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PAA Executive Director selected to attend Arts Executive Leadership Forum

Bartow, Florida – Meri Mass, Executive Director of the Polk Arts Alliance, has been selected to represent Polk County and participate in the intensive 2014 Americans for the Arts Local Arts Advancement Executive Leadership Forum at Sundance Resort and Preserve in Utah September 16 – 20th.

A select cohort of 21 arts agency leaders from the U.S. and Canada have been selected to take part in this year’s Forum. Representatives are from Florida to Vancouver, BC.

The Agenda will be an intensive 4 day interactive Leadership Forum beginning with updates from the President of Americans for the Arts, Robert Lynch to guest speakers that are leaders in their fields addressing and work-shopping Cultural Arts issues in communities. Topics include:

  • Community Sustainability Through the Cultural Arts: Successful Case Studies
  • Community Relations and Urban Marketing
  • Arts and Technology as a Strategic approach to Community Building and Education

Speakers include: Bill O’Brien, Senior Advisor, National Endowment for the Arts; Kerry Adams- Hapner, Cultural Affairs Director, City of San Jose; Nigel Jacop, chair, Mayors Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston; Clay Lord, VP Local Arts Advancement Americans for the Arts; David Grant, former President/CEO of the Geraldine Dodge Foundation: Robert Lynch President, Americans for the Arts


Robert Redford, President and Founder, Sundance Institute, just to name a few!

Meri Mass said “I am very excited to have been selected to participate in this groundbreaking forum of an elite group of my peers in this industry and to represent Polk County as the designated Local Arts Agency. This is taking place at the most opportune time for the Cultural Arts community in our County.  With the newly formed Lakeland Mayors Council on the Arts and the other cities that have formed arts councils (Winter Haven, Davenport and Lake Wales). I look forward to working as a united group to promote the arts and build community sustainability. It is exciting and encouraging that the Creative Industries is being recognized as a major sector for employment as well as a tourism asset here. I look forward to returning with learned experiences and knowledge to bring back to Polk County.”

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