Posts Tagged ‘Sorenson Unity Center’

Last night, I attended a packed Salt Lake City Council Meeting as a member of the Sorenson Unity Center’s Garden Committee to speak in favor of Mayor Ralph Becker’s CDBG budget proposal; specifically for the funding for Unity Center’s backyard Community Art Garden within that budget. Great West Institute is a partner with the Unity Center on this project. I was given two minutes to speak and made it within the last three sentences of finishing. Here’s my remarks in their entirety, making the case for the Art Garden and explaining what we’re hoping to do:

The mission of the Sorenson Unity Center is to enhance lives through visual and performing arts and serve as a community gathering place. I believe the Community Garden and Outdoor Event Space represents an incredible opportunity to truly fulfill the intent of this mission.

I became involved in this project because I believe in the importance of natural open space in urban and suburban areas and that art can be utilized as an empowerment and community building tool. This project lies at the nexus of these two ideas. (more…)


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By Chris Peterson and Brooke Williams

THESIS: We propose that facilitating and investing in the creativity and imagination of the next generation is perhaps our greatest hope for a sustainable future on Planet Earth.

The ArtParks Experiment is designed to produce an urban parkspace development model for application in urban and suburban areas that is driven by grassroots processes involving art, local leadership, and a network of community relationships and resources.

BACKGROUND: Richard Louv’s bestselling book The Last Child in the Woods provides strong evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Nature Deficit Disorder, as he calls it, is the product of children not spending enough “unstructured play time in natural areas”. Based upon our own experience, we agree and think that imagination and creativity are the perfect vehicle for a grassroots approach to this problem.

In response to the idea that children in urban and suburban areas are the most susceptible to Nature Deficit Disorder, Great West Institute began work on rethinking the urban and suburban parkspaces and the ideas of David Sobel‘s place based-education. The result is a multi-phased pilot project dubbed (more…)

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