Press release from Asheville Design Center:
The Center for Craft (Center) and Asheville Design Center (ADC) have invited Hunter Franks, founder of the League of Creative Interventionists, to speak at the Center on Tuesday, April 3 from 5:30-7:00 pm.
The League of Creative Interventionists has transformed highways into vibrant public spaces, brought life to vacant buildings, and developed relationship-building programs for communities across the nation. Franks will emphasize how public art and cultural programs can bridge social divides by showcasing unique stories and creating spaces that build connections between people.
As part of Asheville’s ongoing Building Our City speaker series, Franks will apply these experiences to our own community here in Asheville. The speaking event is free, but attendees must register through the Building Our City Eventbrite page.
“I’m honored to share the work and learnings of the League of Creative Interventionists and look forward to working with with the Asheville community to place culture at the forefront of reimagining this unique area,” says Franks.
Franks’ talk will contribute to an ongoing community-driven visioning process called the Broadway Cultural Gateway project. The Broadway Cultural Gateway project was commissioned by the Center for Craft and is being facilitated by the Asheville Design Center with generous support from UNC Asheville, among others.
The goal of the Broadway Cultural Gateway project is to create a cultural gateway/entrance into downtown Asheville that connects to the existing Pack Place Cultural District. The project is focused on the city block defined by Broadway Street, Walnut Street, Lexington Avenue, and Woodfin Street and including Carolina Lane and Chicken Alley. ADC’s community visioning process will engage local residents, business owners, property owners, and arts/cultural groups to assess existing conditions, identify needs and desires, and leverage the block’s unique assets and historic character to reimagine what’s possible in the future.
“We spent nearly 18-months studying national best practices related to ‘creative placemaking’ and ‘creative placekeeping’ to develop an appropriate, replicable model for Asheville. The model includes a local consulting artist (Cortina Caldwell), a local design team made up of volunteer design professionals, a national creative placemaking expert (Hunter Franks), and an advisory team comprised of neighborhood stakeholders,” states Mike Marcus, Assistant Director at the Center for Craft. “We are particularly proud to include a local artist as a paid member of the project leadership team,” says Marcus.
The project provides an opportunity for Asheville to build on its national reputation as a cultural destination by integrating the arts into civic engagement and urban planning practices in order to preserve, revitalize, and advance our unique sense of place. This method is known as “creative placekeeping.”
Through its property at 67 Broadway, the Center for Craft is investing in ‘creative placekeeping’ as a local expression of its national mission to advance the field of craft.
“The Center is thrilled to join ADC in welcoming Hunter Franks to Asheville. We strongly believe that Asheville’s future is largely dependent on the health of the creative sector and its relationship to the built environment. The Center is committed to advancing the legacy of craft within our region by investing in downtown Asheville. We look forward to coalescing a community vision as an extension of the existing Pack Place Cultural District in order to create a true cultural gateway into our beautiful downtown,” says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director of the Center for Craft.
The project’s advisory team includes local business owners, residents, artists, cultural leaders, downtown advocacy groups, UNC Asheville, the City of Asheville, Date My City, and others.
IMPORTANT BROADWAY CULTURAL GATEWAY PROJECT EVENTS & DATES
All events are free and open to the public
Monday, April 2: 5:00pm-8:00pm – Community Input Meeting @ Arthur R. Edington Center
Tuesday, April 3: 5:30pm-7:00pm – Building our City Speaking Series, Hunter Franks, League of Creative Interventionists @ Center for Craft
Saturday, May 5: 3:00pm-9:00pm – Creative Intervention Event @ Gateway Site (Broadway, Carolina Lane, Chicken Alley)