Millard (Mitty) Owens

Process Facilitator

Mitty’s twenty-five year public service career enriches EmcArts’ Community Innovation Labs, which address pressing community issues through the arts.

Emerging from years of high school and college activism, Mitty cut his career teeth on the development of community land trusts and other models of affordable housing, followed by work with micro-lending and credit unions. His work has included the Center for Community Self-Help, a pioneer in the field of “community development finance;” the Ford Foundation where he funded such innovative financial work and “asset building” for low-income/wealth communities; and the “Office of Financial Empowerment” under NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His international work involved Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Mexico, and he traveled extensively under a WK Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship focused on the intersection of art and social change.

As an adjunct professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, Mitty created a course on the role of public policy in shaping wealth and poverty.  Mitty has also run his own consulting firm offering facilitation, strategic planning and organizational development to non-profits; and he has served on a number of economic development and social justice boards, including Yale University’s Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice, Global Exchange, and Grassroots Leadership that addresses the intersection of immigration, mass incarceration, and prison privatization.

Mitty is a graduate of Yale University and holds an MS in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College. His work with EmcArts also involves working as a facilitator in the New Pathways Program.