Chancellor Black, Mayor Ness Discuss Connections Between City, Businesses, College

By KBJR News 1

July 19, 2012 Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Thursday, Duluth Mayor Don Ness and UMD Chancellor Lendley Black were the speakers for the "Downtown Live" event at the Zeitgeist.

It was part of a new speaker series helping to connect businesses and colleges.

The Mayor and Chancellor discussed progress in bridging gaps between business leaders and students.

The chancellor outlined a few programs and partnerships that have been helping create a closer community.

The chancellor also pointed to the small area plan done in campus area neighborhoods, which the college was involved in developing.

Part of the small area plan includes improving relationships between long-time residents and students amongst its goals.

The college's school of Fine Arts has also been involved in plans for the NorShor Theatre.

The point of the talks is to help create lasting connections.

"It's really just an opportunity to have a great discussion about what's important about building and strengthening those ties between the two entities and between our downtown. How can we get higher education more involved in our downtown community and vice-versa?" said Kristi Stokes of the Greater Downtown Council.

Stokes says she hopes the speaker series will help motivate, educate and inspire business leaders and others in the community.

This was the first of four "Downtown Live" events planned this year.

Future topics include building and growing business here in Duluth.

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