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WICHITA, Kan. – Nov. 7, 2019 – Wichita Festivals, Inc., the not-for-profit corporation that produces Riverfest and is driven by a mission to create diverse celebrations for Wichita and the surrounding community, announced today that Ty Tabing has been selected as the organization’s new President and CEO, effective Nov. 20.

“We are excited to bring Ty on board to continue growing the organization and community events for which we are known,” said Kim Gattis, chair of WFI’s board of directors. “He joins us at an exciting time of growth and change, and is uniquely equipped to assist our team in adapting to and flourishing alongside new developments in our city’s core.”

“In today’s competition for people, cities have to offer unique experiences that appeal to both locals and out of town visitors. I look forward to working with WFI stakeholders and staff to continue to deliver events that better connect people to Wichita,” Tabing said. “Getting Wichitans to love their city more through events like Riverfest helps grow our population and economy.”

In 2017, Tabing returned to his hometown of Wichita to continue a successful two-decade career in economic development and city revitalization. A graduate of Wichita High School North and Wichita State University, he holds a master’s degree in public policy from University of Chicago.

At the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Tabing led downtown development projects that involved zoning, financial incentives and urban planning. He went on to lead the Chicago Loop Alliance where he created economic development strategies, place-making projects, and public programs and also launched the Chicago Architecture Biennial. In Singapore, Tabing led a public-private partnership to enhance the Singapore River through urban planning, events, marketing, and place-making.

Since returning to Wichita, Tabing consulted with Wichita State University and the Douglas Design District on place-making and infrastructure projects. He created a new program to convert vacant storefronts downtown into artist’s studios while at the same time working with other art leaders to devise strategies to use art and culture to drive economic development. Tabing also serves as a commissioner on the Wichita Board of Park Commissioners.

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that works to enhance the region’s quality of life by producing world-class community celebrations. WFI organizes Riverfest, which began as the city’s Centennial celebration in 1970 and now attracts more than 450,000 attendees and adds between $25 and $30 million to the local economy each year. Riverfest is among the world’s 40 largest outdoor events, as ranked by PollStar. WFI also produces Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair, a three-day fine art show that has more than 30,000 attendees and features 100 painters, sculptors, photographers and other artists from around the nation. Over the years, Wichita Festivals has also produced the Wichita Vortex Music Festival, grand opening events for the new Eisenhower Airport, the Kansas Flight Festival and the Downtown Chili Cookoff, among others. For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or teri@wichitafestivals.com.

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