Is Bill Strickland Coming to Halifax?

March 16th, 2009   •   Comments Off on Is Bill Strickland Coming to Halifax?   

According to a December 2008 article in Miller-McCune magazine, Halifax is on Bill Strickland’s list of cities where he is planning on creating a Manchester/Bidwell-like facility. In fact, local rumour has it that Bill has already been to visit, and has been discussing his plans with some of Halifax’s movers and shakers.

If there was ever a time for Halifax to put out the welcome mat, this surely must be it. If there ever was a great campaign to get behind – the “bring Bill Strickland to Halifax” campaign would be the one.

Not sure who Bill Strickland is? He’s one of those quiet heroes who you don’t hear enough about. Bill is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG), and Bidwell Training Center (BTC). He is a visionary leader who provides educational and cultural opportunities to disadvantaged students and adults within an organizational culture that fosters innovation, creativity, responsibility and integrity.

Manchester Craftmen’s Guild Guild began as an after-school arts program in a donated rowhouse that Bill Strickland secured while still a college student at the University of Pittsburgh. Today, Manchester Bidwell is a national model for education, culture and hope.

MCG Youth & Arts and MCG Jazz are programs of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. MCG Youth serves 3,900 youth annually through classes and workshops in ceramics, photography, digital imaging and design art. MCG Arts gives students a chance to work with visiting national and international artists through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, residencies and school visits. MCG Jazz is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz music, and has become an anchor of Pittsburgh’s cultural and community life. Bidwell Training Center provides market-driven career education created through partnerships with local industries. The center offers accredited Associates Degree and diploma programs in fields as varied as culinary arts, chemical laboratory technologies, health careers, horticulture and office technology.

Have I mentioned that these programs are all designed to serve marginalized and disadvantaged youth, single moms living on social assistance and individuals living in the cycle of poverty?

Bill Strickland hopes to persuade 200 cities around the world to replicate his arts, education and job-training program. Persuade? No city should need persuasion – we should be begging Bill to bring his innovative and collaborative model here – and to teach us how we can help.

You can read more about Bill Strickland here:
http://www.bill-strickland.org/index.html

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