In our wheelchair- accessible garage/clubhouse, we have a clearing house:
- a family-size game table with benches full of games & activities for all ages,
- a bookshelf devoted to community-building books and magazines, and room for a SoZoo library
- a “watering hole” and lots of space to mingle, dance, and play (help us raise $200 to install a nice floor to play on!)
- a map of Seattle,
- a map of our little 3×4 block neighborhood,
- a birthday book,
- a potential community pantry,
- Three Giant Bulletin Boards, and
- homemade perpetual calendars.
I am a human resource(fulness) researcher, and these are the tools I use to grow resources and cultivate relationships among my neighbors. What do they do? The first three ‘tools’ listed are not visible in the picture, but speak for themselves, I hope.
6. Birthday book, inspired by my love of Dutch Birthdays, and
7. Community Pantry, inspired by the enrichment I experienced in a small bulk buying group I really enjoyed, and the joys of sharing a CSA with neighbors recently.
If service, need, and the creative impulse are the kinetic energies moving the Neighbors On Purpose project, these boards are akin to the delicate spaces between our synapses, holding rich juices, making coordinated movement possible.
8. These 3 giant cork boards are nicknamed ‘Common Pleasure’, ‘Hidden Treasure’, and ‘A Wish for Good Measure’.
9. Gatherings and events sprouting from the community boards are easily pinned on the cork calendars!
My art is what Jacob Sayles of Office Nomads calls “assisting synchronicity”, and Jim Diers, founder of Seatte’s awesome Department of Neighborhoods, told me is “asset-based community development”. I developed my art because it’s what my mind has done while focusing exclusively on my neighborhood… and we need tools to do for us to keep Neighbors On Purpose SoZoo running, as I’m getting myself a job!*
* Did that, decided to quit and come back on at NOP.