Sept. 16 IRP looks at evolution of Near Westside Initiative

The Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP) will host Maarten Jacobs, director of the Near Westside Initiative (NWSI), at its Sept. 16 meeting. The mission of the NWSI is to combine the power of art, technology and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to revitalize Syracuse’s Near West Side neighborhood. Jacobs will discuss the evolution of the NWSI, upcoming projects and what this means for Syracuse.

Jacobs received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology and a master’s degree in community development and social action from the University of Maryland. He has a passion for photography, graphic design and public art and views the arts as a vital tool for both economic and community development. He and his family have been living in the city of Syracuse for the last five years.

The IRP, established by University College of Syracuse University, provides opportunities for retired people to stay intellectually active, to expand interests and make new acquaintances. Presentations are made by Syracuse University faculty and specialists within the community.

The program is free and open to the public. Meetings are held the first and third Thursday of each month from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Syracuse, 5833 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville. Several times each year, members may take part in special activities such as day trips, tours and luncheons.

For more information on this program, call University College at 443-4846, or visit