Apply Today & Help Strengthen Tallahassee Through KCCI
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) is seeking volunteers, called Community Catalysts, to help strengthen Tallahassee’s economy. The application cycle for the 2015 program year begins Oct. 1, 2014 and closes Nov. 14, 2014.
Fifteen KCCI Community Catalysts will be selected to work with local leaders, government and advocates to develop a project that makes it easier for locals, students and visitors to find their way and connect with the community. The team’s goal is to speed up implementation of the proposed “Wayfinding Signage System,” and create new initiatives that showcase a variety of community highlights.
As Florida’s Capital, the Tallahassee region is home to thousands of annual visitors and residents. Domestic and international visitors are looking for popular sites and commercial destinations, but currently many of Tallahassee’s landmarks and unique areas are not identified due to dated Wayfinding signage. An effective Wayfinding Signage System will help guide residents, students and visitors to points-of-interest, distinct communities (e.g. Midtown, Downtown, SoMo, etc.), and governmental offices, thereby further defining our sense of place.
“As a KCCI Community Catalyst volunteer, you have the opportunity to enhance Tallahassee as a place to live, work and play,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI executive director. “KCCI unites a diverse group and connects them with community and government leaders, which empowers them to implement projects that enhance Tallahassee’s sense of place.”
KCCI trains its Community Catalysts on economist Richard Florida’s research that shows that the ability of a region to attract and retain members of the creative sector and stimulate economic prosperity depends on a balance of the 4T’s: Talent; Territorial Assets; Technology; and Tolerance. KCCI then challenges the volunteer Community Catalysts to implement a “sense of place” project that helps attract and retain the creative class, young professionals and college graduates.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that my service as a KCCI catalyst was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” said John Van Gieson, KCCI community catalyst from the Cultivate Cascades team. “ We made a difference in the community, and I’m proud that I had the opportunity to participate.”
Members of KCCI’s most recent catalyst class were responsible for producing an array of “sense of place” projects:
- The Frenchtown Heritage Market worked with public and private partners to help to resolve the food desert in the Frenchtown area. The initial farmers market kicked off in April 2014, and the KCCI team is working with the neighborhood and the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency to create a plan to sustain the market either long-term or permanently.
- Tallahassee Music Week team is partnering with local groups to create a week of live music in April 2015. This event will provide entertainment for the community and brand the local music scene. In addition to professional promoted acts, the team is also looking to partner with the Foundation for Leon County Schools and the area universities (FSU, FAMU and TCC) to showcase local student talent in non-traditional venues.
- Downtown Sense of Place’s team worked with partners to make Downtown Tallahassee a more attractive destination for residents. This initiative created Capital City Date Night and is providing porch swings throughout the downtown area through the Porch Swing Project.
“Getting involved with KCCI was one of the best decisions I’ve made,” said Richard Cassedy, a 2014 KCCI community catalyst from the Downtown Sense of Place Team and investment adviser at Cassedy & Company. “Not only was I able to provide a valuable service to the local community with The Porch Swing Project but, through my efforts, gained a tremendous understanding of how community efforts work. It is an experience I would not have had otherwise.”
The 15 Community Catalysts will be selected in December by the KCCI Advisory Board. The Catalysts work together over the course of the year to develop and implement the project idea into a self-sustaining project that helps build the community’s sense of place. KCCI’s leadership team provides the guidance needed to keep team on track.
Community catalyst applicants must live in Tallahassee or in the immediate surrounding areas.
For more information about the project idea or if you would like to apply to be a 2015 Community Catalyst, please visit www.kccitallahassee.com and complete the application in the “Get Involved” section.
KCCI was created in 2007 and has been annually selecting Tallahassee residents and training them on the concepts of economist Richard Florida’s book, The Rise of the Creative Class. These Community Catalysts volunteer their time to learn the concepts and implement a project that enhances Tallahassee’s sense of place as a community that would be able to attract and retain the creative class, young professionals and college graduates. KCCI has led a variety of successful programs that have helped create a sense of place throughout Tallahassee while engaging the creative class. KCCI is a program of The Village Square and is funded through private and public donations. For more information, visit http://www.kccitallahassee.com.