imagineering the year to come

Fairly soon after landing Cville last year, we initiated monthly community potlucks.  They caught on quickly, and people took turns hosting them at their homes.  A  few months ago, we both stepped back from the community potlucks.  This was in part because of a sense of overload, and also out of a sense that if these potlucks were important to the larger community, someone would pick up the torch.   Initially, the potlucks stopped.  Then, at our evaluation session in early January a number of folks talked about how much they liked the potlucks.  People stepped forward and now the potlucks are back!

At the last Potluck, Raven lead us through a process that started with this simple exercise: Imagine it’s one year from now, Feb. 3rd, 2011. What has happened in the realm of community-building, stimulated in part by these very potlucks?

It’s a simple exercise that I’ve done before, but I found myself quickly getting very into it. So, here are the combined and edited lists from Kassia and I:

We’ve started a new Urban Commune which is rapidly developing into an urban homesteading educational and experimental center.  It serves as a hub for radical culture and fun activities.

Alexander House Hostel has expanded into two additional locations and is hosting a variety of community events and gatherings.  One of the new locations is a rambling old house with wrap-around porches and a large fireplace.   Weekly potlucks there draw local folks who flock out to join the crew of interesting and international hostel guests.

Food Not Bombs is operating out of the Haven and has expanded to serving at every park in Charlottesville.

A vehicle co-op has formed and now has 4 vehicles and 30 members.

Critical Mass is thriving, hosting monthly themed bike ride parties that draw people of all ages, including families and visitors to Cville.

The City Council has sponsored a coalition including ACCT, the city traffic engineer, UVA faculty and students, and citizens which is developing plans, to be implemented in Fall of 2011, to transform W. Main St. into a pedestrian and bike-focused multi-use street.

UVA has begun paying all hospital and university employees a living wage.

A new food co-op has started up and is rapidly expanding.

C’ville Foodscapes has been so successful that it has split into two co-operative business working in parallel and supporting each other.

Another favorite vision shared by an older woman in Kassia’s group was this (paraphrased):

Folks on my block start holding potlucks at each others’ houses.  Eventually our bonds grow and we start supporting each other by taking care of each others’ kids, lending and sharing tools, and caring for sick and elderly folks on the block.  Our block turns into a thriving and intimate community!

Karen Kerney/Syracuse Cultural Workers

We both came away from this exercise feeling inspired and re-juiced in our efforts to transform Cville into an Urban Utopia!


~ by skybluestar on February 9, 2010.

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