Jillian Finkle joined the Broad Street Regeneration Initiative as the new part-time coordinator in March, 2017. Her job description includes facilitating communication among the three communities and the partnering organizations as well as serving as a liaison between the project and the business community.
Since coming on board, Jillian has begun a new project outreach campaign, staring with a new logo, Facebook Page, website, and a database of interested individuals. She has participated in recent community events, such as Founders Day in Central Falls and Pawtucket Proud Day. Over the next few months she will be visiting businesses along Broad Street and conducting a survey to identify improvements needed in specific locations along the street and assess the public’s priorities for the State Transportation Improvement project.
Jillian comes to Broad Street with almost 20 years of experience in community programming, most recently with the Providence PlayCorps program and the Providence Children’s Museum. Before moving to Rhode Island in 2012, she lived in the Washington, DC area where she worked with several different museums, including the National Children’s Museum, and served as the President of the International Museum Theatre Alliance (IMTAL), and organization that promotes the use of theatre as an effective technique for education and interpretation.
She described the transition from the world of museums, theater, and children’s play to what she calls “placemaking” as a natural evolution based on her connection to Rhode Island. “I absolutely fell in love with this state,” she says. “It drives me crazy when people are negative about Rhode Island. I chose to live here based on everything it has to offer – I literally made a list of what I wanted from a place and Rhode Island has everything. I knew I wanted to make my work about supporting this wonderful place, so I started learning everything I could about planning, tourism, economic development, and this idea of placemaking. This project allows me to use my skills and past experience in new ways.”
As for Broad Street specifically?
“Everyone I’ve met so far has been incredibly warm and welcoming!” she says. “On Broad Street I see beauty, potential and so many people working every day for the good of community. I’m so happy to be a part it!”
Jillian works out of the offices of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and can be reached at (401) 724-2200 or at email@example.com.