In the Loop
Press Release : Mar 30, 2017

The University of Florida, City of Gainesville and Alachua County to align strategic initiatives through the arts

Gainesville, Fla., March 30, 2017 — The University of Florida (UF) is spearheading a project to gather creative initiatives that will harmonize the strategic development of the UF Campus with the City of Gainesville. The project seeks to align UF’s 2016 Strategic Development Plan with the City of Gainesville and Alachua County government’s 352Arts Roadmap project along with the City’s 2015 Strategic Plan and economic and revitalization efforts.

From March – August 2017, 10 leaders from UF and 10 leaders from the local community governments will engage in discussions about big ideas, with creativity as the catalyst, that would be more impactful if approached collaboratively. Committee members include the following individuals:

Lucinda Lavelli – Dean, UF College of the Arts

Anthony Kolenic – Assistant Dean, UF College of the Arts

Doug Jones – Director, Florida Museum of Natural History

Brian Jose – Director, UF Performing Arts

Rebecca Nagy – Director, Harn Museum of Art

Maria Rogal – Interim Director, UF School of Art + Art History

Judith Russell – Dean, UF University Libraries

Linda Dixon - Director of Planning, University of Florida

Tina Gurucharri – Chair, UF Architecture Landscape

Brandon McKinley – Student, UF School of Music

Megan Echols – Planner, City of Gainesville

Forrest Eddleton – Planner, City of Gainesville

Anthony Lyons – City Manager, City of Gainesville

Russell Etling – Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Gainesville

Michelle Park – Assistant Director, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, City of Gainesville

Samantha Wolfe – Senior Strategic Planner, City of Gainesville

Sarah Vidal-Finn – Director, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency

Andrew Meeker – Project Manager, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency

Michael Fabiano – Mobiquity, Inc. and Economic Development and Innovation Office

Anne E. Gilroy – Artist and Curator

The committee, guided by 352Arts Roadmap consultant Diane Mataraza, seek to answer the following questions:

Which projects could synergistically address the key objectives of all plans?

Which projects would yield results greater than a single partner could achieve alone?

Which projects could optimize each partner’s resources and potentially leverage outside resources?

Which projects could be game changers for Gainesville yielding impacts that would be unique and inspirational on a national stage?

“Our goal is to have a positive synergistic effect on our shared community through working together to develop a plan to present to UF's COO Charlie Lane that uses our collective resources to better our community for a brighter and more creative tomorrow,” said UF College of the Arts Dean Lucinda Lavelli, who serves as the chair of the committee.

The committee invites the public to be a part of these discussions at several town hall meetings. These town hall meetings will be held on April 11 from 2-3:30 pm at the UF School of Music, Room 101, April 24 from 4-5:30 pm at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, May 2 from 5:30-7 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center, and May 3 from 3:30-5 pm and 5:30-7 pm at the Thomas Center.

To RSVP for the Town Hall events, please click the link below on the date you'd like to attend:

Tuesday, April 11, 2-3:30 pm

Monday, April 24, 4-5:30 pm

Tuesday, May 2, 5:30-7 pm

Wednesday, May 3, 3:30-5 pm

Wednesday, May 3, 5:30-7 pm

Following the town hall meetings, the public’s contributions will be presented in a report to the committee for final deliberation. Any ideas from the public that are agreed upon and approved will be included with supporting data in the project plan, which will include top priorities and big ideas. The project plan is expected to be completed by Mataraza in July 2017.

About the College of the Arts

The College of the Arts, previously known as the College of Fine Arts, is one the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three fully-accredited schools — the School of Art and Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre and Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and more than 1,220 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact:

Allison Alsup

Public Relations & Partnerships Specialist