@CSUSB Co-sponsors County-wide 2015 Arts Connection Conference

The 2015 Arts Connection Conference, "Arts Creating Community," Saturday, Sept. 26,

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: September 20, 2015

@CSUSB Co-sponsors County-wide 2015 Arts Connection Conference

Arts professionals from throughout San Bernardino County and surrounding areas will convene at the 2015 Arts Connection Conference, "Arts Creating Community," on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga.

The conference is free to members of Arts Connection. A one-year membership starts at only $25 for individuals and $10 for students. Pre-registration for the conference is highly encouraged and is available on the Arts Connection website at Arts Connection conference registration or by phone at (909) 537-5809.

Organized by Arts Connection, the non-profit Arts Council of San Bernardino County, in partnership with the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, the event will be a full day of networking, presentations and workshops about creative place making as well as cultural planning and public art.

Creative place making is a growing field that leverages the arts to revitalize communities while also addressing broader social and economic issues. The focus will be on developing creative place making strategies that artists and organizations can implement in their own communities, sparking creative entrepreneurship, engaging new audiences and strengthening individual municipalities and the county as a whole.

"The arts and culture play a critical role in the economic recovery of the Inland Empire," said Kathryn Ervin, CSUSB professor of theatre arts and board chair of the Arts Connection. "This conference is a great opportunity to bring ideas and partners together."

"Artists and organizations will be discussing their projects alongside civic leaders, urban planners and private industry," Ervin said. "Creative place making calls upon these diverse sectors to come together and engage communities through the arts, sparking change and innovation in their wake while bringing programming to communities that are often underserved."

The keynote address, "Arts Creating Community," will be presented by Maria Rosario Jackson, adjunct professor in the arts management program, Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. An arts and urban policy specialist with expertise in comprehensive community revitalization, systems change, dynamics of race and ethnicity and the roles of the arts and culture in communities, her vast experience includes her appointment by President Barack Obama to the National Council for the Arts in 2013, and serving as senior adviser to the Arts and Culture Program at the Kresge Foundation.

Jackson will moderate the first panel, titled "Growing a Creative Culture." Panelists include Rhonda Lane Coleman, executive director/curator of the 29 Palms Art Gallery; John Worden, executive director of Ontario Museum of History and Art; Catherine Tessier, Jeved Management Inc.; and Kathleen Gallegos, artist and founder of Avenue 50 Studio, and appointee to the California Arts Council.

In addition, the second panel, "Artists and Organizations Creating Community," will feature artists and organizations from a variety of disciplines sharing their projects and experiences with community engagement. Moderated by Thomas McGovern, photographer and Cal State San Bernardino professor of art, the panelists will include Kim Stringfellow, artist, educator and Guggenheim fellow; Johanna Smith, CSUSB professor of theatre arts and puppet and performance artist; Josiah Bruny, musician and CEO of Music Changing Lives; and artist/activist Michael Segura of the San Bernardino Generation Now.

Afternoon breakout sessions include "Art Making as City Making, an interactive workshop," with James Rojas, an urban planner and founder of Place it!; "Technology to Temporary: Public Art Pursuits," with public art expert and consultant, Lesley Elwood of Lesley Elwood and Associates; and "Making Greater Impact," with Daniel Foster, who served as a founding director of the North County Arts Network in San Diego, former executive director of the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), and a founding board member of Arts Connection.

The conference is sponsored through the generous contributions and/or in-kind support from the California Arts Council; Cal State San Bernardino's Office of the President and Associated Students Incorporated (ASI); Bill and Gloria Harrison Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation; David Lawrence; Dr. Ernest and Dottie Garcia; ?á la minute in Redlands; Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art at Chaffey College; Ontario Museum of History and Art; and The Center for Management in the Creative Industries at Claremont Graduate University, among others. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available; email for more information.

For more information, email Danielle Giudici Wallis, Interim Executive Direcctor, Arts Connection, at

Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating creative and economic vitality and enriching lives throughout the communities we serve by providing support, promotion, education, and advocacy for the arts. Arts Connection was created to share knowledge and resources, support initiatives that engage, encourage and advocate community building through the arts, and offer funding solutions for progressive projects, art groups and artists.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's Office of Strategic Communications at (909) 537-5007 and visit


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