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UCA to Host 29th Annual Community Development Institute | Arts & Culture

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UCA to Host 29th Annual Community Development Institute

CONWAY, Ark. (UCA) - Elected officials and community leaders from across the mid-south will meet at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) campus on August 3-6 to participate in the annual Community Development Institute (CDI).  Taking place in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, the institute promises to be a rewarding learning experience for participants.

Participants will be involved in engaging class simulations, instructor led presentations, community tours and group discussions. A poverty simulation and offsite tours of the Hendrix Village in Conway and the Argenta District in North Little Rock are some of the highlights of the week. Additionally, program alumni will engage in an in-depth, accelerated community development process by working with community leaders from Heber Springs, Arkansas for several days.

Participants will also get the chance to learn creative economic development strategies from community and economic development experts. National award winning community developer Wendy Benscoter will be the CDI keynote speaker on Thursday, August 6. Benscoter will share insights behind the success of her creative placemaking efforts in Shreveport, Louisiana. Newly appointed Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Mike Preston, will close CDI with a discussion on his vision for the future of economic development and how Arkansas is competitively positioned in the global economy.

Amy Whitehead, CDI Director, said, “Our goal for each CDI is to bring the best speakers to UCA and create an exciting learning environment for our participants. This aligns with the university’s mission of lifelong learning and public service, and contributes to the university’s regional economic development impact. When leaders complete the institute, they are positioned to grow their local economy and improve the quality of life for all citizens.”

The Community Development Institute Central, established in 1987 at the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, Arkansas, trains community and economic development professionals from Arkansas and surrounding states. The complete CDI experience is a three year training program, with one week of training per year.

For more information about CDI or to register for CDI, visit uca.edu/cdi, or contact Josh Markham at 501-450-3460 or cdi@uca.edu.