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8 Next Generation of Parks Lectures to Revisit This Fall

As we await the opening of our 2022-2023 Next Generation of Parks Event Series on Tuesday, November 29 with Dr. Nisha Botchwey: Making Healthy Places, we are excited to take a look back and celebrate the amazing depth and breadth of this integral series. Here are eight enlightening lectures to revisit from the Next Generation of Parks Event Series.

#1. Maurice Cox, Re-creating Detroit
Maurice Cox is a nationally renowned planner and practitioner of democratic design and citizen planning. As Planning Director for the City of Detroit, Cox is leading a dramatic transformation that finds parks and public space at the intersection of design and social justice. Called the “Champion of the Neighborhoods,” Cox is a convener, who helps community members understand that it’s possible to change the world through design. In this presentation, Cox shared his compelling story of creative community engagement in Detroit and about the future of the Twin Cities and how we shape it together. This presentation was recorded live on November 4, 2016 and features a post-presentation interview by Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams.

#2. Gia Biagi, Urbanism & Civic Impact
As Principal of Urbanism for Studio Gang, Gia Biagi is always thinking about civic architecture. She sees the role of parks designer as that of convener, and a source of empathy in times of change who can “meet the community where they are.” Biagi spoke about her work on Polis Station and the Civic Commons. This event also features Minnesota Public Radio’s Stephanie Curtis, and Sam Ero-Phillips, Tatiyana Gross, and Lanijah Warfield-Wright from Juxtaposition Arts.

#3. Lily Yeh, Barefoot Artists
Lily Yeh, is a compassionate and charismatic visual artist, sculptor, and activist whose community art projects have transformed the lives of thousands of people from North Philadelphia, to Rwanda, and Beijing. As she seeks to reconcile decades of social injustice, Yeh’s practice of using art and beauty to heal can provide us with a roadmap to common ground. On March 22, 2018, Yeh spoke to a crowd of 300 people at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. This event also features Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, Tom Evers, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Stephanie Curtis

#4. Robert Hammond, The High Line
Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the High Line returns to Minneapolis nine years after his first talk at the Walker about New York’s High Line Park. Hammond reflects on the innovative park’s phenomenal story, including its impact on the community and how the High Line experience is influencing prominent adaptive reuse parks projects from Atlanta to Los Angeles. This live recording was made on March 21, 2019 during Hammond’s talk at the Walker Art Center. The event also features Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, Tom Evers, Executive Director at the Walker Art Center, Mary Ceruti, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Senior Reporter, Brandt Williams.

#5. Dr. Robert Zarr, The Parks Prescription
Dr. Robert Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care, located in Washington, DC, where he cares for low-income and immigrant populations. He is the founder and medical director of Washington D.C.-based Park Rx America, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families to prevent and treat chronic disease and promote wellness. In this presentation, Dr. Zarr shares his groundbreaking approach to chronic disease managements with parents, teachers, caregivers, nature lovers, wellness-seekers, and community health advocates. This live recording was made on May 7, 2019 during Zarr’s talk at the Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Regional Park. The event also features Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, Tom Evers, the Executive Director of The Loppet Foundation, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Alisa Roth.

#6. Michael J. Silver, Parks and Public Spaces: What’s Next?
One of the most acclaimed urban planners in the United States, Commissioner Silver brings his characteristic humor and insight to this presentation featuring some of the parks under transformation in New York and shares the value of inclusion, planning for a new future, and thinking about who truly benefits from parks. This live recording was made on October 10th, 2019 during Silver’s talk at the University of Minnesota College of Design Ralph Rapson Hall. The event also features Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, Tom Evers, Senior Planner at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, Carrie Ann Christensen, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Correspondent, Brandt Williams.

#7. Dr. Marla Spivak. Parks and Pollinators
A MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Marla Spivak is a McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota, where her research focuses on protecting and enhancing the health and diversity of bees. In this talk at the Walker Art Center on February 27, 2020, she discussed her globally renowned research into the demise of honeybees and efforts to restore native and honeybee populations through pollinator-promoting parks and urban landscapes.

#8. Adam Regn Arvidson, “Wild and Rare”
Adam Regn Arvidson traveled throughout Minnesota and as far afield as Texas to tell the story of the Upper Midwest’s endangered flora and fauna. More than a catalog of 10 iconic species – including lilies, mussels, plovers, roseroot, butterflies, lynx, orchids, and wolves – Adam’s Wild and Rare (MN Historical Society Press, 2018) is an exploration of the ways in which humans are knowingly and unknowingly interconnected with the natural world. Arvidson is currently the Director of Strategic Planning at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. This video is a live recording from our opening night of the 2020 – 2021 Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series, presented virtually on Zoom.

Don’t forget to register here for our 2022-2023 opening event on Tuesday, November 29, 7pm at the Mill City Museum with Dr. Nisha Botchwey. Botchwey will explore her work surrounding the interplay between our built and natural environments and individual and community health.

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