The Robins Project welcomes The New School and Kent State University students to begin design collaboration

For immediate release Feb. 18, 2015

WARREN — This weekend will kick-off the second year of a partnership between The Robins Project and The New School in New York City.  Students will be visiting the city and speaking with residents to better understand how the restoration of Robins Theater space may serve as a catalyst to revitalize Warren.

The Robins Project is a grassroots effort to restore the former Robins Theater space, which has been long-identified as a catalyst for local growth.  Last year students from The New School Urban Collaborative (Milano Finance Lab + Parsons School of Design Strategies) proposed ideas for what they deem an Integral City.  Their plans included financing options and proposals for how the now vacant Robins building could be used, as well as design interventions to create a more vibrant downtown.  Last summer, one of the recommended strategies, Commons Fest, was debuted on August 16th at Courthouse Square.  The festival was intended as a reclamation of “the commons”, in which citizens participated in hands-on learning activities sponsored by area nonprofits, to introduce them to changemakers within the community, thus presenting an opportunity for future involvement.

This year’s partnership has expanded to include Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.  The visiting students will connect with architecture majors from Kent State University, who will be generating ideas for vacant lots in the Garden District.

Both groups of students will imagine a number of interventions and design strategies for downtown Warren through community engagement and participatory research methods.  Similar to last year, The Robins Project hopes to implement some of the recommended strategies this summer. The collaboration between the New School Urban Collaborative and Warren will map a long-term strategy and capacity for community development, while advancing a new understanding of integrated design and community finance that supports further work in the community development field.

Residents of the central city and others interested in the project are encouraged to attend an interactive discussion and design charrette with The New School and Kent State students from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 21  at the YWCA Warren, 375 North Park Ave, in which Garden District strategies will be discussed.

The Robins Project is a grassroots effort to restore the former Robins Theater space.  If you are interested in becoming involved in the partnership between The Robins Project and The New School, please consider joining our Special Projects Committee.  The organizers of the project are currently seeking working group members to join the following committees:  Renovation, Marketing and Public Relations, Volunteers Outreach and Management, Fundraising and Development, Special Projects, and Research.

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