Press Releases


KCCI Announces 2016 Placemaking Plans, Invites Community to Reimagine History

Tallahassee, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2015 – The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) unveiled the organization’s 2016 placemaking initiative, showcased its current projects and announced it is seeking volunteers, called Community Catalysts, to help strengthen Tallahassee’s economy in today’s Showcase and Preview Event.

This marks the 8th year of KCCI’s volunteer-driven efforts to execute projects aimed to enhance the community’s sense of place. The newest class of Community Catalysts will prepare a research-driven plan for re-developing the historic Waterworks building located near Cascades Park in Downtown Tallahassee. The Waterworks building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in January of 1979. The building was closed in 1980, and has since remained an untouched piece of history and space in the Tallahassee community.

“We selected this project because like other KCCI initiatives – including Gaines Street and Cascades Park – redevelopment of the Waterworks building will require a strong citizen group to establish a vision that aligns with that of the broader community, and then see it through,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI executive director. “This initiative augments the ongoing downtown improvement efforts and enhance Tallahassee’s ability to attract and retain young professionals, which we know contributes to long-term economic prosperity.”

For the 2016 project, 15 KCCI Community Catalysts will be selected to work with local leaders, government officials and the community over the course of one year to develop and implement a self-sustaining project that helps build Tallahassee’s sense of place. The application cycle for the 2016 program year begins today and closes Oct. 30 at noon. Those interested can apply via KCCI’s web site at

2015 brought a variety of KCCI project success to the Tallahassee community, which includes:

  • The Frenchtown Heritage Market that started fall 2013 and worked with public and private partners to establish a consistently-held farmers market to help resolve the food desert in the Frenchtown area. This year, they worked with the Frenchtown neighborhood and CRA to secure a permanent market structure, and collectively created a plan to sustain the market and launch the secured permanent building.
  • Tallahassee Music Week launched a 10-day celebration of musical diversity in April that showcased the Capital City’s musical talent by featuring more than 100 (mostly free) performances by local artists in more than 50 locations.
  • The 2015 Encompass Tallahassee team created the #SeeTallahassee campaign, which will include sense-of-place murals, a unique, stylized artisanal map in print and digital form, and an interactive website that will provide information about area locations, features and events.  The first in a series of district murals went up last weekend in Midtown off Thomasville Road. Guidance and involvement from partners like COCA are helping turn the #SeeTallahassee campaign into a reality.

Started in 2007 under the leadership of Mike Pate, KCCI began with a grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. When the grant expired in 2014, public and private partners came together to enable KCCI to continue its placemaking efforts in Tallahassee through 2019.

“We couldn’t be more thankful for our sponsors,” said KCCI founder Mike Pate. “Their support is evidence of the demand for this type of work in Tallahassee and a testament to KCCI’s past success.”

Vital KCCI Community Partners include: Knight Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida, Archibald Foundation, Leon County, City of Tallahassee, Brown & Brown, Taproot Creative, FAMU, Florida State University, College of Business, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Inc. CenturyLink, NAI TALCOR, Capital City Bank, Rowland Publishing, Tallahassee Democrat, Frame, ABC, Channel 27, Mainline Information Systems, The Summit Group, Sachs Media Group, Flightline Group, Inc., Nolia and Bill Brandt, Periodontal Associates of North Florida, PA, Oliver Sperry Renovation, Drs. Chaney, Couch and Grooters Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson, WilliamsGautier Law Firm, and Target Copy. To learn more about KCCI, visit


KCCI was created in 2007 and has been annually selecting Tallahassee residents and training them on the economic development concepts related to sense of place and 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