About 15 people gathered at the Annette Library last night for the first of a series of public ‘charrettes’ – brainstorming sessions on what a community hub might be. We started out with the question: What would you like to find at a Community Hub? What would bring you there, what would you like to have access to that you do not have in this community?
A lot of ideas got written down on sticky notes and posted on a sheet of paper and then we went around with markers and put dots on the 5 ideas we liked the most. The top three were:
Food and Kitchen
When asked to elaborate on each of these ideas a vision emerged that included a roof garden and a hydroponic set up in the basement where food was grown. A seed bank where seeds could be traded. Also, a map of yards in and around the Junction where there was urban farming space available. The food that was harvested could go to the community kitchen where people could come and make collective meals, eat together and maybe watch tv or a movie. Classes in nutrition, how to cook healthy on a budget and for a single person, or cooking classes for kids. Also, storytelling about food histories, and educational events on where food comes from. As for the arts, ideas ranged from renting affordable studio space, opening a gallery, having art drop in space accessible to all age groups… the art that was discussed ranged from visual arts to dance, music and the art of yoga!
The second question that was asked was: What ideas do you have for generating income to support the community hub?
The ideas touched on the three areas: community gardens, kitchen and the arts. Ideas for special events such as bringing in celebrity chefs to do cooking classes as a fundraiser, organizing Junction cook-offs where people pay to participate, or finding sponsors for the community garden. On the art side ideas ranged from renting live/work space to artists to developing a residency program that was funded by an arts council. Facilities such as a gallery or music studio could be rented out… these are just a few of the ideas that came up.