. In an interactive format, we will explore how small and mid-sized cities can use journalism and social media as an economic and cultural development tool.
10:40 - Dr. Bruce Hull
The Anthropocene: Where are We Heading?
We are accelerating towards the future: artificial intelligence, rapid urbanization, supercharged innovation, global connectivity, and billions pulling themselves out of poverty to join the middle class. Real obstacles to sustaining development exist. Between now and 2050 we must almost double food and energy consumption, perhaps more than double urban infrastructure, mitigate and adapt to climate change, transition from a linear to a circular economy, overcome mounting water stress, employ several million new workers a week, and manage widening inequity and the social unrest it causes. Some paths into the future lead to amazing opportunities; others lead to horrendous misery. This talk examines strategies for navigating the challenges and realizing the opportunities.
11:00 - Free Egunfemi
Field Notes from the Front Line
Richmond, Virginia is experiencing a major cultural shift fueled in part by the rapid growth of the creative class and an increasingly competitive nonprofit sector struggling to solve racially complex challenges that are well over 250 years in the making.
Add to this daunting scenario a predatory community engagement model that encourages organizations to host town hall meetings where they unashamedly harvest the bright ideas and experiential observations from under-resourced grassroots subject matter experts without offering any sort of credit, compensation or sustained involvement for their extremely valuable intellectual property.
Field Notes from the Front Line is Free Egunfemi’s social entrepreneurship incubator and historically-based speakers bureau, where bright minded community subject matter experts are being taught to commodify their expertise at ticketed events for gatekeepers and allies eager to leverage their privilege via skill sharing and crowdfunding of authentic grassroots projects.
Free Egunfemi built Field Notes to support the emotional health and wellness of those at the front line experiencing the destabilizing effects of battle fatigue and the very real phenomenon of post traumatic slavery syndrome. In this session, Free will present tangible action items for how you can empower self determination, intersectionality and resistance to legacies of southern disenfranchisement and systemic inequity in your home communities, based on what is working for her in Richmond, Virginia
11:20 - Dr. Liz Ackley
Redrafting the Plot Line: Data as the Protagonist in Placemaking
If your “To-Do” list includes grandiose plans to change the world, it’s important to have a handle on the current state of affairs. Data can provide the essential context needed for developing innovative and impactful projects, establishing cross-sector partnerships, and inciting community-level change. Using the Roanoke Valley Community Healthy Living Index as a platform, we will consider how health disparities can illuminate inequities in neighborhood-level infrastructure and healthy living resources to set the stage for innovative placemaking. In this way, we can consider data as a catalyst rather than a destiny.
11:30 - Dr. Jessie Gehner
From Disaster to Dream Come True
10 years ago I was a 22 year old Appalachian Trail thru hiker, living in the woods for 6 months as I hiked from Maine towards Georgia on the 2200 mile long path that follows the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. I was living my dream until a devastating injury ended my hike. I’ll be discussing how one event changed the entire path of my life into something better than I could have ever planned for myself.
12:00 - Deep Dive Lunches
An exciting opportunity to engage more with our speakers over a box lunch!
1:30 - Regather & Audience Introductions
Come back from lunch and prepare for a great afternoon of presentations!
1:45 - The Poetry Gods
2:15 - Dr. Elda Stanco Downey
Pass Education Forward: The Hispanic College Institute
What would you have done if when you were 16 you were offered the opportunity to participate in a 4-day residential pre-college program for FREE? This is what The Hispanic College Institute (HCI) offers Latinx students across the Commonwealth of Virginia – the rare opportunity to learn about and prepare for college, with college faculty, students and higher ed professionals, for FREE. The program is based on research and input from Hispanic educators and community leaders, and much of the content is delivered by Hispanics who can relate to the students’ experiences and challenges. What’s the cool factor about the HCI? It’s run by college student volunteers who themselves participated in the HCI before enrolling in college. The HCI is about opening doors really wide and passing it forward – helping the next generation of Latinx college students in the same way we were helped on by our own previous generations.
2:25 - Maureen Brondyke
Housing2Home – Exploring A Collaborative Approach to the Arts and Housing
Over 25% of the residents of Charlottesville live in poverty and over 500 families and individuals experience homelessness every year. Despite increased government support for housing and rental subsidies, many newly-housed members of our community express feelings of social isolation in their new homes and find it difficult to adjust to their new communities. This talk explores how the arts have been integrated into housing first initiatives with the hope of creating more stable housing situations through a creative placemaking collaboration between a community arts organization and The Haven, a multi-resource day shelter for those experiencing homelessness in Charlottesville, VA.
2:40 - Jeff Julian
Libraries: Transforming Your Community
The American Library Association’s Libraries Transform public awareness and advocacy campaign effectively conveys the transformative nature of today’s libraries and the critical role they play in the digital age. Since 2015, more than 7,100 libraries and supporters have joined the effort using the campaign in a variety of ways, including to support a referendum campaign, advocate for state funding, and make an impact with students. Jeff Julian, director of the ALA’s public awareness office, will talk about how the Libraries Transform campaign’s messaging, strategy, and tools are resonating with libraries and the public on a local and national level.
3:00 - Dr. Wornie Reed
A Framework for Addressing Pervasive Racial Disparities
This presentation will critique the dominant consensus on race and how it gives rise to social and institutional dynamics that lead to racial disparities. It will then present systemic racism framework as an analytic tool to address issues of racial discrimination.
3:20 - Dr. Gregory Rosenthal
Building Community through LGBTQ+ History
The Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, founded in 2015, is a community-based history initiative committed to researching and telling the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations in our region. In this talk, Dr. Gregory Rosenthal describes how the work of the History Project creates new spaces for LGBTQ+ people in the Roanoke Valley to come together and cultivate multigenerational community
3:30 - Dr. Todd Schenk
3:50 - Alex Johnston
4:15 - Dr. Katherine Loflin
The Power of Place: The Most Transformational Idea You’ve Probably Never Heard
Nothing affects every aspect of our lives more than where we live. In fact, finding the right place to live is as important (and quite similar) to the journey of finding our perfect partner. Innovative place science is providing key new insights, while being supportive of long-standing research that we as humans need certain connections with our environment to reach our true potential. In turn, places are inherently dependent on the people within them to survive. We now know the key ingredients of the Great Place and how to harness the Power of Place to help people and places thrive. Yet, that information is not widely known and certainly not applied in our work and personal lives. This session will change all that and probably forever change the way you think about your work, and your life.
5:30 - StreetFest (in Partnership with the Taubman)
8:30 - Gather & Breakfast
Come together and enjoy a light breakfast before heading out on our field trips!
9:00 - Field Trips
Choose one of the five exciting field trips to engage more deeply with a specific concept. This year’s trips can include…
Option 1: From Traintown to Braintown: Balancing Community Identity and Resident Well-being with Outside Investment and Revitalization Initiatives
11:30 - Wrap-Up w/ Josh McManus
12:00 - The Bitter End
Unfortunately, all things must end. (X)po is no different. But, we will be back next year!