June 6, 2013

Citizens' Institute on Rural Design to Host Three Capacity-Building Calls This Summer

Mark your calendars! The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) will be co-hosting three monthly capacity-building conference calls over the course of the summer. Part of the ongoing CommunityMatters conference call series, these calls are designed to help any community working on a design or planning project get the skills they need to succeed, as well as the inspiration to get started.

Whether you’re looking to revitalize your Main Street, create an arts district, boost your community's identity, or create a local vision, these calls will help you communicate effectively about your project, incorporate community values and local character, and successfully engage your fellow citizens and other partners. We’re looking forward to these three dynamic discussions, and are as excited to learn from you as we are to share case studies, tips, and tricks.

Each call will include presentations from speakers and a public question-and-answer period, followed by a closed session for the four communities selected to host CIRD workshops. The closed sessions will allow CIRD communities to network, share ideas, and incorporate the call information into workshop planning.

Save the date for one or all of our upcoming calls! Click here to register on the CommunityMatters website.

  1. Spreading the Word About Your Community Design Project  (June 20, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT)
    How do you create a buzz about community design and get people to participate in your project? This call will provide guidance on how to spread the word in your town, including tips and tools for working with local press, developing project messaging, and preparing an effective communications plan. This call will feature two experts in outreach and communications: Amy Frykman, Vice President at Resource Media, and Fran Stoddard, Communications Consultant with the Orton Family Foundation.

  2. Designing for the Vision and Values of Your Community  (July 25, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT)
    If you want your project to truly succeed, it must reflect the vision and values of the community. This call will provide methods and tips for how to explore, confirm, and/or deepen your understanding of a community’s vision and values. We’ll also draw on specific project examples that illustrate ways the design process can support shared values and local assets. Participants will learn how to determine their own community’s values and vision in a way that can inform design work, as well as strategies for applying different design methods to address the issues facing their community. We’ll be joined by Peter Flinker, Principal of Dodson & Flinker Landscape Architects and Planning, and David Hohenschau Senior Associate at the Orton Family Foundation and Eco-Plan International.

  3. Secrets of Successful Communities  (August 22, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT)
    Close out the summer and kickstart your local project by organizing a watch party for this inspirational talk by national thought leader Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute. Ed will share the secrets of successful communities that he has gleaned over the course of decades working in small towns across the country. And start planning a party! We’ll provide you with a discussion guide and tools to help you organize a group to listen together, get inspired, and get ready to take action.

Don't delay--click here to register on the CommunityMatters website today!