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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Class notes 1/13

***Many thanks to Katie Coyer for taking these notes***

Community Meeting at the Wild Fig Bookstore on North Limestone
January 13, 2015

Angela Baldridge, the Plantory
·         Bringing divided communities together through understanding
·         Ideas taken from Center for Social Innovation in Toronto
·         Creative people come together to solve problems under 1 roof
·         If 10 different groups share a wifi bill, more funding can go towards their actual missions
·         There are currently around 71 members
·         Promotes exchange of ideas
·         Walls built from scrap lumber leftover from their desks
·         They are able to fundraise around $100,000 each year for partners, super-low rent rate as a result
·         Built around the basis of identifying strengths and figuring out how to apply them

Andrea James, Blue Glass Community Foundation, East End
·         Born and raised in Lexington
·         Before she was 18, she had moved 17 different times
·         H1 overlay proposed for the neighborhood
·         Noticed a wide gap, a disconnect
·         Saw potential— self as filler for that gap
·         Also noticed government representation was not communicating, and that she could run for city council
·         Became the first black woman on Lexington city council
·         Race reconciliation became an inevitability
·         Observed inequality that she hadn’t necessarily experienced personally before, but could not deny it
·         Goal to celebrate successes and each other
·         Fostered authentic partnerships
·         Saw same dynamic in rural community after her move from East End
·         Relationships
1.      Trees and economic development
2.      Art and transportation
3.      Food and privilege (who gets what? Cost? Expectation?)
4.      Inequities and structure        

·         Plenty and how you place it
·         Now works for the Blue Grass Community Foundation
·          
Sean Gladding, MLK Neighborhood
·         Bought Andrea James’ house when she moved, a community member
·         Focus on reconciliation
·         Which he defines as becoming friends with someone who people say you shouldn’t be friends with, for whatever reason
·         Pastor who became a part of a motorcycle gang
·         Experienced judgment when he was with his friends, to be looked at as an outsider
·         Understood that feeling of looking for a place to belong
·         Started Communality
·         a place for welcoming people
·         Experiences with Iraqi refugees and Bosnians
·         Became human beings in a room dealing with something together
·         Position as a white man asking and hearing important questions (e.g. gentrification v. community development)
·         Worked at Mercy Street for 7 years--a place for people who may have been hurt by the church in the past
·         Back in Lexington because he missed the community
·         Now gives life to being a good neighbor
·         Believes in people with resources becoming friends with people who have fewer resources
·         But what if people are all in the same boat as their friends?

Richard Young, NoLi CDC
·         Once never felt sense of belonging
·         Highlighted his frequent moving (6-8 times, compared to Andrea’s 17…)
·         SCAPA, later went to a music conservatory
·         American music system--improve self for privilege of playing with the ensemble
·         1 of soon to be 3 staff members of the “NoLi” CDC which is only two-and-a-half years old
·         interested in creative place making
·         art in development conversations
·         Has experience in reclaiming abandoned spaces and turning them into affordable housing (which I remember from last year Griffin saying they prioritized bringing young artists into the community through that housing, though Richard did not mention this--maybe their priorities have changed)
·         Kept calling the Night Market “interesting”
·         Mentioned night market’s “unintended consequences” but did not address what those were or how they were handling them
·         Says they do a “surprising amount of environmental work”
·         Venezuelan orchestra as social group—model for MusicWorks at Arlington Elementary, sponsored by NoLiCDC

Ron Davis, Co-Owner of Wild Fig Bookstore
·         Visual artist and poet
·         Discreet by design
·         Introvert who daydreams about anarchy
·         Constant self-examination
·         Accidental poet
·         Reluctant artist
·         Bookstore has been open for four months since reopening on North Limestone (used to be located elsewhere)
·         Teacher and preacher inside
·         Felt very welcomed by the neighborhood
·         Wants to host conversations
·         Can’t remain static
·         Need to get involved, even as an introvert

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