The Brattleboro Listening Project is a creative community engagement residency presented by local artists, writers, community builders, and creative professionals during the months of February and March focused on asking questions, listening, and learning in a collaborative, experimental community space. From February 18- March 31, 2019, the Latchis Arts Gallery in the Latchis Memorial Building, 50 Main St., will serve as home base for a range of free/ low-cost programs and activities open to and designed by the public, and aimed at fostering dialogue, connections, and understanding through creative inquiry and participatory practices.
The residency will include activities such as community mapping, storytelling, weekly co-working time, and conversations, and will offer access to art making materials in the space on a regular basis. Visitors can drop in to paint a map of Brattleboro, write a letter to the town, or chat over a cup of tea. Special programming will vary from day to day and week to week, and expand as new proposals come in from the public. A calendar of open hours and activities will be posted in the Gallery and will be updated periodically.
The residency is driven by a set of core questions about community life, spaces, connections, history, and visions for the future that can serve as a platform for positive exchange, experimentation, and learning about Brattleboro’s shared needs and solutions. During the Brattleboro Listening Project, community members will engage in activities framed around the following prompts: Where do you feel nourished/connected/creative? Where do you find community? Where is there tension here? What do you yearn for from the past? What can you dream of for the future? The project also explores the simple experiment of throwing open the doors to community – and making literal space for new ideas and experiences to emerge in Downtown Brattleboro.
This project was born out of a series of informal conversations between friends and neighbors interested in exploring these core questions. These conversations have tapped into a diverse group of young artists, farmers, musicians, writers, community builders, caretakers and creative professionals, all living and working in the Brattleboro area. This residency is built on the assumption that we are not alone in our questions and desires, and is an attempt to bring together disparate and ongoing conversations about community and connectivity. Brattleboro Listening Project is collaboratively organized by: Katie Bachler, Anna Bario, Sharon Fantl, Chrissy Lee, Shawn Magee, and Robin MacArthur, among many others.
“This project fits us like a glove. A big part of the Latchis’ mission is to be a hub where people can experience things together that inspire us and nurture and strengthen our community. We’re delighted to be a place where the Brattleboro Listening Project can come to life,” said Jon Potter, executive director of Latchis Arts.
The Brattleboro Listening Project is extending an open invitation to individuals and organizations in the community to join this conversation and directly shape the course and outcomes of the residency through their own participation and programming ideas. The call for submissions is not exclusive to artists or “creative” work. Anyone with a skill, passion, or creative practice to share is encouraged to submit a proposal! Proposals might include a curated pop up/micro library, recipe swap, intimate concert, or discussion about people experiencing homelessness in the area. Local grassroots and advocacy organizations can use the gallery space in February or March for additional visibility, be in touch! The ethos of the project is that we all have something to share, and we can learn from each other! You can submit ideas through an online form (or downloadable word doc) or visit the Latchis Gallery to talk about your ideas.
Community members can learn more about The Brattleboro Listening Project events and updates on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/brattlistening and Instagram: @brattlistening #brattlistening. Questions and feedback can be shared with firstname.lastname@example.org.