The second day of the Summit started strong with a plenary session lead by Don Howard, Interim CEO, James Irvine Foundation, one of the team of ArtPlace America funders and the local foundation that provided a lot of support for this event. Prior to joining Irvine Mr. Howard worked at the Bridgespan Group, the nonprofit management consultancy that specialized in capacity building. The focus of this session was field building.
Mr. Howard then introduced Abigail Marquez, associate director, Education and Workforce Development, City of Los Angeles and Dixon Singleton, executive director, Youth Policy Institute who presented on the exciting federal Promise Zone designation recently awarded by President Obama to Los Angeles.After doing a short presentation about field Mr. Howard was joined by Tracy Taft, executive director, International Sonoran Desert Alliance and Chris Beck, Senior Project Adviser, Rural Development, US Department of Agriculture. If you have a placemaking capital project you’d be well served to watch Ms. Taft’s presentation of how she identified, applied for and secured a wide range of funding sources for her project. To me her presentation just reinforced how entrepreneurial nonprofit leaders need to be to advance their organization’s mission. If you don’t know Mr. Beck, you should. He’s one of those rare government leaders who is a problem solver who consistently thinks outside the box. Food can be such a big part of place, so think about reaching out to Mr. Beck to explore how you might be able tap into some of the many resources available at the USDA.