senseofcommunity

senseOFcommunity #12 ::BOSCO // san stino di livenza  PER SENTIERI NON BATTURI

Il bosco di Badiziol e Prassaccon a San Stino di Livenza è stato uno splendido luogo di ricerca e azione per gli artisti coinvolti che si sono concentrati con installazioni, ambienti e percorsi, nell’area del Roccolo; nel Palù del Bandiziol, l’area umida, lavorando nel Cason; nella porzione ad Ovest del Bosco di Bandiziol e infine nell’area antistante all’ex tiro al piattello.  

In tutti i lavori prevale uno spirito di osservazione e scoperta, di ascolto e di comprensione.  Gli interventi si innescano sulle trame delle storie e aprono nuovi sentieri di percezione ed esperienza nel bosco.

Durante la settimana di lavoro nel bosco abbiamo avuto l’opportunità di conoscere persone e fatti, di condividere frutta e frittate, pane fresco e molto senso dell’accoglienza.  Tutto questo è filtrato attraverso il linguaggio dei singoli artisti nelle loro opere e ci auguriamo passerà attraverso queste a chi vorrà fruirne.

Silvia Petronici

senseOFcommunity #13 ::la via al mare

“L’anatra selvatica è più veloce e più bella dell’anatra domestica, e ugualmente può dirsi del pensiero libero che, come l’anatra selvatica, al calar della rugiada si leva alto sopra la palude”  Henry David Thoreau

Da una riflessione sul senso della dicotomia pubblico-privato consegue un’ulteriore binomio, pubblico-sociale.  La Ex fornace di Eraclea Mare, recuperata grazie all’impiego di fondi comunitari e luogo nel quale si svolge “senseOFcommunity #13”, progetto di residenza con gli artisti:  è un luogo pubblico e si trova  in una posizione di prossimità rispetto alla spiaggia e al mare, a loro volta luoghi pubblici, patrimonio di tutti.  Le osservazioni e le esplorazioni degli artisti hanno messo a confronto il mare – come elemento naturale – e il resto della natura circostante alla fornace, natura che si pone come intermezzo tra la fornace stessa e il mare.   I percorsi assistiti nella pineta, i recinti e i cancelli hanno suscitato una riflessione sul tema del disciplinamento e dell’”allestimento” del verde e da qui sul tema del nostro rapporto “sociale” con la dimensione del vivente vegetale, rapporto spesso maldestro, intessuto di fraintendimenti, colto da una fruizione differita e circoscritta a cui seguono esperienze molteplici e non sempre condivise.   La settimana di lavoro degli artisti è stata impiegata nell’indagine di questo rapporto nella prospettiva dell’accesso al mare o dal mare o attraverso il mare.    Il mare diviene, nell’osservazione di questo specifico contesto, l’elemento simbolico di una natura libera dal nostro intervento conservativo e disciplinante. Resta una linea di confine ma permette una visione dinamica del confine naturale, costantemente rinegoziato dall’incrocio di molti fattori.  Su questo tema del dentro e del fuori rispetto ad un perimetro stabilito o ad una posizione presunta fissa, si muovono quasi tutti gli interventi degli artisti di questo progetto.  Chi costruisce un rifugio per le piante vagabonde portate dal vento, chi rivolta il terreno sui confini mobili dell’ombra di un gelso, chi cerca il modo di fare un backup delle informazioni e delle esperienze provenienti dal contatto con il mare e la natura, chi esprime i suoi sentimenti rivolgendo lo sguardo al mare per raggiungere casa, chi infine mostra l’inconsistenza della dicotomia natura/artificio considerando che la materia comune di qualsiasi pensiero sulla natura è comunque il linguaggio con cui esprimiamo questo pensiero, una costruzione umana, un sistema convenzionale: un artificio.

Silvia Petronici

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For Phillip C. Hall III, being actively involved in Bloomsburg University’s Gospel Choir has provided him with a sense of aesthetic pleasure, entertainment and religious practice.

With a campus club that blends both his love for music and religion, joining the Gospel Choir was a simple decision for him.

