Knight Foundation’s Carol Coletta to kick off Fuel the Fire Speaker Series on Aug. 28

Wichita, Kan. - 8/21/2014 -  The Fuel the Fire Speaker Series begins Aug. 28 with Carol Coletta, Vice President of Community and National Initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The series, which is designed to engage the community in conversations revolving around national trends, will focus on the topics of talent, opportunity, and place to competitively position Wichita for the future. The Wichita Community Foundation, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce have partnered to make this series possible.

“The Wichita Community Foundation is proud to bring Carol Coletta of the Knight Foundation to Wichita for Fuel the Fire,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “Carol’s insight into the importance of developing and sustaining talent in cities is vital to the over-arching concept of the speaker series. WCF’s continued partnership with the Knight Foundation has provided our city with the opportunity to grow and thrive in an ever-changing economy.”

Coletta, who joined Knight Foundation in 2013, is an expert on the development of cities.

Coletta was director of ArtPlace, a unique public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the United States. ArtPlace brings together leading private foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, other federal agencies and major banks.

For seven years, Coletta was president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders. Previously, she served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and also ran a Memphis-based public affairs consulting firm, Coletta & Company, focused on civic issues.

Coletta has written and spoken extensively on the future of cities, including how communities develop, attract and retain talent.

In 2003, Coletta was named a Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami School of Architecture. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with majors in Journalism and Public Issues Management and has completed graduate work in future studies at the University of Houston Clear Lake and in design at the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Coletta‘s keynote, which is free and open to the public, is on Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. at The LUX (120 E. 1st St. N.). For additional details, and to RSVP, visit