by Victoria MOORE
Throughout the three days of the Creative Placemaking Summit South + Appalachia in Columbia, SC (April 16-18, 2019) artists, non-profit professionals, activists, organizers, grantmakers, business owners and community developers explored the meaning and practical application of “creative placemaking” in our region.
We (Charleston Rhizome Collective) were there representing conNECKtedTOO and to lead our own workshop. And, thanks to a scholarship from South Arts and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation I was able to experience the full Summit as an attendee with an open, curious mind — igniting new connections, deepening existing relationships and soaking up as much relevant information as possible.
Our workshop was titled “Empowering TINY Businesses with a Mobile App.” Maybe what we succeeded in the most with our workshop was changing the space into a community engagement ground where three groups had opportunities to advance their own work based on some of what we have learned in the development of our app. The atmosphere was created in part by the fact that six of our interracial, intergenerational team were there and we could expose ourselves as a community of various perspectives and knowledge working together in imagining the purposes, functions and experiences of what we are creating. After learning the multiple types of apps, one participating group came to the conclusion that maybe a fully customized mobile app is not necessary for the goals they want to achieve, another came away with tangible next steps for the development of a ridesharing app and the third group felt motivated to further their research of the audience they were trying to reach.
The assets we are creating for conNECKtedTOO may include the development of very specific workshops that will be the results of our work and processes.