I came up with a quick (and I hope fun) project to use in place of presenting my work ay the Creative Capital/Creative Time workshop on Real Community Engagement. I wrote the words “power” “memory” and “change” on three small stones. I gave them to people in the workshop and asked that they use the words on the stones as a starting point to telling a story (personal experience, fact, hope) to another participant, and then to pass that stone to the listener and ask them to do the same.
The idea was to emphasize the participation and experiential education aspect of my work. It was a means of communicating a real sense of the work that I do instead of showing slides of projects gone by. The metaphorical stones in the water and the ripple effect.
It seemed to work well, people said they had interesting experience hearing the stories and liked that they had a chance to engage on a more personal manner than they might have without the stones. It broke them out of their shyness and got them sharing stories.
I allowed the participants to keep the stones if they felt a personal connection. Alyson Pou kept “memory,” Arlen kept “power” and I went home with change.
Thanks to all the participants for being willing to engage (Anna Muessig, Nuit Blanche NYC; Arlen Austin, Hanns Eisler Nail Salon; Beka Economopoulos, Not An Alternative; Bridget Finn, Cleopatra’s; Carey Clark, The Point; Caroline Woolard, Our Goods Christopher Robbins, Ghana Think Tank; David Michael Perez, FEAST in Brooklyn; Hope Ginsburg Sponge; Mary Mattingly; Matthew Slaats; Paloma McGregor, Urban Bush Women; Petrushka Bazin, The Laundromat Project; Tracy Candido, Community Cooking Club).
Feel free to use this idea in your next group situation…