The following is from Studio B and the Maplewood Arts Collective:
Election day seems like a world away. That sunny day, we marched to our polling places, children in hand, and participated proudly in the democratic process.
But even before we could peel the “I Voted” stickers off of our jackets, we learned that, while our presidential candidate may have won the popular vote, she would not become president.
We live in an overwhelmingly left-leaning community, politically. And in the shock of election’s wake, we also learned that we live in a deeply divided nation.
So, how do we move forward?
“That question has a lot of layers,” says Benny Campa Director of the Maplewood Artist Collective. “And it means something different to everyone.”
For some, the challenge is merely to accept the difficult outcome. For others, there is a deep desire to become actively involved in issues that may loose traction in a Trump administration. And for those who want to look outside of our collective bubble, the challenge is to understand what this means on a national scale.
“Our community prides itself on inclusivity. That’s a great thing. But moving forward may also mean expanding our definition of ‘inclusion’ … how well do we understand the other side of the political divide?” Asks Marcy Thompson, Studio B Honcho.
In an attempt to move forward on all fronts, Studio B, The Maplewood Artist Collective, and the Township of Maplewood are co-hosting COME TOGETHER … MOVE FORWARD. The event is an open forum, a gathering, and a starting point.
“Many people in our communities are reeling right now, we feel the best way to face the future is to be in the same space, and to share ideas,” says Jenny Turner Hall, Studio B Honcho. She adds, “The idea here is to help people how to understand how to take positive action.”
“It’s really important to approach this moment with openness, and with a sense of community in mind,” says Campa.
The event, which takes place from 6pm to 9pm at The Woodland is free and open to families. Representatives from local organizations will be present, and participants are encouraged to reach out to their neighbors in positive ways. There will be time for open comments, and there will be opportunities for people to share ideas about organizations and issues that need attention.
“There’s no specific agenda here,” says Turner Hall. “Our goal is to allow people to share what needs to be shared, and to make information available.”
“For many of us, there was a lot of positive momentum in the campaign. We have an opportunity to carry that forward,” says Thompson. “It’s up to us individually and collectively.”
COME TOGETHER … MOVE FORWARD
Friday, November 11
6pm – 9pm
60 Woodland Road
Studio B and The Maplewood Artist Collective are local non-profit organizations focused on enhancing the artistic and cultural lives of our communities.