“When I finally gave into joining the choir here at school, I began to feel whole again,” said Hall, adding that not only did the choir help push his mental and physical drive, it also pushed him academically. “Once I became more actively involved, I was able to focus more on my school work and bring my grades up drastically. I wasn’t spending time trying to figure out who I was, and instead stopped fighting the call God had on my life to ministry.”

Hall and his fellow choir members will be center stage on Friday, May 1, when the Gospel Choir holds its annual Gospelrama in Carver Hall’s Gross Auditorium at 6 p.m. The concert is open free to the public.

After all of Hall’s positive experiences as a member of the choir, he believes other students can gain a lot from following in his footsteps.

“Students who join the Gospel Choir will gain another family here outside of their families at home,” Hall said. “They will also have the ability to strengthen their relationship with God.”

According to Hall, if you are interested in becoming a part of the Gospel Choir but feel your singing skills are not up to par, do not sweat it.

“We welcome students as they are and work with what they bring to the table,” Hall said. “Just come to rehearsal and begin to sing with us. We help you learn the music and make sure no one feels left out.”

Hall said building and strengthening student’s spiritual walks as well as gaining an extra family at their home away from home are only some of the beneficial aspects of becoming a member of the Gospel Choir. Hall, a communication studies major with a concentration in leadership and public advocacy, plans to commit himself to a Baptist seminary school after graduating in December to get his masters in divinity.

— Rachael Scicchitano, senior communication studies major

Sense of community. Bumping into people. Collaboration.

As humans we were designed to be social, be around a “tribe” of people and work together.

Last night I was surrounded by new and old friends over drinks. We just carried on about our lives, different cultures, issues, new ideas and had a ton of laughs. Having a tribe or sense of community is such a wonderful feeling. In addition to the good feeling, your community of people will bring a different perspective to issues, struggles, successes and etc. They will cause you to look through a different lense.

A sense of community is wonderful but can become your comfort zone. Bumping into new people should also be a part of your day. Otherwise you will not see things differently that you tribe. You may start to see a little bit more group think or similar thinking. People may not challenge your view because you see things the same way. Without challenge, their is no improvement. Challenge yourself to interact with one new person each day. It will keep life exciting, it will be a challenge and it will keep you on your toes.

Work with people on new ideas. Work with others on problems. Ask questions. Listen to others discussion to learn. Bounce an idea off of a few friends and see where it goes. Meetup with a cohort of friends for a working lunch and see how you can help each other. Randomly converge on a local coffee shop for a cup of coffee and bring some of the problems you are struggling with.

Stay creative. Keep friends around. Look for different people to bump into.

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Administrators for 10 local non-profit agencies affiliated with the Berwick Area United Way recently visited the Greenly Center to learn more about public relations, as part of the curriculum enhancement grant administered by the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Mass Communications.

Ten public relations students, working under the guidance of Kristie Byrum, assistant professor, presented their strategic communications plans to the agencies.

Participating United Way Agencies

  • Agape
  • S.M.I.L.E.
  • The Women’s Center, Inc.
  • The Ber-Vaughn pool
  • Downtown Business, Inc.
  • For the Cause
  • Columbia Child Development Center
  • Your Loving Choices
  • Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine

To be a global citizen you have to be aware of respecting others cultures, religion and beliefs. That is what Kate Seravalle does in Bloomsburg University’s Model Arab League.

“It’s good to be aware of global issues that are happening around us,” said Seravalle, senior speech-language pathology/audiology major and Middle East studies minor. “It inhibits us from jumping to conclusions about people. It makes you want to be proactive and a better person.”

Seravalle explains that being in the Model United Nations, Arab League, or European Union makes you a multifaceted person.  It not only helps you become more involved in world news, but it also adds a bit more to your resume that not every student has, she says.

“Being in Model Arab League it has helped me meet a lot of unique and intriguing people,” Seravalle said. “I was intimidated to join at first because there were many international students involved, but they became my good friends.”

She added, “This club has given me more than good friendships it has given me; research skills, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate with others.”

Seravalle suggests getting involved as early as possible. Start by keeping up with recent news and get the new from different sources.

After being involved in the club there are conferences they go to mostly in the Washington DC area. There they verse multiple schools where each school and model is given a country and then they have to address problems by coming up with solutions that will work for all countries.

“Only a few Pennsylvania schools go to these conferences, so it felt good to up against DC schools,” Seravelle said. “At first I was apprehensive, because of the lack of knowledge I had, but I encourage people to go outside their comfort zone. Being in Model Arab League it has taught me how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It also makes you grow as a person because you realize everyone at the conference is in the same boat as you are.” 

— Samantha Gross, sophomore telecommunications major

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Behind the support of roughly 200 participants, a student-driven protest marched across campus today from Carver Hall to Andruss Library, speaking out against police brutality and social injustices.

The peaceful rally, highlighted by a “die in” inside the library, was also done in tribute to the lives of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, as well as others at the hand of police misconduct.

Being mr. Watson’s Sherlock - bringing mr. Watson into the coworking space.

It has been almost a month ago since I started my internship at mr. Watson. Time to reveal some of the things I have been doing so far. 

First of all let me introduce myself: I am Martijn, I love photography and computer graphics and I am a student in Communication and Multimedia Design. What does that mean (you may wonder), simply explained it means that I design creative solutions with interactive media. Like the Watsons, they’re building communities in coworking spaces. So what do I do at mr. Watson? I joined the mr. Watson team as an Interaction Design intern. That means that I create the communication between user and medium, input and output.

As somebody who has never worked in a coworking space before, there were several things I wanted to know before getting started on developing a concept. Since the mr. Watson platform is designed for coworking spaces, I had to know everything about them. I also had to learn about the coworking space we work in: Katshoek. 

The coworking space in Katshoek was founded in 2013 and now houses over 50 companies, startups and freelancers. When I just started at mr. Watson, I expected to work with a small crew of only 5 people, but I soon discovered that you actually work together with everybody around you. In Katshoek there are a lot of creative people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience, which creates an amazing atmosphere. 

In the past month I have been working mainly on one project: bringing mr. Watson into the physical space. Right now mr. Watson exists only on the web, so the only way members can communicate through the platform is via the internet. It is my goal to find a solution through research that will improve the sense of community in our coworking space.

Coworking Spaces
The first thing I discovered about coworking spaces is that worldwide there are many different types of coworking spaces. Big ones like the Workbar in Boston with nearly 100 thousand square feet of office for rent. Small ones like Veel Hoeden in Pella, a small town in Iowa with a population of only ten thousand people. I even found about plans to build a coworking space on a boat that lies anchored off the shore of California: Blueseed. But all coworking spaces value the same things. Coworking spaces are about collaboration, openness, community, accessibility and sustainability. Coworking spaces strive to create an open environment where people can share and work together. mr.Watson is mainly interested in building communities, which brought me to another subject: the Sense of Community.

Sense of Community
When I started my research on Sense of Community I discovered that ellaborate research had already been conducted by McMillan and Chavis. In their research they put that to build Sense of Community you have to consider four key values: membership, influence, integration & fulfillment of needs and shared emotional connection. McMillan and Chavis also developed the Sense of Community Index (SCI), which can be used to measure the Sense of Community. I found this extremely valuable for the next step of my research. With the SCI, I could easily get to know in what state the community of Katshoek currently was.

Katshoek Community
The next step was to put the SCI in a survey that the community members could fill in. I asked the community to help me in my research and a staggering 32 people took part in the survey within a week: nearly a quarter of the entire community. The results (dutch) were very interesting, there were some people who rated the community extremely high but there was also one person who didn’t have anything good to say about it at all. Mostly the community in Katshoek got rated with an average of three out of five. There were several statements that scored rather low below the average. The results from these statements are exactly what I was looking for: problems to be solved, needs to be fulfilled or chances to be taken.

Lets go!
In the past month, I have learned a lot about coworking spaces and what’s going on in Katshoek. With all that I have learned, I now really want to move on to the next step. Which will be all about finding out how to solve the problems, fulfill the needs and take the chances that are ready to be taken. You will read about this in a future blogpost!