Keynote Speakers Added to Rust Belt to Artist Belt III Conference, April 6-7 in Detroit


DETROIT, March 29, 2011 — Rust Belt to Artist Belt III organizers today announced two additions to its already impressive list of keynote speakers.  They will be Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, Director of the Urban Institute’s (UI) Culture, Creativity and Communities Program and Judilee Reed, Executive Director, Leveraging Investment in Creativity (LINC).

Dr. Jackson and Reed will deliver duel opening keynote addresses covering the topic ‘Reasons, Research and Resource to strengthen support for artists’ beginning at 9 a.m. on the first day of the conference, April 6.

With the announcement of their participation, the Rust Belt to Artist Belt III conference now has six keynote addresses during the two-day event, and more than 60 people scheduled to participate for panel discussions and presentations.

“We have put together a dynamic lineup of more than 60 panelists and keynote speakers,” said Matthew Clayson, Director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center.  “Attendees, along with our featured experts, will cultivate a dialogue about the role the creative community plays in developing the new economy of post-industrial cities.  Together we will explore the best practices from around the country and world, and then determined how to implement them here.”

Peter Kageyama, Co-founder of Creative Cities Summit will deliver the 12:30 p.m. keynote address on April 6.  His topic of focus will be ‘Creative Practitioners in Post Industrial Transformation.’

Josh Linkner, CEO of Detroit Ventures Partners and Founder and Chairman of ePrize, LLC will deliver the 12:00 p.m. on April 7.  His topic of focus will be ‘Improve your Business with Creative Practices.’

Closing out the conference on April 7 will be a dual keynote address by Theaster Gates, Director of Arts Program Development and Faculty Artist in Residence at the University of Chicago and Allee Willis, a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award winning artist, songwriter, and director.  Starting at 3:45 p.m. their addresses will focus on ‘The New Image of The Rust Belt City.’

Some of the topics scheduled to be covered during the two-day conference of panels, informative skills building workshops, and facilitated idea generation sessions include:

  • The Creative Supply Chain  and its Ability to Transform Post-Industrial Economies,
  • Supporting Individual Creative Practitioners,
  • Strengthening Creative Businesses,
  • The Creative Economy at Work in Manufacturing and Mass Production,
  • Funding Innovation: Investing in Talent,
  • Rethinking Sustainability: Artist and Designer-Led Approaches,
  • Feral and Virtual Space to Fuel Creativity,
  • The Power of Race in Placemaking and Community Development, and
  • Edgy Practices: Creatives Making their Mark.

To see the conference schedule, the complete list of speakers, and register to attend the conference visit  The registration fee is $80, and includes:

  • Entry to the official Rust Belt to Artist Belt III Kick-off event, April 5th, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Location to be determined.
  • Entry to the Art X Detroit Opening Reception – April 6th, 5:30-11:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Detroit (MOCAD) (While supplies last)
  • Entry to the official Rust Belt to Artist Belt III Closing Reception, Thursday, April 7th, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Dalgleish Showroom at 6160 Cass Avenue.
  • Provided with breakfast and lunch each day of the conference.