An array of speakers from North Adams and other locales will present their ideas In association with the Pecha Kucha series and the Tactical Urbanism Salon and project. Their bios will be listed on this page as we confirm their participation.
Anthony Tepedino Garcia is Publisher of TransitMiami.com, a South Florida based transportation and planning blog that seeks to encourage public participation and discourse in land use and transportation planning. He is the Vice-President of the Urban Environment League of Greater Miami and serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Mobility Network. He is also a member of the Dade Heritage Trust, Congress for the New Urbanism and the US Green Building Council.
As Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative, Anthony specializes in design, urban planning, and transportation planning. His expertise has helped municipalities, developers, schools, and citizen groups balance community input with long-range planning during the development of numerous plans at the scale of city, neighborhood, and campus.
Anthony earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Urban Design from New York University and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Miami.
For "Imagining North Adams," Anthony will co-curate the Tactical Urbanism Salon and project.
Charles L. Marohn, Jr. PE AICP is a licensed civil engineer, a land use planner, author, broadcaster and influential thinker. Chuck's passion is working with cities and towns on issues of economic development, land use and engineering - particularly those places that are seeking answers as to why the standard orthodoxy has failed to create prosperity for them.
Chuck is the director of Strong Towns, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that helps America's towns achieve financial strength and resiliency. He is also the author of Thoughts on Strong Towns, which currently tops the Amazon charts in the categories of Debts & Deficits and Economic Policy & Development.
James Rojas is the founder of PLACE IT!, a design-based urban planning initiative that uses model-building workshops and on-site interactive models to help participants translate conceptual planning ideas into physical forms and learn about the value of planning and design in shaping how we live.
James is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Peace Corps and holds an M.A. in City Planning and an M.S. in Architecture Studies from MIT. He works as a city and transportation planner and is the founder of the Latino Urban Forum, a non-profit dedicated to increasing awareness of planning and design issues facing low-income Latinos. He has written and lectured extensively about how culture and immigration are transforming the American front yard and landscape, and, through Place It!, has organized over 150 on-site model installations and interactive workshops.
James will serve as organizer and facilitator for "A Model City".
Jaye Fox is co-owner of studio21south, for which she has curated six shows of artwork in the past two years, such as 2010's "Common Places" and "Re/Imaging New York." As an artist, Jaye paints, draws, and studies representational painting and drawing and also gives private instruction and teaches at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Instutute.
Jaye's education includes the Art Students League of New York and the atelier of Andrew Reiss. Her work has earned the Elaine and James Hewitt Award (Audobon Artists), the Jack Richeson Award (Pen and Brush Club), the American Artists Professional League Award in Oils, and a Certificate of Merit from the American Society of Portrait Artists International Portrait Competition. In 2011, her work was included in the group exhibit "30/30: Thirty League Alumni of the Last Thirty Years" at the Art Students League in New York.
Jaye will curate "Picturing North Adams" as part of our festival.
Jennifer Krouse is the Studio Chief of Steepletown Studios, a North Adams-based web development studio that serves clients from coast to coast. Jen holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Williams College and an M.B.A. from the Stockholm School of Economics. Since 2008, she has served on the Steering Committee of NextGen: The Next Generation of New Urbanists. As two-time Co-Chair and co-organizer of the Open Source Congress — the grassroots component of the Congress for the New Urbanism — she has facilitated idea marketplaces for groups as small as 30 and as large as 250. Jen lives and works in North Adams.
Mike Lydon is Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative and the primary author of The Open Streets Project and Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change — two research efforts of Pattern Cities, a project about cities and the ideas they incubate.
Before launching The Street Plans Collaborative in 2009, Lydon worked for Smart Growth Vermont, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, and Ann Arbor’s GetDowntown Program. From 2006 - 2009 Mike worked for Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company (DPZ), an international leader in the practice of smart growth planning, design, and research techniques. There, Mike worked extensively on Miami 21, the recipient of the American Planning Association’s 2011 National Planning Excellence Award.
Together with Andres Duany and Jeff Speck, Mike is co-author of The Smart Growth Manual, which was published by McGraw-Hill in 2009 and honored by Planetizen as one of the top ten planning books of 2010. As a planner, writer, and advocate, Mike’s work has appeared in or been featured by CNN Headline News, Planetizen, Grist, Utne Reader, Next American City Magazine, and The Village Voice, among other publications.
Mike received a B.A. in American Cultural Studies from Bates College and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. Mike was selected as one of 34 Urban Vanguards by Next American City magazine in 2009.
For "Imagining North Adams," Mike will co-curate the Tactical Urbanism Salon and project.
Shanti Devi Sponder was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Singapore, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Slovenia. She attended Waldorf schools during her elementary education, getting immersed in a wide range of creative explorations and her interest in art was sparked. Through the outlets of handwork, woodwork, sculpture, painting and drawing she was able to channel her creativity without limits and her enthusiasm for the arts was transformed from a hobby into an undeniable passion.
In 2007 she became a fine arts major at Central Connecticut State University where she was first exposed to watercolor, illustration and printmaking. In 2009 she transferred to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she continued to explore different mediums such as mixed-media collage, photography, painting, and bookmaking. Shanti graduated with a BA in Fine Arts in May 2012. She is currently interning as an associate gallery manager for DownStreet Art.
Placemaking isn't limited to artists and city planners or people with specialized skills. Through the choices we make in housing, jobs, commerce and commutes, we all shape the places in which we live via small actions every day. "Imagining North Adams" invites you to go further than that. Join us in "dreaming out loud" about the place that North Adams is and the kind of place that it could be.