The Hance Park Conservancy has announced the selection of Marcia Karasek, MLA, as its Executive Director.
“Great cities need great public parks, and public great parks help make great cities. Marcia understands what that means for Phoenix. We are very pleased to have her energetic and visionary leadership.” says Tim Sprague, Hance Park Conservancy’s President.
The 32 acre Hance Park, also known as the Deck Park, is an iconic public open space that can serve not only Phoenix’s growing and vibrant downtown community, but also be a centrally located point of civic pride for the whole city. The redesign of this urban park is key to the emerging identity of Phoenix as a new, open and attractive city. Community and business leaders support Hance Park as an expression of pride of place and recognize its significance as a driver for economic development. Surrounded by some of our greatest cultural institutions, Hance Park creates a new platform for participation in arts, culture and public life.
Marcia Karasek has been paying attention to public spaces and the power of collaboration for over two decades. She earned a degree from Georgetown University in Development Economics and obtained her Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. She brings a diverse background and skillset to enable the Conservancy to enliven the park and provide the private resources to build it. As a business development professional for over a decade, past board member of the Phoenix Community Alliance, and downtown resident, she knows her way around downtown Phoenix leadership and will not be shy in inviting participation from the private sector.
“The Conservancy exists to bring people, leaders and resources into alignment to achieve a greater purpose than we could otherwise, “ says Karasek. “The redesigned park will welcome arts, cultural, education, youth, health and civic activities that can only take place with this kind of infrastructure and organizational support.”
There are many examples of park conservancies whose public-private partnerships galvanize resources and offer engagement tools — from the redevelopment of the Highline Park in Lower Manhattan — to the creation of the KlydeWarren deck park in Dallas, the conservancy model has been proven successful.
The Hance Park Conservancy was established in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with offices in the Ellis-Shackelford House on the park.
“Hance Park can become a key venue for cultural and entertainment programming as well as a destination in its own right – the kind of public space that is integral to every thriving urban core in the country.”