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KCCI Announces 2017 Placemaking Plans

Tallahassee, Fla. – Sept. 19, 2016 – The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) unveils the organization’s 2017 economy-strengthening placemaking initiative, showcases its current projects and calls for volunteers (known as Community Catalysts) in today’s Showcase and Preview Event.

2017 will mark the 10th year of KCCI’s volunteer-driven efforts to execute projects aimed to enhance the community’s sense of place and spur economic development. The newest class of Community Catalysts will bring #IHeartTally to life by designing, implementing and promoting a life-sized, 3-D representation of the #IHeartTally hashtag. The letters will find their first home in the “SOMO” (South Monroe) area between Florida A&M University, Florida State University and the Florida Capitol. The team will then identify additional locations for the #IHeartTally letters.

“The South Monroe district is evolving into an area that has huge potential for positive growth,” said Betsy Couch, KCCI executive director. “This project will help further define the district as a while involving a variety of people and businesses.”

The project will engage a cross-section of citizens and involve public and private partners. For the 2017 project, approximately 12 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 this self-sustaining project that helps build Tallahassee’s sense of place. The application cycle for the 2017 program year begins today and closes Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. Those interested in serving as Community Catalysts can apply via KCCI’s web site in the Get Involved Section.

Past KCCI successes include:

  • The KCCI Get Gaines Going team worked with the City of Tallahassee to revitalize Gaines Street and push the development timetable up by 11 years. Thus, Gaines Street now has its own distinct “sense of place” and has become an economic development engine and asset for Tallahassee. $11 million invested since 2011 by the CRA in large-project incentives to support major redevelopment projects in the Gaines Street area and these funds have resulted in approximately $195.8 million in private investment, most of which is expended locally.
  • The KCCI Cultivate Cascades team conducted research on Cascades Park, pushed for a more extensive amphitheater, and collaborated with community partners to develop Discovery, a unique playscape for children. Thus far more than 28,349 people have attended paid concerts in the amphitheater. Economic Impact of Avett Brothers alone was $620,200. In addition, the total economic impact for Word of South Festival 2016, which took place in Cascades Park, was $871,700. On any given day, you will see a variety of people enjoying Discovery at Cascades Park.
  • The Identify Tallahassee team enhanced sense of place while instilling civic pride in current and future residents in the Midtown area. The team created the Midtown Action Plan, which was used as the basis for including a large scale Midtown placemaking project as part of the Blueprint sales tax extension including the Midtown Plaza. The project includes a number of key improvements that total $22 million.
  • The SeeTallahassee team created the #SeeTallahassee campaign, which will include sense-of-place murals, a unique, stylized artisanal map in print and digital form (see it at the Tallahassee International Airport), and an interactive website that will provide information about area locations, features and events. Guidance and involvement from partners like COCA are helping turn the #SeeTallahassee campaign into a reality. To download your free version of the artistic map, visit the See Tallahassee project page here. 

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 Associates Family Dentistry, Charlie Johnson, WilliamsGautier Law Firm, and Target Copy. To become a sponsor or learn more about KCCI, visit