Keynote Speaker

Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 14 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions dedicated to strengthening the field of creative placemaking, in which the arts work as part of a community’s efforts to plan and develop its social, physical, and economic future. To date, ArtPlace has invested $56.8 million through 189 grants in 122 communities of all sizes across 42 states and the jamie-bennett-headshotDistrict of Columbia.

Until December 2013, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw the national rollouts of the “Our Town” grant program and of new partnerships with the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development.

Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration where he oversaw the agency’s partnerships with the NYC Departments for the Aging, of Education, and of Youth and Community Development.

Jamie has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College.

Before entering the public sector, Jamie served on the board of directors for Art21 and HERE Arts Center; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation’s Foot-in-the-Door Committee; and Studio in a School’s Associates Committee. Jamie received his B.A. from Columbia College in New York City.

Breakout Session Speakers

Click on a speaker’s name to read a short professional biography.

Nikole Brown, Legislative Associate, State Affairs
Michigan Municipal League

Amy Clickner, CEO
Lake Superior Community Partnership

Brad Garmon, Director of Conservation and Emerging Issues
Michigan Environmental Council

Al Hansen, Director, Parks and Recreation
City of Petoskey

Samantha Harkins, Director, State Affairs
Michigan Municipal League

John LaMacchia II, Legislative Associate, State Affairs
Michigan Municipal League

Marquette City Charter Commission

Marquette County Climate Adaptation Task Force

William Mathewson, General Counsel
Michigan Municipal League

Summer Minnick, Director, Policy Initiatives and Federal Affairs
Michigan Municipal League

Suzanne Schulz, Managing Director of Design, Development and Community Engagement
City of Grand Rapids

James Tischler, AICP, PCP, Director
MSHDA’s Community Development Division

Mark Wyckoff, Professor and Senior Associate Director
Land Policy Institute, Michigan State University