ECCF Announces Lineup for Sept. 27 Arts & Culture Summit | Press Release

Jul 9, 2019Arts & Culture, Press Release

If you are someone interested in emboldening Essex County’s arts and culture community, supporting the creative economy and increasing the vibrancy of our region, you might just want to mark your calendar for Sept. 27, 2019.

Essex County Community Foundation has just announced the lineup for its 2019 Essex County Arts & Culture Summit, being held at The Cabot and nearby Montserrat College of Art from 9am – 4pm.

The Summit is part of ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, a partnership with the Barr Foundation to increase the visibility and impact of the transformative power of arts and culture. Last year’s event drew more than 400 artists, arts and culture organizations, designers, community leaders, city and town planners, business leaders, cultural philanthropists and more.

“We are very lucky in Essex County to have so many people that care about the important role arts and culture play in our communities,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “The Summit is the perfect opportunity for all of these groups to come together, not only to learn from experts in the field and share ideas, but most importantly to form new collaborative partnerships that can help strengthen the arts ecosystem.”

Included in this year’s lineup of workshops, performances and presenters are keynote speakers Jason Schupbach, director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Kara Elliott-Ortega, chief of arts and culture for the City of Boston and David Howse, senior vice president of Emerson College and executive director of ArtsEmerson. Schupbach is one of the founding leaders of the national creative placemaking movement. Elliott-Ortega leads Boston Creates, the City’s 10-year cultural plan. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration.

“ECCF is so fortunate to welcome such a distinguished group of arts and culture experts who are at the cutting edge of creative placemaking, cultural planning and arts integration,” said Karen Ristuben, program director of ECCF’s Creative County Initiative. “Their work is proof that arts and culture are at the heart of vibrant communities, an idea that we believe in wholeheartedly at ECCF.”

During the Summit, attendees will learn about what the Creative County Initiative has accomplished in Essex County so far and ECCF’s plans for CCI in the future. They will also be treated to performances by Generation Khmer Dance Troupe, spoken word artist Caroline Harvey and the MCNAA Intertribal Dancers, and will have the opportunity to register for two of the following four workshops:

  • Creative Space Development: National Trends and Prospects for Essex County
  • The Creative Web: Opportunities for Essex County Artists, Creative Entrepreneurs and Their Communities
  • Case Study Lawrence: Fostering Equitable Inclusion through Dynamic Collaboration, Public Art and Placemaking
  • Participatory Asset-Mapping for Regional Connectivity

The day also includes a networking lunch and an end-of-day wine reception.

“We can’t thank The Cabot and Montserrat enough for helping to create the perfect backdrop for this critically important community event,” said Ristuben. “And we can’t wait for the energy, engagement and creative partnerships that the Summit helps to create.”

“We are so grateful to the Barr Foundation for the opportunity to come together as a region in support of arts and culture,” added Francis.

Please visit to see the full Summit agenda. Registration for the 2019 Essex County Arts & Culture Summit is scheduled to open on July 14. For more information about ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, please visit