WHAT:           31st Annual Community Development Institute

WHEN:           Monday, July 31 – Friday, Aug. 4, 2017

WHERE:         University of Central Arkansas

WHO:             Center for Community and Economic Development

University of Central Arkansas’s Center for Community and Economic Development invites the media to attend the following activities during the 31st Annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the main campus in Conway.

  • Ben Muldrow “The Power of Place,” Thursday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m.
  • Living on the Edge: A Poverty Simulation, Thursday, Aug. 3 from 2:30-4:00 p.m.
  • Awards Ceremony, Friday, Aug. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

All events will take place in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center on campus.

For more information, contact Amy Whitehead at 501-852-2930 or amyw@uca.edu.


Ben Muldrow, keynote speaker, will address the “The Power of Place” and the role of creative placemaking, ways communities can grow their economies by capitalizing on creativity and the role that community branding plays in the revitalization process. Muldrow is a partner with Arnett Muldrow & Associates in Greenville, South Carolina. As the community-branding strategist, he helps communities develop and build new identities through hands-on assessment, strategic planning and innovative implementation. More than 450 communities have benefitted from Muldrow’s award-winning community branding systems, which are recognized for their ability to combine strategic planning, brand development, interactive marketing, public relations and social media capabilities to yield impressive results for communities.

Living on the Edge: A Poverty Simulation is not a game but an experiential exercise that allows participants to view poverty from different angles. The poverty simulation is intended to move community leaders to think about the harsh realities of poverty and to talk about how communities can address the problem. The simulation is a unique, interactive experience that helps people begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress.

The five-day training session will conclude with a special graduation and awards ceremony. A progressive leader from the Conway community will receive the Bill Miller Award in recognition for longstanding leadership and support of CDI, and two organizations will be honored with the Friend of Community Development Award for demonstrating strong support for community development in Arkansas.

The Community Development Institute, established in 1987 at UCA, trains community and economic development professionals from Arkansas and surrounding states. The complete CDI experience is a three-year training program, with five days of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.