First Container, our kickstarter funded prototype in Eastern Market, wowed with some snazzy design and shipping container awesomeness. But is also laid some critical groundwork in community building. We had groups promoting women’s health, exploring experiential education, and closing the achievement gap by encouraging communities to read more to children. A lot of this happened almost by accident… but of course it was no accident. Like much of this project people and projects emerged through powerful and honest conversations.
We actually had several thousand visitors over our six month stay in the market and hundreds of personal stories were shared — motorcycle accident victims, exiles from church, kids of the 67 riots/rebellion, returning citizens, international artists, poets, and musicians, people who live on the streets, young, old, black, white, and all the other colors…. And these people all talked with each other, shared stories of love and hope, pain, resilience, trauma, loss, recovery…. And everyone was better for the experience. Wow.
We didn’t just talk about where we’ve been. We did a lot of talking also about where we want to go, together, as a community. Perhaps the biggest highlight was a panel organized by Hajj Flemmings and Shawn Lee “Solutions Driven Detroit” with high profiled speakers from government, non-profits, business, and the arts, all trying to work together to carve our path forward. Super inspiring!
We also really loved participating in the Detroit Design Festival this year. Below you can see Kiana, Doug, Yahn, and Fran helping prepare for our story box event at Eastern Market After Dark.
We absolutely succeeded in our mission to bring people together and build empathy. We are so excited to do more of this in 2014. We hope you come play with us and please consider helping with a contribution.