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Celebrating 20 years of service in Boston!

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Placemaking: The Evolution of the Boston Latin Quarter—Placemaking in Action

Hyde Sq Latin Quarter

Boston Latin Quarter dance event.

Image: Courtesy of Hyde Square Task Force

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the October 28 Placemaking meeting has been postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Boston's Latin Quarter was established as a state-designated cultural district to recognize its historic and current significance as a hub of the city's Latinx community. Join the leaders of this effort, Courtney Sharpe of the City of Boston’s Cultural Office, Celina Miranda of the Hyde Square Task Force, and Annis Whitlow Sengupta of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The panelists will discuss the formation of the district with a focus on the architectural environment as well as planning opportunities and challenges. Our behind the scenes look will include insights on grant funding for placemaking initiatives and feature clips from a 2019 documentary that narrates the story of the Latin Quarter.

1.5 LU AIA credits are available

Celina Miranda is executive director of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), a youth development organization located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Before joining HSTF in August of 2016, she was senior program officer at the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, where she managed grants in education and economic mobility. Prior to the Smith Family Foundation, Celina
was vice president and charitable giving manager for BNY Mellon Public Affairs office in New England. Among her accomplishments at BNY Mellon she is most proud of her leadership role in the development of a multi-year initiative focused on youth aging out of foster care. Celina began her career in philanthropy at The Hyams Foundation, where she managed grants and provided leadership on initiatives in the teen development area. Celina is a trustee of the Rutland Corner
Foundation and an adjunct lecturer at Boston University School of Social Work in macro practice. Celina holds a BA from Smith College in Latin American Literature and Latin American Studies, and a MSW and EdM from Boston University. Celina also holds a PhD in Social Work and Sociology from Boston University. Her dissertation research looked at the integration of positive youth development in community-based organizations.

Annis Whitlow Sengupta, Assistant Director of Arts and Culture, joined the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in 2017 with the launch of the Arts & Culture Department at the agency. Annis has helped build the department’s core areas of technical planning support including arts and culture planning, cultural district planning, cultural asset mapping, creative placemaking, creative community development, and cultural economic development. Her current projects include a creative placemaking project for the Downtown Lynn Cultural District in Lynn, Massachusetts that will culminate in public art and a creative placemaking strategy. She also recently completed a cultural district plan for Boston’s Latin Quarter, which brought together an interdisciplinary team with together an interdisciplinary team with expertise in cultural planning, community engagement and economic development. Prior to joining MAPC, Annis worked for over eight years for CommunityPartners Consultants, a locally based consultancy where she was a Senior Planner. Her clients at Community Partners included municipalities and arts organizations. Her cultural planning expertise includes managing an innovative arts district master planning process in Beverly, Massachusetts, and a study of non-profit facilities of public accommodation along the Boston waterfront. Annis holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Planning and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University.

Courtney D. Sharpe, Director of Cultural Planning for the City of Boston, is an urban planner who focuses on advancing equitable access to resources in communities. Prior to becoming the Director of Planning for the Office of Arts and Culture, she served at the Boston Planning and Development Agency as the Senior Planner for Back Bay, Roxbury and Mattapan. In graduate school she co-chaired the inaugural Black in Design Conference and was an Innovation Fellow and Innovation Field Lab Coordinator at the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Prior to living in Boston she worked for the federal government with General Services Administration, assisted with immigrant rights as an AmeriCorps member in Chicago, and taught English and Arts as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Courtney has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Religion with a minor in Asian American Studies from Northwestern University. She received her Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she specialized in Urban Governance and Social Justice.

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