Sparking Conversation in the ‘Burg

Kai -- December 10th, 2006

Where can we go in Harrisonburg to find people who don’t know each other and think differently and are willing, ready, and able to have some good quality conversation about stuff that matters? “Nowhere” is an extreme, likely inaccurate answer. But, “Not enough places, that’s for sure” is a common response. I think this can be changed with a little team effort, some creativity, and commitment of a handful of folks. Here are two of a myriad of ideas that I’d enjoy some feedback on:

1. I’d like to call a meeting for people interested in creating more spaces in Harrisonburg for respectful conversation about stuff that matters. Bloggers, business owners, students, locals, parents, etc. We brainstorm possibilities, get the energy up, invite people back for one more meeting to get things rolling – and roll. How’s the first week in January?

2. Dave Miller of You Made It! and I have been talking about opening up his space in the evening for conversation. I’m thinking Friday nights, 7:30-9:00 or 8:00-9:30, positioned just after a leisurely dinner and just before late night activities. Each night could be co-sponsored by a couple different organizations who have an interest in a particular topic. These conversations would be rather informal and designed for maximum participation (I know a bunch of ways to do that with small group conversations, even if we fill the place up with 40+ people). Coffee provided, music playing. One night’s topic could be HIV/AIDS in the Valley, another the impact of SOLs in the classroom, another about the local music scene, another about _______ ?

I bet there are literally thousands of people in town that want to see something like this happen. How often do people talk about wanting another place to hang out, another coffee shop somewhere in between the Daily Grind and the Dodger in atmosphere? I’ve run the numbers on something like that three times in the last year and am convinced it’s a better plan to work with the existing establishments to suggest some programming of the type of discussion/arts events we’re looking for.

Here’s some of where I’m coming from on this. And here’s more about why I think it matters urgently.

It just takes a handful of people to get serious about making it happen. Anyone up for it?

-Kai

6 Responses to “Sparking Conversation in the ‘Burg”

  1. finnegan says:

    I’m down.

    I say replace the blogger meeting (that I’m never going to set up) with one of these.

  2. danno says:

    Do it!

  3. David says:

    Count me down.

  4. finnegan says:

    Wow. Google is your blog?

    This is either spam, or you’re used to posting on message board forums. Here’s what you want to use when you’re not on a forum.

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