Many communities are frozen in isolation…fragmentation, stuck in the old conversations about who we are, what we need. Churches are graying, emptying out….resourceful community space lies dormant, wanting. People longing for connection and a hunger to belong often end up in the margins, their gifts and contributions overlooked…unnoticed.
Neighborhood space that is unpretentious, safe, welcoming and available is nearly non-existent. The way the community may hope to come together, share life, is as colorful and varied as a patchwork quilt. Space that folks experience as inter-generational is rare. There is a relevant, urgent need for communities to grow into and become villages in the sense that they take responsibility for what they care about and serve one another in practical, tangible ways.
We need to provide a platform for artists, musicians, discussions, poetry readings, and group celebrations. Communities want spaces for moms and kids,neighborhood association meetings, farmer’s markets, community gardens — all to enrich the shared life of the community and create a social fabric that transforms from the inside out. Our neighborhoods know what a meaningful, shared life is all about and they need the tools to make it happen.
It is time to open the doors…to build new bridges for placemaking and the welcoming of fresh ideas, conversation, commitment and accountability for what it means to share our lives all across America…one neighborhood at a time.