Autumn, Dominic, Amanda and Arden SP

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We met as a group last night on 9/26/13 to discuss our approach for this week's assignment. Inspired by the tactics discussed in "Bootcamp Bootleg" we came up with the following notes / procedures for going into town this week:

>>Worth going back to re-engage:
Woman @ Chocolate Shoppe
Sarah (Catbird), reaching out to Charlie & Kitty again
Joel (Fiddlehead)

FOR NEW ENCOUNTERS//
>>What is the most urgent social need in the the town right now?
>>Which social or economic group does this effect?
>>Why does it affect this group? Does it affect in another social / economic groups?
>>What has been done to engage this group in the past?
>>Who ran these programs / events?
>>Are they still take place? If so, why are they effective? If not, why did they stop?
>>Let's say there was unlimited time and resources what could be done to revamp these programs?
>>How do we achieve this?
>>Would you be interested in helping us revitalize these programs?



FOR REPEATED ENCOUNTERS//
>>What is the largest need for the adults in the town?
>>What is the largest need for the children in the town?
>>Let's say there was unlimited time and resources what could be for the adults / children in the town?

We decided that we would go into town later this weekend; and re-convene Monday night to sort our research using some more of the tactics presented in "Bootcamp Bootleg". Another thing we discussed with some concern is what sort of project / engagement are we actually capable of enacting in 2 months; and what does it mean to make an impact within a community with a lot of problems; we expressed minor concerns over exit strategies as well as if one single "event" is more significant or an on-going engagement in terms of impacts. How can we ensure that these events are effective / remain under consistent and engaged leadership?


///Trip to town on Sunday 9/29/13///


Conversation with Driver:

On the way to Bennington we had a good conversation with the Bennington van driver. Though she does not live in Bennington she spends a bit of time here and had good comments on activities that are available for children. She said that the activities are not always advertised. She mentioned that where she lives in Hoosick Falls they have dance classes for kids (for only $3 per lesson) that children really seem to love. We decided to look into something like this (dance/art/music classes) for Bennington. Do they exist and are just not advertised well enough or are they too expensive or is there purely a lack of these type of classes?


Conversation with woman in chocolate shoppe:

We continued our conversation with the woman in the chocolate shop. She said that a lot of people come to their first friday events but that there weren’t other events. She suggested that if we were interested in engaging with the youth in the community we should talk with the elementary school/high school principals and the bennington museum. The schools & museum were closed since it was Sunday but we plan to contact them via email or next time we’re in town.


Fiddlehead:

To see what happened we wrote the question “What do you like/dislike about the bennington community? Tell me @ ardenbirch@gmail.com” inside of the chalk room. People probably won’t respond, but if they do it could be a good way to start a conversation


Conversation with police dispatcher:

We went into the police station to see if we could have a conversation with a policeman/woman. We had a conversation with the police dispatcher. She has lived in Bennington all her life and she also pointed out that there is nothing for kids to do. We asked her if she could do anything in the town with unlimited resources what she would do. At first she was unsure how to respond or even what she would do. But she said that when she was a kid she would have really loved to have a roller rink or something similar.


People we want to contact:

People/Principals at the schools

People at the Bennington Information Center

People at the Bennington Museum


Possible project ideas:

Generate questions/problems from people throughout the community and create a room for discussion and innovative thinking (inspired by the readings this week) between leaders of the community, mayor/council members/principals/pastors/administrators from both colleges etc. and members of the community.

Our ‘message’ in Fiddlehead also inspired us to think of other more provocative ways to raise these questions about problems/solutions in Bennington. We’ve begun brainstorming ways to introduce these questions into the community in an empowering, creative and exciting way.