Reflections from NEA Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, with Asian Arts Initiative / Friends of the Rail Park and IDEAS xLab

02:00 pm ~ 03:00 pm ET

Join us as National Endowment for the Arts Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson reflects on what it means to build arts-infused civic infrastructure, at this historic moment of federal investment that is reshaping communities. You’ll also hear inspiring reports about two Our Town projects that exemplify this vision, through deep cross-sector partnerships that position arts, culture, and design to advance equitable outcomes.

FY22 Our Town grantee Asian Arts Initiative, and partners Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and Friends of the Rail Park, have come together for THE CUT: Eco/Systems: Land Based Initiatives to support an arts and landscape design installation in Philadelphia's Chinatown North and Callowhill neighborhoods. Plantings, digital art, and educational programming will contribute to redeveloping a fallow rail line into a new three-mile greenway. The art installation will demonstrate the potential for natural ecosystems to improve quality of life for residents in neighborhoods that lack tree cover and are negatively affected by climate change. The project is engaging the local community and piloting potential partnerships for future infrastructure projects where art can contribute to mitigating climate impacts.  

The (Un)Known Project creates artistic spaces and experiences to support learning, healing, reflection, reconciliation, and action by honoring the names and telling the stories--of both known and unknown--Black men, women and children who were enslaved and hidden figures in Louisville, Kentucky and beyond. The project is led by Hannah Drake and Josh Miller as a collaboration between artist-led nonprofit IDEAS xLAB, the Frazier History MuseumRoots 101, various departments within Louisville Metro Government, and incorporated Louisville’s history and heritage in limestone benches, poetry, photography, and arts-based experiences along the Ohio River. Serving as a cultural heritage destination, the (Un)Known Project was co-created as a significant marker in Louisville, designating the location as a monumental site and symbol of African American history. Now, Louisville local government is extending the reach of the (Un)Known Project with significant new infrastructure investments.

Spoken word artist Autumn White Eyes will perform one of their original poems.

This session is presented by the Creative Placemaking Technical Assistance Program, led by the National Endowment for the Arts and Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

This event is open to the public. Please share this invitation with colleagues and friends!

Closed captioning will be available. Should you need other reasonable accommodation, please send your request to thomas[at] by Monday, November 28th.