Asheville Parks & Rec & Cultural Arts hosts Oct. 24l discussion on community, innovative placemaking

The City of Asheville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department will present a panel discussion on the community’s role in innovative placemaking at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. A question and answer session with the audience will be included in the program.

The discussion will be moderated by Kenn Kotara, an internationally-known local artist, educator, and advocate. He has taught at numerous colleges and is currently an adjunct professor at Mars Hill College. Mr. Kotara has been involved in the public art arena as an artist and is former Chair of the City of Asheville’s Public Art Board.

Participating as panelists are Jack Becker, Christopher Kennedy, Monica Campara, and Darien Ball. Jack Becker is the founder and Executive Director of Forecast Public Art, a 34-year old nonprofit based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is the Editor of the national art journal Public Art Review and received an Award of Excellence in 2007 from Americans for the Arts for his contribution to the public art field.

Christopher Kennedy is currently the Education Curator at Elsewhere, a living museum, international residence program, and educational laboratory set within a three-story former thrift store in Greensboro, North Carolina. His previous projects include an intergenerational free school in an abandoned park in North Brooklyn (School of the Future).

Monica Campana is founder and Executive Director of Living Walls in Atlanta, which seeks to promote, educate, and change perspectives toward public space via street art. The program recently was awarded Best Organization of the Year from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

Darien Ball is the designer and creator of the Biltmore Estate’s 6’x30’ horticultural living wall in conjunction with the Estate’s recent Tiffany Exhibit. He is with the Estate’s Conservatory and is well-known in the field of horticulture having been selected to judge the Philadelphia International Flower Show three times.

This Creative Conversation is being held in part to celebrate October as National Arts & Humanities month and is registered with Americans for the Arts.

For more information about this event, please visit the City of Asheville’s Cultural Arts webpage at or call the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department at 828-259-5800.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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