Learn About KCCI Tallahassee!


KCCI’s History

The Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) develops projects that aim to enhance Tallahassee’s economic vitality and attract and retain talent by building a stronger “sense of place” in Florida’s capital city. Each year, KCCI recruits and trains a diverse group of community members, called Community Catalysts, to design and implement projects that would improve Tallahassee’s “sense of place.”

The following highlights KCCI’s history:

2007 – Knight Foundation Launches KCCI – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in partnership with renowned economist Richard Florida, launched the Knight Creative Communities Institute to enhance Tallahassee’s ability to attract and retain young talent.

2008 – Tallahassee Film Festival – The Tallahassee Film Festival aims to showcase regional and national accomplishments in film. Today, the festival has evolved into the Tallahassee Film/Art/Music Experience, greatly expanding its scope. Catalyst Team: Chucha Barber, Jeanne Curtain, Andrea Oliver, Gloria Pugh, April Salter

2008 – Get Gaines Going – With the help of government and community partners, the Get Gaines Going team speeded up the redevelopment of Gaines Street by 11 years. Today the once-blighted district is booming with housing development and commercial activity. Catalyst Team: Lester Abberger, Sheila Costigan, Allison DeFoor, Bryan Desloge, Bradford Lewis, TJ Lewis, Bill Moor, Gloria Pugh

2008 – Sustainable Tallahassee – Established as KCCI’s “Greenovation” program, Sustainable Tallahassee continues to play a key role in the city’s efforts to be an economically and environmentally sustainable destination. Catalyst Team: Kathy Bartlett, Bill Berlow, Nolia Brandt, David Byrne, Frank Mayernick, Mike McManus, Mark O’Bryant, Todd Sperry

2009 – Explore Outdoors – The Explore Outdoors team worked with Visit Tallahassee to expand interest in outdoor activities in the Tallahassee area. Catalyst Team: Betsy Barfield, Crystal Green, James Lewis, Leslie Mille, Casie Reinholt, Gerrie Seay, Doug Wheeler, Sarah Wilson

2009 – Identify Tallahassee – Identify Tallahassee aimed to enhance Tallahassee’s economy through “sense of place” initiatives. Primarily focusing on Midtown, KCCI partnered with the Midtown Merchants Association to develop and implement a plan for long-term improvements in this destination district. As a result, the 5th Avenue Plaza in Midtown opened in 2012. Catalyst Team: Mike Campbell, Cory Couch, Hetal Desai, Jake Kiker, Bill Mattox, Jay Revell, Jenny Robertson

2009 – Talent Lives Here – The Talent Lives Here initiative generated a model for local businesses to develop intern programs for students from Tallahassee’s institutions of higher education. Catalyst Team: Jovita Bakker, John Fleming, Rob Lipscomb, Julie Lovelace, Bruce Sipple, William Smith, Allie VanLandingham, Valerie Wickboldt, Kawana Williams

2009 – Tallahassee Business Resources – Tallahassee Business Resources developed a resource for small businesses to connect with individuals and companies who could help them grow and develop. Catalyst Team: Ronald Baker, Ben Graybar, Shawn Kalbli, Nadia Kamal, Susan Purciau, Kim Smalls, John Webb

2010 – Capital Sports Initiative – This team continues to work with a variety of public and private partners locally and throughout the region to bring a tournament style sports complex to Tallahassee. Catalyst Team: Somnath Chatterjee, Ken Foster, Dia Kuykendall, Cindy Meredith, Jamal Raddar, Leslie Smith, Rob Sniffen, and Adam Watson

2010 – Amp Up Tallahassee – Amp Up Tallahassee brought awareness and provided new venues for local musicians. Catalysts from this initiative also successfully advocated for Midtown’s 5th Avenue Plaza. Catalyst Team: Peggy Bielby, Justin Domer, Jason Moore, Ed Murray, Clayton Randle, Floyd Self, Alyce Lee Stansbury, Meghan Walker

2010 – Southside Sense of Place – The Southside Sense of Place Project worked with government officials to execute the construction of a new streetscape for Palmer Avenue. The improved roadway was unveiled in 2013. Catalyst Team: Nancy Blum-Heintz, Bobby Boone, Nita Jackson, Charlie Johnson, Chiquita McKnight, Jeff Peters, Rob Schiffer, Jenay Sermon, Lauren Shoaf, Enrika Sissle, Alison Voorhees

2011 – Cultivate Cascades – The Cultivate Cascades team yielded research that helped advocate an enhanced vision for downtown’s Cascades Park. The team helped push for an expanded amphitheater and a children’s ‘playscape’ (Discovery). Discovery opened to the public in March 2014. Catalyst Team: Melanie Carr, Betsy Couch, Berneice Cox, LaKendra Cunningham, Rick Frazier, Julz Graham, William Gwaltney, Debbie Huey, Joshua Newman, Paul Rutkovsky, Carly Sinnadurai, Robin Smith, Carlos Torregrosa, John Van Gieson, Andrew Wilcox, Brian Zettle

