The past few weeks have been busy and exciting. I had interesting connections made with a couple different groups in Peoria. Janice Zagardo, of Creative Stitches Workshop is an incredible connector. She suggested I look at the projects at River City Labs. Finally, I was connected by a student from the course I am teaching at ISU to Kelly Deal, founder of Keegan's Krew
This connection was a powerful one. What a meeting of minds. The importance of spreading kindness in the world and supporting youth to develop a positive, healthy self-image, are such critical elements of our programming at the Community House and Art Garage.
The goal now is to see where our goals align enough to create meaningful programming together. How can we support each other? I have a process that I use in project development that includes a process oriented conversational approach to defining the issues and moving into solution one step at a time. I like to use this process with my students at ISU. Sometimes they get it, sometimes, not so much. As students we are usually given strict frameworks, follow those, and then hand in a final product. This approach fails to allow for input from all of the context of the participants.
When starting a plan, the goal is to begin with a vision. The vision of loving, caring community is at the forefront of much of the programming at the Community House. Because Keegan's Krew has such a similar vision, one of a caring a kind world, we have a beautiful starting point.
The second step is to see what is already in place. In our formational documents, we have a project called, "Heart at Home". It was actually developed for the Peoria school district, but never was enacted. I adopted it for our Community, but it still has an element of being unformed. What if we adopted this to be part of the shared vision of our two organizations.
The past week I started working with this idea with Kelly, and I believe we are on to something. It seems we have the chance for a beautiful collaboration. More to come...