Regional Arts and Culture Planner, PhD
Annis Whitlow Sengupta joined MAPC in 2017 as a Regional Arts and Culture Planner in the Arts and Culture Division to assist with the implementation of the MAPC Arts, Culture, and Planning Initiative – a cross-sector strategy to advance the arts and culture goals in MetroFuture. Annis provides technical planning support on projects such as arts and culture planning, cultural asset mapping, creative placemaking, creative community development, and cultural economic development. She also conducts research on regulations, policies, and programs to strengthen the policy and planning conditions that can help arts and culture to thrive.
Current planning activities include: cultural planning projects including the Arlington Arts and Culture Action Plan, assisting departments and divisions with scoping and implementation of arts and culture elements of projects, and participating in the design of MAPC’s arts and culture-focused professional development program for planners. Annis is also helping establish MAPC’s creative community placemaking practice and generate content for our Arts and Planning Toolkit.
Prior to joining MAPC, Annis worked for over eight years for Community Partners Consultants, a locally based consultancy where she was a Senior Planner. Her clients at Community Partners included municipalities and arts organizations. Her cultural planning expertise includes managing an innovative arts district master planning process in Beverly, Massachusetts and a study of non-profit facilities of public accommodation along the Boston waterfront. Annis earned her PhD from MIT; her dissertation examined culture and public space. Her research reconstructed the history of ethnic parades in Chicago, Illinois and examined how cultural events in public space can build community identity, increase political access, spur design interventions, and promote economic development.
Annis holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Planning and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University. Annis’s doctoral research explored the intersection of community identity and placemaking through ethnic parades in Chicago, Illinois.
Areas of Expertise: Arts and cultural planning, community and land use planning, zoning, visioning and strategy development, relationship building, cultural asset mapping, graphic design, urban design, accessible public participation, and waterfront planning.