Posts Tagged ‘Interaction’

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THE LANDRY EXPERIENCE

May 14, 2012

Little did I know when-as part of my commitment to Plan It Hennepin-I confirmed my participation in half of the available opportunities to interact with Charles Landry, that I’d be sitting here this morning wishing I would have done MORE!

To prepare, I ordered “The Art of City-Making” and immediately found myself immersed in a whole new “Landry” world…a 21st century viewpoint of cities that melds my UM days of history and city planning – not only with my passion for the river, but also with idea after idea for my world of event-making in terms of collaborative thinking AND wonderful fun ways of creative engagement and interaction that balance the hard edges of social media and the narrower window of just interactive media applications to achieve those goals, create community, and facilitate adult learning and change.  YES!!!

So excited to learn more, off I went last Monday to the Cowles for “Connecting Cities, Connecting Cultures”; Tuesday we were at the Capri for “North Minneapolis: Arts, Culture and Community Development:, missed an important “Intercultureal City-Making Workshop” on Thursday; but rejoined the group on Friday for the Close on Harriet Island where Landry shared his observations, made recommendations and call to action for our own MSP city-making.

WIth my head full of ideas and action steps, I was charged up when I went to FAIR School on Saturday for the Talk-It Hennepin workshop “Coming, Going, and Staying on Hennepin” – a three hour exercise that took us to the streets.

Broken into five groups, each group set out for their assigned area, and using Landry’s system of YES and NO, we acknowledged the Yes things; and  took pictures of the five “nos” that need to be altered.

Our group, led by Harry Waters and supported by some great FAIR students were assigned the stretch from Hennepin Avenue Bridge to Washington Avenue. We quickly rallied, hopped on a bus and we were off!

Our first NO was the non-pedestrian/bike friendly bridge itself; then on to the Post Office or at least its “weedy knoll” leading down to the river walk, a third NO at the sad little Gateway Park of concrete and a dead fountain, and finally to the four corners of Hennepin and Washington…with a thought or two to the side streetscapes intersecting Hennepin and to the Public Housing High Rise seen a block away.

Along the way, we staged a mini-“Occupy” event as we reminisced about a once-welcoming NWNL campus that now under the ING regime was posted “No Trespassing”.  So of course, the rebel in us called for a picture of the team relaxing on the grass – “OCCUPY-ING”. The police that drove by during our “sit-in” did not move to arrest us, so I would like to think perhaps they agreed with our statement.

Then back on the bus and back to FAIR School where with the help of our talented students, we developed our PPT of significant Nos and wonderful images of what some of those Nos could become in the future.

This morning, thinking about that day, I am still charged up and looking forward to June workshops at the New Century Theatre in City Center.

This is just an AMAZING process!  And once again, I say Thank You to Hennepin Theatre Trust, Walker Art Center, Artspace, and the City of Minneapolis funded by the National Endowment of the Arts for inviting me to be a part of it!

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5000 EVENTS FOR 5000 PEOPLE

August 31, 2010

WE DID IT…and what a rewarding experience we had along the way! Little did I know last May when we embarked on this journey, that I would disappear from the world as I knew it for three months as we followed a pathway to create a new world with an event that I have come to think of as the pinnacle of my career.

We began with a need, supported by our conviction that it was time to throw out old paradigms and embrace the 21st century thinking of collaboration, interaction, and engagement wholeheartedly in order to achieve real listening, learning, and change.

As I look at the initial concept presentation, I am amazed that we were able to so clearly define a revolutionary plan and execute it almost in its entirety as we grew from a small nucleus of two to a base team of 20-supported by facilitators, technicians and crews that swelled our ranks to over 150 on event day.

Was it easy? Not so much. Was it worth it? You betcha!

There is almost nothing better than a team that came together with a purpose to support one of the best clients I have had the pleasure to work with, all wrapped up in excited and engaged participants, an executive team of “believers”, and future plans to continue the dialogs and conversations that began in the CRV Experience. Add to that, new friendships, four great articles in the Strib and Pioneer Press within three days, interested national trade press, and the immeasurable things we all learned from each other along the way, and you have what I would call a winner.

More to come, I am sure, over the days ahead, but two other clients who have waited patiently on the sideline so I could take full advantage of this opportunity are now demanding the attention they deserve-and they want it NOW.

So suffice it to say that we were given a glimpse of what our event world can be and do. I hope never to revisit those old paradigms of the 20th century again. I wish the same sense of accomplishment and euphoria to all of you.