The 2015 New York Statewide Preservation Conference theme is The Art of Preservation: Painting Your Community’s Future. Join us at our conference headquarters, the restored Smith Opera House in the Finger Lakes city of Geneva as we explore the role that the arts can play in helping us revitalize buildings and communities. We’ll also explore historic preservation as an art form unto itself–each building, each landscape, each community that we seek to revive requires a unique approach involving partnerships, funding sources and creative problem-solving.
This session fits perfectly with our theme, combining the arts, historic preservation, community revitalization, and adaptive reuse into one fabulous story. Each of the speakers in this exciting session will provide insight into creative community placemaking and restoring communities using art, technology and hard work.
Erich S. Lehman is co-curator and lead organizer for the WALL\THERAPY mural project, based in Rochester, NY. He is also the owner and curator of 1975 Gallery and a member of the Sweet Meat Co. art collective. At his core, Erich is an artist/designer/tech geek/workaholic who simply finds the world far too interesting to sit still for long.
Maarten Jacobs, MSW, is the Director of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), a nonprofit organization working to combine the power of art, technology, and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside. In that role over the past four years, Maarten has worked diligently to ensure that the neighborhood residents of the Near Westside are actively engaged in the revitalization taking place in their neighborhood and ensuring that the community’s best interests are always represented. Similarly, with a personal passion for the arts, Maarten has pushed the Near Westside Initiative to be a truly place-based initiative with a focus on implementing creative placemaking as a fundamental strategy for economic and community development.
In addition to his work with the Near Westside Initiative, he teaches Community Economic Development at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Social Work with a concentration in Community Development and Social Action from the University of Maryland.
Erika Ruegemer, a native of Minnesota, is co-founder and director of One Dance Company New York. She began her dance training at age five with Dyan Ferrell, a former Rockette, and son Michael Matthew Ferrell, choreographer of The Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Erika received her BA in dance from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She has danced with ARENADances (Minneapolis, MN), PUSH Physical Theatre (Rochester, NY), FuturPointe Dance (Rochester, NY) and gloATL (Atlanta, GA). Erika actively contributes to Flower City Ballet, THE YARDS collaborative art space, WALL/THERAPY, The Possibility Project, and Hochstein School of Music and Dance. She is inspired to awaken Rochester, New York one community at time.
Sarah C. Rutherford is a painter, muralist, Sweet Meat Co member and illustrator. She is also co-founder of THE YARDS Collaborative Art Space and a WALL\THERAPY Team member. Follow Sarah on Instagram and Twitter at @msshaftway.
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