This weekend, the USDAC organizing team traveled to two storied American cities: Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Both are steeped in lore and legacy, but this weekend—without abandoning the traditions of the past—these two cities leaped into the future, fueled by the power of collective imagination.
In Washington D.C., Cultural Agent Jess Solomon wanted everyone to be clear: "This is not your typical performance, art opening, music recital or town meeting" [via YIMG].
At the helm, she began the Imagining with a deep, grounding breath and a guiding question: how will you be vested in community and culture twenty years from now? [via Facebook]
Amidst the creative flurry of break-out groups and Go-Go music, our organizing team was listening in on the conversations taking place at Impact Hub D.C. "It's a web if we can find a way to connect all the nonprofits. Let's get people to talk about what each others projects are. Learn who's in the room and invite each other for a gathering. Link the non profits to the layers in the community" [via Facebook].
After a productive afternoon, the USDAC team headed up the east coast to meet up with Cultural Agent Yolanda Wisher in Germantown, Philadelphia, who put a unique spin on her Imagining: she hosted at midnight. Yolanda’s opening words playfully invoked those who came before us: ''Octavia Butler and Hoodini wanted to do this. We are going to close our eyes and time travel. Let your mind's camera capture images of your ideal life; what will the community look like in 2034" [via Facebook].
Until 2am, we closed our eyes, and listened. We heard that "everybody is an artist, and has the capacity to use creative processes in their lives and should be making art! Be empowered to start projects" [via Facebook].
As the Imaginings come to a close, we're left with more questions than answers, but we’ve begun to activate the communities that can help answer them.