UF, Gainesville and Alachua County team up to align arts initiatives

By Allison Alsup

The University of Florida is spearheading a project to gather creative initiatives that will harmonize the strategic development of the UF Campus with the City of Gainesville. The project seeks to align UF’s 2016 Strategic Development Plan with the City of Gainesville and Alachua County government’s 352Arts Roadmap project along with the City’s 2015 Strategic Plan and economic and revitalization efforts.

From March to August of 2017, ten leaders from UF and ten leaders from the local community governments will engage in discussions, with creativity as the catalyst, about big ideas that would be more impactful if approached collaboratively. Committee members include:

  • Lucinda Lavelli – Dean, UF College of the Arts
  • Anthony Kolenic – Assistant Dean, UF College of the Arts
  • Doug Jones – Director, Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Brian Jose – Director, UF Performing Arts
  • Rebecca Nagy – Director, Harn Museum of Art
  • Maria Rogal – Interim Director, UF School of Art + Art History
  • Judith Russell – Dean, UF University Libraries
  • Linda Dixon – Director of Planning, University of Florida
  • Tina Gurucharri – Chair, UF Architecture Landscape
  • Brandon McKinley – Student, UF School of Music
  • Megan Echols – Planner, City of Gainesville
  • Forrest Eddleton – Planner, City of Gainesville
  • Anthony Lyons – City Manager, City of Gainesville
  • Russell Etling – Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Gainesville
  • Michelle Park – Assistant Director, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, City of Gainesville
  • Samantha Wolfe – Senior Strategic Planner, City of Gainesville
  • Sarah Vidal-Finn – Director, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency
  • Andrew Meeker – Project Manager, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency
  • Michael Fabiano – Mobiquity, Inc. and Economic Development and Innovation Office
  • Anne E. Gilroy – Artist and Curator

The committee, guided by 352Arts Roadmap consultant Diane Mataraza, seeks to answer questions like:

  • Which projects would better benefit the citizens of Gainesville if UF and the Gainesville and Alachua County governments collaborated on them?
  • Which projects could be game changers for Gainesville, producing unique and inspirational impacts on a national stage?

“Our goal is to have a positive, synergistic effect on our shared community through working together to develop a plan to present to UF’s COO Charlie Lane that uses our collective resources to better our community for a brighter and more creative tomorrow,” said UF College of the Arts Dean Lucinda Lavelli, who serves as the chair of the committee.

The committee invites the public to be a part of these discussions at several town hall meetings. These town hall meetings will be held:

  • April 11, 2-3:30 p.m. at the UF School of Music, Room 101
  • April 24, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  • May 2, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center
  • May 3, 3:30-5 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. at the Thomas Center

Following the town hall meetings, the public’s contributions will be presented in a report to the committee for final deliberation. Any ideas from the public that are agreed upon and approved will be included with supporting data in the project plan, which will include top priorities and big ideas. The project plan is expected to be completed by Mataraza in July 2017.

For more information or to RSVP for the Town Hall meetings, please click here.