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Shawn Dunwoody, an artist from Rochester, NY, is scheduled to present the keynote address at the upcoming Regional Neighborhood Network Conference (RNNC) in Fort Wayne.

This year’s RNNC is set for September 19-21, 2019 and is hosted by the City of Fort Wayne. The theme is “Play in the Fort,” with an emphasis on how recreation, arts, culture and social interaction can help transform neighborhoods.

Shawn DunwoodyDunwoody will speak during Friday’s luncheon about how art can instill pride and help revitalize neighborhoods. A multi-disciplinary creative force for change, Dunwoody uses art to promote urban development and offer residents a new perspective about not only their neighborhoods but also their lives. Dunwoody is perhaps most famous for the Fruit Belt project, in which five teens worked with the artist to install murals throughout their urban Rochester neighborhoods. More information is available at: https://www.dunwoode.design.

The Fort Wayne organizing committee is planning an event filled with outstanding learning opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to take various guided tours throughout Fort Wayne’s neighborhoods. The tours will offer a look at historic neighborhoods, the Electric Works development, housing and urban development in southeast Fort Wayne, innovative parks and recreation programs, a tour of local breweries and more.

Workshop topics include: promoting safe neighborhoods, improving urban housing, public art, marketing and social media for neighborhoods, volunteer recruitment, working with diverse populations, neighborhood recreation programs and more.

Cost for the conference is only $150 (rates increase to $175 after September 1). This provides access to keynote speakers, workshops, tours and full meals from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon. The link to register can be found at RNNConference.com.

The City of Fort Wayne is able to keep the conference fees low for attendees thanks to a generous gift from The Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. Other sponsors include Parkview Health, Ruoff Home Mortgage, Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalizations Fund LLC, Faegre Baker Daniels, NIPSCO, Comcast, Anthem, Black & Veatch, Rothberg Logan Warsco LLP, Flagstar, Upstar, Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, First Federal Bank, the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne TinCaps.