Schedule

Thursday

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

More Information Soon…

1:35 - Nexus Partners

Title:

Building more Engaged and Powerful Communities of Color:

Description:

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

More Info Soon…

2:15 - Tim Lampkin
Title:
The Power of Social Entrepreneurship: Transforming Your Obstacles Into Opportunities
 
Description:
Communities across the country are utilizing strategies to save the places they love, engage the broader community, and create inclusive economic opportunities. This presentation will discuss best practices to improve your community from nationally recognized social entrepreneur Tim Lampkin. Learn about his journey to transform the Mississippi Delta into a thriving place. Participants will learn how to engage multiple stakeholders to gain community support related to community based projects and learn how to address silos and race.
2:40 - Vanessa Guerra

Title:

Beyond Informality: A new approach to inclusive cities

Description:

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

Title:

Where the heck is BOOK CITY?

Description:

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

More Information Soon…

3:25 - Mary Miller

More Info Soon…

3:45 - Maureen Best

More Info Soon…

3:55 - Valerie Warren

Title:

Participatory Budgeting: Community Capacity Building for Change

Description:

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

Title:

Building Communities with Design

Description:

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

4:25 - Caroline Macdonell

More Info Soon…

Friday

7:50 - Doors Open
8:00 - Claire Hitchins

Bio:

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

Title:

“But I’m Not Creative” & Other Myths Busted at the Museum School

Description:

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

Title:

The Intersection of Temple and Town

Description:

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

More Info Soon…

9:30 - SPECIAL GUEST

More Info Soon!

9:40 - Ian Fortier

Title:

The Grandin Theatre Film Lab – Community Connectivity through Experiential Student Filmmaking

Description:

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

More Info Soon…

10:20 - Ariella Cohen

Title:

Why Detroit Just Hired a Chief Storyteller and Other Secrets of Urban Reporting

Description:

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

Title:

The Anthropocene: Where are We Heading?

Description:

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

More Info Soon…

11:20 - Dr. Liz Ackley

Title:

Redrafting the Plot Line: Data as the Protagonist in Placemaking

Description:

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

More Info Soon…

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
Title:
The Poetry Gods: Making Art, Making Community
Description:
Aziza Barnes, Jon Sands, and José Olivarez realized many of the poetry podcasts they listened to were wildly dull. Hyper self-serious, self-agrandizing, and totally exclusive to high academic circles. That’s not the way they know or love poetry. It’s also not the way any of their homies and idols dig into this craft. Poets are fucking hilarious. Joyful and absurd, with stories for days. They hear them at the bar, during their banter at the reading. They wanted to hear it in a podcast. So they made one.
Two years later, The Poetry Gods is over 25 episodes deep and a source of inspiration for poetry lovers, poetry beginners, and poetry haters. During this CityWorks (X)po exclusive, The Poetry Gods read poems and discuss how to make art and how to make community. and how to laugh a whole lot in the process.
2:15 - Dr. Elda Stanco Downey

Title:

Pass Education Forward: The Hispanic College Institute

Description:

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

Title:

Housing2Home – Exploring A Collaborative Approach to the Arts and Housing

Description:

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

Title:

Libraries: Transforming Your Community

Description:

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

Title:

A Framework for Addressing Pervasive Racial Disparities

Description:

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

Title:

Building Community through LGBTQ+ History

Description:

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 around a shared past. The History Project additionally asserts, to a broad audience, the rightful place of LGBTQ+ peoples and our stories in the history of this city and region.

3:30 - Dr. Todd Schenk

More Info Soon…

3:50 - SPECIAL GUEST

More Info Soon…

4:15 - Dr. Katherine Loflin

Title:

The Power of Place: The Most Transformational Idea You’ve Probably Never Heard

Description:

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)

Saturday

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 six exciting field trips to engage more deeply with a specific concept. This year’s trips can include…

11:30 - Wrap-Up w/ Josh McManus

Title:

Turning Ideas into Accountable Action

Description:

(X)po friend and city nerd Josh McManus will walk participants through his personal ideas to action process and then lead the group through developing concise and actionable takeaways from the past two days.

12:00 - The Bitter End

Unfortunately, all things must end. (X)po is no different. But, we will be back next year!