I've been running all around Portland (well bussing) to help with the documentation crew for the 11th annual Village Building Convergence, a ten-day festival/conference/city-wide work party that combines activism, collaborative learning and working, creative community development, hands-on education and celebration and is hosted by City Repair. I've also been meeting and speaking with a ton of really interesting, talented and inspirational people - it's been wow!
The VBC has been the framework for hundreds of creative community building projects all over the city. The process begins for community sites in early February and culminates in late May, when the public event takes place and all the dreams that have been set into motion become a reality.
They are conceived, planned, and created through collaborative group participation and support from City Repair's core team of placemakers. All projects are built through collaboration, community conversations and commitment of a neighborhood to strengthen itself. Projects include hands-on education in permaculture design and construction, ecological building, and public art. Everyone is invited to attend evening events which include wholesome dinners (all reclaimed and organic food), inspirational and educational speakers and the odd dance party at VBC HQ.
So far I've documented:
- the creation of a neighbourhood "friendly society" and community info kiosk
- the creation of a beautiful bus stop with plants, paving, cob stools and arbor
- the background of the conversation to make an "intersection repair" happen
- community sing-songs!
- edible community gardens for neighbours in need
- community designed planter boxes to beautify and enhance the safety of a crosswalk
- the creation of a medicinal garden and cob community kiln site
- some magical tools for community development
- site prep for the renewal of an "intersection repair"
- repair of a previous year's "lighthouse" site
- a community composting (and intersection repair) project
- a cyclist memorial mosaic
- and more I can't think of now...!!
I'll get together a few good posts soon... but in the meantime, here's a sampling :)