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SCHOLARS TO ATTEND SOUTH + APPALACHIA SUMMIT

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

By Andrea Orlando

Community Director

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking


Eight creative placemakers from five states will attend the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit | South + Appalachia in Columbia, South Carolina April 16 - 18 thanks to The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking's new CPL Scholars program.


They are artists, arts organization founders and administrators, arts consulting entrepreneurs, and an urban planner. Three of the scholars come from Memphis, Tennessee; Catherine Peña, Keith D. Lee, and Mersadies Burch. Peña is an artist and public art consultant who works

with communities to shape and define their identity through socially engaged art. Lee holds a Ph.D. in arts administration and is an independent artist, researcher, and consultant who seeks to build real equity within the arts community. Burch is a Memphis-based artist/entrepreneur who facilitates community-based, cross-sector creative placemaking projects.


Also coming to the Summit as CPL Scholars are people from Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Mississippi. Jeri Katherine Howell hails from Frankfort, KY and is Program Coordinator for Josephine Sculpture Park. She hopes to return to her community with a sharper vision, new energy, and a greater sense of support and connection. Sharolyn Payton hails from Cordova, TN, where she is an advocate for marginalized, disenfranchised, and

under-served people.

Sharolyn Payton, Speaker & Workshop Facilitator Midsouth Nonprofit Conference 2018 - Memphis, TN

McKenzie L Shelton is from Stokes, NC, and is earning an MBA with a focus in arts administration at East Carolina University, where she also serves as Director and Founder of the Makers Honors Arts Residency. She hopes to further her study of how cities plan for and invest in equitable arts development to create growth.


Michaela Accardi is a neighborhood planner for Albemarle County, Virginia, who supports long-range planning and development projects across the County, which includes urban ring neighborhoods around Charlottesville, suburban subdivisions, and hyper-rural communities. She hopes to learn about methods and best practices from communities across the wide urban-suburban-rural spectrum. And from Coldwater, Mississippi, Princeton James runs a performing arts and enrichment camp for underserved children in his rural community.

McKenzie Shelton

He hopes to connect with other organizations that are running similar programs in other areas.


Jeri Katherine Howell with children at the Josephine Sculpture Park


NCCP rolled out the CPL Scholars program at the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit | West last month in Albuquerque, AZ. The program seeks to diversify the conversation around building communities through arts and cultural programming by bringing under-represented voices to the events. The organization encourages grassroots advocates, emerging and youth leaders, people of color, indigenous people, artists, and poor and working-class individuals to apply. Their participation can help shape strategies, policies, and tactics in the field and help educate decision makers and policy writers. 




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Board Chair: Colleen Finnegan Kahl

Founding Director: Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

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