Chairman Rocco Landesman Releases the Schedule for His Visit to Fresno, Merced, and Modesto, California for May 24-25, 2011

Washington, D.C. — NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman will visit Fresno, Merced, and Modesto, California, on Tuesday May 24 and Wednesday May 25, 2011 for two days of site visits and public conversations. Chairman Landesman is coming to California at the invitation of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. The Merced Arts Council and Modesto’s Stanislaus Arts Council and the Gallo Center for the Arts are co-hosting the public conversations in their respective cities.

The chairman is traveling to these cities to learn how the arts work in California and contribute to the quality of life in communities. The public discussions will focus on creative placemaking, economic development and community revitalization strategies that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform sites into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. Chairman Landesman will share his experiences and the NEA’s work in creative placemaking and recent research that supports these practices.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

8:00–8:25 am Meet and Greet with cultural leaders (Open to press and invitees only)
Location: Iron Bird Café, 1915 Fulton St.
8:30–9:20 am Tour of downtown cultural assets and revitalization sites. Includes brief tour of Arte Americas. (Open to press and invitees only)
9:30–11:00 am Conversation: Chairman Landesman leads dialogue on creative placemaking (Open to the public.)
NEA National Heritage Fellow Carmencristina Moreno will open with a musical performance.
Location: Arte Americas, 1630 Van Ness Avenue
Participants include:
   Dr. Jackie Ryle, president, Cultural Arts Rotary Club
   Suzanne Bertz-Rosa, co-founder of Creative Fresno
   Mas Masumoto, writer
   Samuel Orozco, Radio Bilingue
   Craig Scharton, director, Downtown and Community Revitalization
      Department, City of Fresno
Additional event partners include:
   Cultural Arts District
   Cultural Arts Rotary Club
   Creative Fresno
   Fresno Arts Council
   Fresno Coalition for Arts, Sciences, and History
11:30 am-
12:00 pm
Site visit: Pop Laval Gallery
Location: 9447 N. Fort Washington Road #109
12:30–2:30 pm Luncheon and Conversation: Topic is how practices of local cultural traditions, heritage, and literary voices contribute to Fresno’s unique sense of place and regional identity. These expressions are central to NEA’s national initiative to stimulate creative placemaking. (Open to the press and invitees only.) Mono basketweaving demonstration provided by Julie Tex and members of her family. Performance by NEA National Heritage Fellow Richard Hagopian and his grandson Andrew Hagopian. Event is co-hosted by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust. 
Location: San Joaquin River Center, 11605 Old Friant Road 
Participants include:
     Coke Hallowell, arts patron and founder, San Joaquin
     River Parkway and Conservation Trust.
     Patricia Wells Solorzano, Chicano musician/playwright
     Kevin Hall, traditional Irish dancer/instructor
3:00–3:30 pm Site Visit: Forestiere Underground Gardens
(Open to the press and invitees only.)           
Location: 5021 West Shaw Avenue
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
8:30–10:00 am Conversation: Art Works roundtable hosted by the Merced County Arts Council (Open to the public)
Location: Merced Multicultural Art Center, 645 West Main Street 
Joining the conversation will be Karen Lohrmann and her graduate students from UCLA Architecture and Urban Design. Ms. Lohrman is coordinating Culture Now: The Contemporary American Condition, a project led by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects and a UCLA Distinguished Professor.
11:30 am–
1:00 pm
Conversation: Art Works roundtable co-hosted by the Gallo Center for the Arts and the Stanislaus Arts Council (Open to the public)
Location: Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I Street 
Please RSVP to Mallory Hawkins at 209-338-5012 by 5:00 pm on May 24. 
Lunch will be provided for $7.

For information on the National Endowment for the Arts, please go to


ACTA, Amy Kitchener

Victoria Hutter (NEA)