What: Panel discussion about "creative placemaking"

Who: Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will be the guest panelist.

When: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 12

Where: Ballroom A at The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St.

Cost: Free

For more information: Call Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga at 423-756-2787.


What: Fall 2012 Arts Education Partnership Forum "Arts Learning Without Borders"

When: Sept. 13-14

Where: The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St.

Registration: Deadline is Friday; $250 per person or $150 for a single day

For more information: Go to

The National Endowment for the Arts chairman will be in Chattanooga next week to participate in a panel discussion about how artists can bring declining communities back to life.

Rocco Landesman will be the special guest in a discussion about what is called "creative placemaking."

"Simply put, 'creative placemaking' is the ways in which communities use the arts to help shape their social, physical and economic characters -- cities and towns literally change when you bring artists to the center of them," Landesman said in a news release.

Rodney Van Valkenburg, director of grants and initiatives for Allied Arts, said the discussion is a "unique opportunity for people interested in making our community better."

Landesman also will be a keynote speaker at the Fall 2012 Arts Education Partnership Forum set for Sept. 13-14 at The Chattanoogan.

An award-winning Broadway producer, Landesman has served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts since August 2009.

Peggy Townsend, the city's director of public art, said Chattanooga has used art to create distinctive places, but there haven't been many citywide conversations about it.

"I hope people who come to the discussion will think about ways they could use the arts in their own creative placemaking -- whether they be a developer, a city administrator or a private developer," she said. "There are so many ways big and small that the arts can be utilized in creating better places."

Chattanooga was one of 51 cities in the country to receive a $250,000 grant from the NEA. The money will be used to create a park called Main Terrain, Townsend said.

Glass House Collective, which is using artists to renovate the East Chattanooga Glass Street area, won a $300,000 grant from ArtPlace, which was funded partly by the NEA.

Katherine Currin, director of Glass House Collective, said she will attend the panel discussion that features Landesman.

"The arts can create conditions that are favorable for existing and new businesses -- stimulating economic activity in a socioeconomically depressed neighborhood," Currin said.

In addition to Landesman, the panelists include: Eric Meyers, architect, Elemi Architects; Sarah Morgan, program officer, Lyndhurst Foundation; Mike Fowler, Ross/Fowler Architects, Knoxville; and Larry Zehnder, administrator of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation.