TALLAHASSEE, FL - The Knight Creative Communities Institute is seeking volunteers to help strengthen Tallahassee's economy.
Thirty new "community catalysts" will be selected to work together with local leaders and advocates to develop projects aimed at diversifying Tallahassee's economy beyond government and education. Members of the first Knight Creative Class were responsible for producing the Tallahassee Film Festival, the environmental group Sustainable Tallahassee and the Get Gaines Going Initiative to turn the street into an arts and entertainment district.
"With the success of the pilot initiative, we saw that the community identifies with our mission of creating a sense of place in Tallahassee," said Mike Pate, Tallahassee program director for the Knight Foundation. "With the current budget crisis hurting the engine that has driven Tallahassee for so long, we have a unique opportunity to reshape and influence the city's economic future."
Catalysts will combine the work of renowned social theorist Richard Florida with survey data and community dialogue to devise new ways to help the city's economy grow. The volunteers will begin by participating in a three-day training seminar and continue to meet over the course of a year.
"We're looking for people with all kinds of expertise, experience and connections," explained Laurie Hartsfield, executive director of the institute, which is based at Tallahassee Community College. "Creative individuals who want to make a difference and have a passion for making Tallahassee a more viable community are encouraged to apply."
Applicants must live in Tallahassee or in the immediate surrounding areas.
"Community transformation is the institute's, and Knight Foundation's, ultimate goal," Pate said. "We're encouraged by our successes so far, and expect the new catalysts to generate at least three or four innovative projects of their own."
According to former catalyst Gloria Pugh, CEO of A.M.W.A.T. Moving & Warehousing, "The Knight Creative Communities Institute is a great tool for awakening a community's civic spirit and providing an opportunity to get involved."
"I believe this effort will play a major role in helping Tallahassee attract industry and talent alike for years to come," added former catalyst Stacey Getz, vice president of communications & external relations for the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend.
Applications will be accepted beginning July 15th through 5 p.m. Aug. 14th. For more information about the institute or to apply to become a community catalyst, please visit www.Tallahassee.com/kcci or contact Laurie Hartsfield at (850) 201-6442.
KCCI is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For more information about the Knight Foundation, please contact Mike Pate, program director for Tallahassee, at (850) 915-0258.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
About Tallahassee Community College's Center for Workforce Development
The Knight Creative Communities Institute is part of the Tallahassee Community College's Center for Workforce Development. TCC's Center for Workforce Development reaches out to the Big Bend community by offering customized courses and services to enhance employees' careers, programs to improve business effectiveness, and support for returning adult learners. Tallahassee Community College is an open admission community college serving 25,000 students annually.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.