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Pave Symposium explores role of artists in community building

March 19, 2013

Michael Rohd, founder and artistic director of Sojourn Theatre and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, will lead a workshop at the Pave Biennial Symposium in April that explores two central premises among artists and community leaders in the growing field of Civic Practice: translation and collaborative project design.

The workshop is part of a two-day symposium sponsored by the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship at the ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Focused on the practice of theater as a community asset with a spectrum of activity broader than the production of plays, this workshop looks at cross-sector process, tools for making meaning in non-arts settings, and opportunities to bring creative activity into public discourse. Questions to be explored include: How artists can be agents of democracy within settings that may seem closed to dialogue and change; what does “participation” mean in pedagogic and cultural and public settings; and how can cross-sector fluency help advocate for the value of art in non-arts settings?

"Entrepreneurship, the Arts, and Creative Placemaking" is the third biennial Pave Symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts and takes place April 12-13 on the ASU Tempe campus. Entrepreneurs and artists from across the country are brought together to share ideas and experiences on how art ventures can create strong and vibrant communities.

Ann Markusen will deliver the keynote address. Markusen is a nationally renowned advocate on the idea of creative placemaking, wherein public, private, non-profit, and community partners strategically shape the character of a place around arts and cultural activities. In a National Endowment for the Arts report, Markusen writes:

“Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”

The symposium is being presented in collaboration with the ASU Art Museum’s Desert Initiative: Desert One and the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. Events include workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities, culminating in the “Feast on the Street” installation on Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix. The Pave Program sponsors a series of public talks every two years, with a biennial symposium held on the alternate year. All events are open to the public.

Events will be held at the Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus. For information about parking, visit:

Registration is $10 for students and $75 for the general public. Register now or view the full schedule.

For more information, contact Linda Essig, director of the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship, at

For more information on arts entrepreneurship, read American Theatre’s interview with Essig. The Pave Program sponsors a series of public talks every two years, with a biennial symposium held on the alternate year. Learn more about Pave.