PLACEMAKING THEME #2
Some bridges are structural: bike paths, pedestrian circulation, accessible parking. Other bridges are metaphorical: arts initiatives that are participatory and that promote positive community connections. When we build bridges, we unleash enhanced physical and social mobility.
Catalysts for success
INVEST IN NEW, UNIQUE, AND AUTHENTIC SIGNATURE EVENTS.
Our community craves events and interactions that bring the town together. Traditions are grounding for a community: they are a source of common identity and they seed a sense of belonging.
- Utilize the beautiful campus at the Iowa Veterans Home for an early July picnic to honor the many forms of independence that Marshalltownians observe.
- Host a monarch migration festival that celebrates the 1,800-mile journey of the monarch butterfly from Iowa to Mexico.
- Sponsor an annual competition centered around engineering, architecture, or technology. Invite youth and adults to build, make, adapt, or upcycle in order to reward creative skills.
- Host a water festival led by the diverse cultures of the Burmese community. Recognize the Burmese New Year and underscore the importance of protecting the role of Marshalltown’s waterways.
UPLIFT INFORMAL LEADERS.
Build a grassroots cohort of informal leaders to identify and nurture welcoming spaces. Consider churches, barbershops, and cafes. These places create community vitality born from acquaintance. The Arts + Culture Alliance will spearhead a program for local leaders in response to the desire for cross-cultural connections and strategic support for individuals who wish to serve all citizens in the community.
CULTIVATE WELCOMING SPACES AND NURTURE NEIGHBORHOOD-SPECIFIC PROJECTS.
Welcoming spaces instigate cross-cultural connections and make it more likely that residents will participate in the community in other ways. Collective effort can produce casual spaces to build bridges. Physically, these can be adaptations or new creations; it is the social program that is most important in fostering cultural interaction.