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Stories of Place: Exploring the Practice & Possibilities of Placemaking

Saturday, December 3, 2016

In this workshop, participants learned how to harness the collective and connective power of community in a classroom environment and how to create experiences that can be translated into transformative large scale community engagement and placemaking events.
Donald King, Program Coordinator at Six Square in Austin, TX and Creative Director of Providence Sound Session in Providence, RI.
Framing Question:
What does it take to cultivate literate, compassionate, creative citizens who improve our world?
Stories of Place:
Where have you felt safe and alive?
Workshop participants displayed drawings of places that they remember as safe and happy from their childhood on a cordel. To build community for the day, they then shared the stories of those places with one another.

"Building connections. Creating & maintaining place. Color in the classroom! Music! Don King is inspiring and I want to stay connected to him."- Participant Comment

Remixing the Future, a placemaking project
Participants wrote lines from their original poems on strips of fabric, then tied those strips to the fence at the school where we hosted the workshop, Vero Beach Elementary. They read aloud a remixed version of their combined poems and meaningful song lyrics in front of the project. In this way, the group experienced each others stories through listening, sharing, collaborating and creating. The public visual art project makes visible these stories in a more permanent way, honoring all participants and their voices.
"Storytelling is powerful.  Everyone should be able to know and tell your story well and with pride.  Sharing is the only way to connect.  Everyone has something special to share." - Participant Comment
Songs From the Key of Our Lives:
Participants shared songs with deep personal connections and the room had the opportunity to sing along.  They remixed their song lyrics with original text in a final placemaking project.   
Where I'm From Poems
Modeled after the George Ella Lyons poem "Where I'm From", participants wrote their own poems to explore stories of the past and present, to then be able to co-author the future as a community.
Placemaking Across the Curriculum
Bridget Lyons, TLA Community & Family Engagement Manager leads an afternoon session exploring placemaking to directly impact areas of academic and social emotional learning. Participants make their thinking visible and learn from each other through asking questions and making observations. 

"We are not alone. We can combat disconnection through placemaking." - PARTICIPANT Comment

Portraits of a Moonshot Community
Participants share stories about connecting classrooms and the community. They discuss successes and challenges with colleagues in the field. 
Presenters were middle school educator Liz Peterson, and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Judy Miller.

"Love the visual thinking with the chalk boards and how to display students’ thinking in multiple ways." - PARTICIPANT Comment

Moonshot Challenge: A Working Group 
Donald King facilitated a lively brainstorming session on how we might bring placemaking projects to Indian River County in the classroom and out in the community.
Accountable Talk - "What did you Say?"
Participants learned how to be effective listeners and speakers. Using real world examples and applying newly learned skills, SDIRC Professional Development Specialists Terri Beckham and Julie Kastensmidt led attendees through this eye and "ear" opening session.
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