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041118 Made in SM courtesy

The "Made in Santa Maria" symposium will bridge the community and arts consultants to explore best practices in the emerging creative economy.

Contributed photo by Hancock College

A daylong symposium at Hancock College will focus on connecting notable arts consultants with art educators, students and community members for a conversation on "placemaking" and best practices in the emerging creative economy.

"Made in Santa Maria" will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in Building M, Room 310, at Hancock's Santa Maria campus. The event will explore the idea of "placemaking," or how art can help a community tell its story and define what makes a place a place. Guest speakers will discuss community identity, inclusiveness, equity and economic vitality.

The symposium was conceived by Amiko Matsuo, a 3-D art and ceramics professor at Hancock, after she received a "Doing What Matters: Faculty Entrepreneurship Champion" mini-grant from the California Community College’s Economic and Workforce Development program. Matsuo's background as a ceramic artist and translator for an art festival that focused on rural revitalization spurred her interest in how art and artists define the identity of places.

Artist Sarah Filley, who serves as the CEO and co-founder of Popuphood, an Oakland-based business incubator that consults with cities to revitalize neighborhoods by connecting artists and entrepreneurs with vacant retail spaces, will deliver the symposium's keynote address.

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The public is invited to engage in discussions with the local makers community, art teachers from the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Hancock faculty and students and other local artists, arts leaders and arts instructors during the symposium. 

A free art exhibition and reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Santa Maria Business Development Center, 731 S. Lincoln St., in Santa Maria.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga