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NEA’s Jason Schupbach tapped to lead Arizona State University Design School

Architecture News West
Jason Schupbach has been tapped to lead Arizona State University's Design School (Courtesy Arizona State University)
Jason Schupbach has been tapped to lead Arizona State University's Design School (Courtesy Arizona State University)

Jason Schupbach has been selected as the new director of the Design School at Arizona State University’s (ASU) Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Schupbach is considered one of the founding leaders of the national creative placemaking movement and will head to ASU after working as the director of design and creative placemaking programs for the National Endowment of the Arts. At the NEA, Schupbach oversees Our Town and Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, as well as the NEA’s community development-related federal agency collaborations.

President Trump proposed cutting NEA funding entirely earlier this year. The controversial and wide-reaching move has the potential to destabilize the architectural profession and was coupled with a series of other arts- and culture-related budget cuts, including the proposed elimination of the National Endowment of the Humanities and the proposed privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a statement released by ASU, Schupbach explained that “creative placemaking” is “a relatively new name for a very long practice of supporting the role of design and the arts in making great communities,” adding that the approach is often a byproduct of artists and designers engaging with community development groups in order to embed arts and culture in community revitalization projects. Prior to his tenure at the NEA, Schupbach worked as the creative economy director under the governor of Massachusetts and served as director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative aimed at stabilizing and revitalizing communities by creating affordable artists’ space.

Schupbach has also worked for the mayor of Chicago and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in the past. Schupbach received a Bachelor of Science in public health from the University of North Carolina and holds a master’s degree in city planning with an urban design certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Schupbach will begin at ASU on July 3, 2017. For more on ASU, see its website here.

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