Community activist, MacArthur Fellow Strickland to visit April 2-3
Friday, March 9, 2012

Community activist, MacArthur Fellow, and author Bill Strickland will visit the University of Iowa and Iowa City community April 2 and 3.

Bill Strickland
Strickland is president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG), and Bidwell Training Center (BTC). Strickland grew up in an inner-city neighborhood in Pittsburgh. While still in college, he founded MCG to bring arts education and mentorship to youth in his neighborhood. BTC is a nationally accredited and state-licensed adult career-training center.

Strickland’s visit begins with a free public presentation and discussion of his book Make the Impossible Possible at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.

On Tuesday, April 3, Strickland will meet with university and community leaders for a discussion about how to integrate his ideas on creative cities into the community. He will also meet with students for an informal discussion about how to make their dreams possible. To close his visit, Strickland will meet with instructor David Gould’s Life Design class. For more information or to participate in Tuesday’s events, contact Gould at

Prior to Strickland’s visit, the community is encouraged to read his book. Numerous UI and community entities are hosting a community read of the book, which shares Strickland’s success story to inspire readers to affect positive change within their communities. UI Libraries has created a reading guide at and the Iowa City Public Library has organized book club kits for check out. Single copies of the book are also available to check out.

In conjunction with Strickland’s visit, the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences launched a new student initiative, IGNITE a DREAM, Students submit a “life dream” or goal and the public is invited to visit the website, read through the dreams, and offer advice or information to help move the dreams forward.

Strickland’s visit is sponsored by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Lecture Committee, and Public Policy Center, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.