idea: moving classes and community centers

So picture a series of art classes, free, materials supplied, and bring some to share if you have and want to…

And picture some great services that need more community exposure or could use it at least, some exposure … especially community services …

And there’s the volunteer aspect too, places that want community attention so that potential volunteers would become aware of the place, the service, the need for volunteer help …

And so there’s a series of courses over a season, played up beforehand, coordinated with events or publications or newsletters by the place …

  • Start with art sessions, workshops, and part of what comes out of the session is donated artwork that will become poster work for the next classes. Some potential volunteers to this community service would be artistic sorts, but not all.
  • Another course is on, say, growing herbs, sprouts, spices, and you leave the workshop with the know how and the seeds and the jars … whatever.
  • Each course offers it free to folks the service is serving, offers free participation to anyone with know how, interest and resources, whatever to contribute…

This is triggered by a line in Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup, page 28: A changing space. And ideas started spinning out about classes, spaces aside from parks…

But the series of courses, at least a season of courses, in one community, centered on one service center … something along that line. I can see variations — of course, the ideas are spinning much much too quickly to describe — a handful of centers in one larger community, with rotating classes; maybe the art workshop is once a month for half a year in 6 different centers. 6 centers, 6 months, 6 workshops, and the larger community has 18 different opportunities to benefit. Or 5, 5, 5 or 4, 4, 4 … or maybe just start with art and see if anything else actually grows from it.

  • Art — sketch kits; contribute poster ideas for advertising the other workshops
  • Greens — sprouts, herbs, and more

our town – idea

Community Chroniclers

We move a lot, many of us. When we land in a new spot we could, in this idea, go to a site and to a spot in the local library, and learn about this place and what it’s up to. Some of the messages would be addressed particularly to expected influxes of folks like college students / retirees / folks relocating for a particular business in town.

The key curators are contacted by folks who are doing things / starting things in the community and invite participants or spectators. A buddy program at the grade school has a page and a video directed at retirees who could come read (or something) with kids. A Green Thumbs club has a page, video, and monthly do-something event directed at cross-generational teams rounded up from the neighborhood where something is going to be cleaned up and greened up. The mayor’s message is here, highlighting a dozen great aspects of the town, its surround, its aims at this time, its unmet challenges.

When my son Eddy was in grade school, kids learned some history of the immediate area. The site and the library spot with its binders and displays, could be a repository for student reports, especially collaborative reports by the whole class. The site could offer oral histories collected by older students for later history assignments. Voices from across the community and its generations would create the material. The key curators just help keep it all available.

I imagine, too, something like a local cable access channel distance learning course putting together, say, a 10-hour course about the community — 10 one-hour shows comprised of kids’ YouTube productions and updated annually by a CTV class that reports on the latest initiatives, the current most pressing unmet needs, the fine efforts that folks might jump into if they knew about them.

Ongoing, many perspectives, many voices, many opportunities. It would feel magical to me, I know.

Sketch Kits … tell it

I have this idea of going to a park or playground or spot where kids hang out — kids like I picture myself when I think back to when I was a kid, gangly, bored in the summer, low on resources and high on interests — take along supplies and start sketching. There are batches of supplies, and the curious are welcome to use them: some coreboard as a drawing board, some paper, various graphite markers, and there has to be something interesting to draw … like each other! But other things, too, for kids who “can’t draw” … and maybe just designy stuff, cartoony stuff.

But the idea is, let’s draw together, here’s stuff you can use. They can learn from each other, see me drawing and maybe learn somethingorother from that, and  if they’d like to keep doing it, they can take some resources home — paper, drawing board (just coreboard), a few pencils.

In brief, that’s the idea. And I have to come back into this post and flesh out the idea some more in its concept and its Why. Its companion post is Sketch Kit … see it.