The Backstory of the Greta and Carlos "Village" Stories
One of the projects the F2FNAC came up with, was to create a story walk for their community. Not only would this provide a family fun event for people in and around the Franklin to the Fort neighborhood, but it was also a way to get people to meet one another in a safe and covid friendly way. They created the Art & Storytelling to Build Human
The group imagined a COVID-safe event for mid-winter that was active and fun to bring neighbors
outside together to walk, to meet, to build connections.
This idea inspired artist Kate Wilburn to pitch
in and write and illustrate the story "What Makes a Village?"
The first episode of this series, "What Makes a Village?" made its debut in Franklin to the Fort this January.
11 year olds Greta & Carlos star in this tale-- for all ages-- of neighbors reaching out to neighbors. The story proposes that "buddies" and "village" could be our greatest security.
For about a week, the sequence of 12 story segments occupied telephone poles and the like along 5 routes through the neighborhood. Each about 3/4 of a mile long, the routes roughly covered the entire geography. Four of them converged at Franklin Park.
On Saturday January 16, a core group was at the park all afternoon to meet neighbors, to ask what their hopes are for this neighborhood in which we live, what their hopes are for working together to make those real.
It was a cold day not much above freezing, but it was sunny. About 45 adults and children came. People seemed delighted to have an engaging way to be out on foot, to meet each other. And they also seemed delighted to be asked to speak of and to write down their hopes for being like a "village" with each other.
Their hopes included: connection and compassion, knowing neighbors to help them and to ask for help, community-held garden space, seed exchange and collaboration with the abundance of nature, safer walking conditions and more sidewalks, traffic calming, more neighborhood activities and art, a family-friendly center -- maybe a corner market-- as a welcoming place to be with neighbors.