16 Fellows from four cities convene in Akron

In the 1st weekend in June, we gathered with 16 members from 4 chapters of the League of Creative Interventionists (LCI) in Akron, Ohio with residents and youth from the community. The LCI creates unique public art installations that inspire communities to reimagine the social and physical landscapes of their cities. The brainstorm was focused on the neighborhood of Summit Lake, to activate underused spaces and transform them into platforms for connection and creativity.

Together, the LCI and members of the Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Reimagining the Civic Commons, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, the Better Block Foundation, and the Downtown Akron Partnership strategized and built a community porch out of a vacant lot.

The 16 leaders of LCI learned about facilitating and listening to turn ideas into action. It started with brainstorming with the local community, then voting on the best course, and executing the next day. The community said, we don’t want something temporary in our neighborhood. What was built is solid and permanent, because this community is worth staying for and the growth will be long lasting.

Speakers included:

  • Courtney Bengston, Wichita Community Foundation
  • Better Block Foundation
  • Kate Catherall, CHORUS
  • Carol Coletta, Senior Fellow, Kresge Foundation
  • Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation
  • Bridget Marquis, Reimagining the Civic Commons
  • Dan Rice, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

“The energy and passion that these young creative leaders have displayed to bring meaningful change to their cities is inspiring and we can’t wait to see how their work evolves after the convening.”  said Hunter Franks, Founder of the League of Creative Interventionists.

Time was spent thinking strategically empowers long term change. Equally important is getting our hands a little dirty, covered with colorful paint. Deeper listening and conversations in the Akron and LCI community were activated during the convention.