2011 – Gateway Tallahassee – The Gateway Tallahassee team focused on creating a new gateway into Tallahassee via Monroe Street. Catalyst Team: Jeff Bond, Sarah Duncan, Colleen Dwyer, Edward Fernandez, Joseph Foster, Nancy Mattimore, Sandra Whitehead, Melanie Yeager

2011 – Tallahassee on Two Wheels – The Tallahassee on Two Wheels team successfully advocated for bike lanes on Franklin Blvd. and partnered with the city and county to focus on improving Tallahassee’s bike friendly atmosphere. Catalyst Team: John Elliott, Alan Hanstein, Matt Littlefield, Thomas Philpot, Thomas Proctor Jr.

2012 – SparkTLH – SparkTLH was designed to connect students and young professionals to the Tallahassee community via creative and atypical community projects. SparkTLH features web content, called “Love Notes,” that highlight Tallahassee’s unique charms. Catalyst Team: Caroline Burnette, Ryan Dietz, Barby Moro, Pamela Paultre, Ben Stearns, Maggie Theriot, Robyn Ware

2013 – EllaVate – The EllaVate group advocated aesthetic improvements for Lake Ella such as improved lighting, enhanced landscaping, and the iconic porch swings that populate this popular community destination. Catalyst Team: Debra Amesqua, Brian Bohm, Kevin Matthew Carr, Casey Cook, Cliff Englert, Jamie Fortune, Sarah Howard, Christine Johnson, Laura Lenhart, Casey McKinney, Toby Philpot Jr., Lori Vezina, John Wallace, Michael Wong

2014 – Downtown Sense of Place – The Downtown Sense of Place team launched the Tallahassee Porch Swing Project to place porch swings around the community. They also kicked off “downtown date nights.” The event brought together businesses and hundreds of Tallahassee residents to showcase the diversity of downtown’s appeal. Catalyst Team: Shaunna Boggs, Richard Cassedy, Harrison DuBosar, Brandon Eisaman, Amanda Fliger, Devan Leavins, Brett Leone, James Marshall, John McNeil, Kirsten Nyman, Tom Taylor, Amber Tynan, Rebekka Wade, Mark Winger

2014 – Frenchtown Farmer’s Market – The Frenchtown Heritage Market team worked with partners to create a repetitively held farmer’s market to help resolve the food desert in the Frenchtown area. The weekly farmer’s market kicked off in April 2014. Catalyst Team: Walissa Cobb, Anthony Gaudio, Michelle Gomez, Cat Keen, Geoffrey Miller, Robert Renzi

2014 – Tallahassee Music Week – Tallahassee Music Week aims to showcase regional and national musical talent in traditional and nontraditional venues throughout the city. The festival kicked off in April 2015. Catalyst Team: Dominick Ard’is, Melissa Baniak, Carla DeLoach, Gareth Euridge, Donald Gray, Byron Greene, Max Herrle, Jacqueline Kornegay, C.B. Lorch, Rick Minor, Kyle Phelps, Paul Strickland

2015 – Encompass Tallahassee – To better connect and raise awareness of Tallahassee’s unique districts through way finding, the team created a series of 4 “welcome” murals to help brand the districts and get citizens, students and visitors excited about our city’s hidden gems. They also created an artisanal map and web site to help engage students in the community and more. Check out #SeeTallahassee on Facebook and Instagram (@see_tallahassee). Catalyst Team: Brad Johnson, Stefanie Kiedrowski, Lucas Lindsey, Joe Lowder, Paige Carter-Smith, Fran Conway, Ashley Daniels, Rebekah Dorn, Christine Nieves, Marcus Rhodes, Bob Streater, Alana Taylor, Krishnan Viswanathan, Gayle Webb

2016 – Reimagining Waterworks – Helped activate the unused, 3,000 square-foot Historic Waterworks building by moving the redevelopment timetable up significantly. They obtained community feedback, identified funding sources, researched other historical buildings, developed a property Opportunity Assessment of highest and best use options, and worked with city planning staff and elected officials. City Commission voted December 2016 to move forward with the steps to create a space that results in a sustainable and economically viable enterprise that complements the surrounding area. Catalyst Team: Althemese Barnes, Amy Bradbury, Melissa Franklin, Kevin Graham, Bob Howard, Alissa Lotane, Jessica Lowe- Minor, Serena Moyle, Andi Nelson, Carlos Rey, Rob Rushin, Dorsey Spencer, Wayne Spinks, Matt Tharpe, Melissa VanSickle, Alex Workman




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