Todd Swanstrom knows the value of communities working together. He is, after all, the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Swanstrom put that title to work recently when he met with leaders at more than 30 St. Louis Community Development Corporations to help facilitate collaboration.

CDCs are nonprofit community-based organizations that work on a variety of initiatives related to housing, commercial development and youth programming.

Leaders from those CDCs will continue to gather at UMSL over the next few months for “Community Development Corporations: What’s Working in St. Louis Neighborhoods,” a series of conversations to explore how they are making a difference in their neighborhoods. The third session, “Focus on Art as a Revitalization Tool,” will be from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday (March 7) in 202 J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center at UMSL.

Panelists will include Mel Watkin, director of the Public Policy Research Center Photography Project at UMSL; Sister Mary Ann Nestel, executive director at Carondelet Housing Corporation; and Charlie Vinz, of Rebuild Foundation. Swanstrom will lead the discussion.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Lot C.

Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches. Beverages will be provided.

“Community Development Corporations: What’s Working in St. Louis Neighborhoods” is part of the UMSL Community Partnership Project’s Brown Bag Series. The final session will be “Focus on Youth and Summer Programs” on April 4.

Call 314-516-6392 or e-mail for more information.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz