wild & grace recently delivered eat move make for winter solstice. In the sunlight of the morn, I invited all to share something they were passionate about. Odette Chesterman (a workshopee) spoke of connectivity and community. The circle of women gathered spoke gently but passionately about our place Tauranga. We spoke of the heart-warming Blank Canvas Lounge events and the evidence that our people have artistry, generosity of spirit and a pull to come together. At one such event in Autumn Falk’s clinic listening to the songs of (Nina) Rivers, 30 of us lotused, perched, stood on steps (our crossed knees and warmed shoulders kissing those of our neighbours’) I overheard someone whispering they felt transported to somewhere else – like a gathering in Nelson. Nelson and her neighbour’s conjure painters and artistes, wholesome food, warmth of land and people and a sense of freedom (another eat move make theme). I am propelled into creativity when I dwell on what and how Odette shared. Creativity in the sense of creating. Creating events. Creating opportunity to develop. Creating opportunities for all to come together and celebrate happiness. I’d be curious to learn what you feel moved to make happen in Tauranga? Without further ado I give you Kimberley Cleland and Doing it for the love of it…
Breakfast with an audience. Not a usual start to a winters Tuesday in Tauranga. As the sun peaked over the hills and flooded the harbour vista from the Tauranga Club, around 100 people feasted on inspirations from Peter Kagayama. Peter is the author of For the Love of Cities (http://fortheloveofcities.com/?page_id=2) and is pursuing his purpose of bringing surprise and delight into everyday life for city dwellers.
Like what the team of two in St Petersburg are doing by installing guerilla swings on city infrastructure in public places, or the 22 year old who reacted to his City being named one of the top ten dying cities in the States by creating a 5000 person strong “lip dub” showcasing their downtown area. The artist who stenciled “It’s good to be here” throughout New Orleans and the 1600 Durham residents who “married” there City to show they loved it.
And for what? I hear you asking yourself. A better, more interesting, more loveable City. Throughout the presentation lots of examples of projects that make you smile were shared. That is the essence of Peter’s work; we all need to be involved in filling the gap between the City we want and the one we can afford in creative and fun ways. And ask ourselves, “Where’s the fun?”
One particular idea that sparked my imagination was the work of the Awesome Foundation (http://www.awesomefoundation.org/). Groups of friends, family or committed individuals put money on a monthly basis into a joint account. This group then decides which awesome local idea they will support. No charitable status needed, no established organisation required, just an idea that needs a kickstart with some funding. Awesome.
Peter’s morning presentation was followed by an interactive workshop outlining what our City could create as ritual events and great ideas that could be started by those in the room. This high energy session had its crescendo in a $500 grant for an idea pitched that day. And the winner was…Maddy and her Painted Street Piano. So if you happen to be walking down the strand and see a piano sitting lonely in the street, don’t be afraid, take a moment to interact and enjoy it. It’s a love note from one of Tauranga’s citizens to you.
By Kimberley Cleland