Heidi Schmalbach was born in Stockbridge, MA, and spent her formative years in Minneapolis and San Antonio. Before moving to New Orleans in 2012, she spent the last 10 years in Austin with a temporary relocation to West Virginia and Kentucky. Heidi received a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on community and economic development and non profit studies. For the past eight years she has worked in various professional positions in planning, community development, and community arts.
Currently, Heidi is an Associate Director in the Place+Civic Design Department at the Arts Council New Orleans, where she co-directs Y=S, a youth program which integrates social/emotional skill building with a design/build curriculum for young people in New Orleans.
Heidi's academic interests center around the role of art, creativity, and collaborative placemaking in the making and re-making of urban spaces that further social, spatial, and aesthetic justice. She also teaches yoga times per week and enjoys hanging out with friends, her fiance, and dog, Tucker.
Arts-Based Community Development; Public Interest Design/Planning; DIY/Tactical Urbanism; Social, Spatial, and Aesthetic Justice; Critical Creative Placemaking
Placemaking in Theory and Practice; Spatial Justice, Community Empowerment & Creative Placemaking