Over the past few months we’ve been sharpening our focus on two themes.
Civics is the first. This theme draws attention to how people are creating the city they would like to live in. These stories shed light on the agency we have as community members, small groups, associations, networks, and as civil society organizations. Sharing these stories also invites others to step up and in to contribute in ways that enliven their own talents, values, and beliefs.
Civics, by definition is local, municipal. We will continue to focus on what people are doing right here, right now, and where they have the most power to influence our local situation; at home.
Social innovation at a local level is chock full of incredible potential. It will take years before we, as a community, have fully discovered and expressed the creativity nested within our local boundaries.
When it comes to city politics, rather than politics as usual we will focus on the ways in which City Hall is partnering with community members, citizens, and civil society organizations. We will approach city staff, and elected officials as citizens first, citizens who happen to be remunerated, at least in part, for their community work. Civic engagement is on the rise in Peterborough and the mayor and members of this council are actively encouraging it.
Social innovation at a local level is chock full of incredible potential. It will take years before we, as a community, have fully uncovered and expressed the creativity nested within our local boundaries. It is to shedding light on these possibilities, supporting them in stories, information, and networking that we will focus our efforts.
That being said, Peterborough is home to some colourful and courageous characters who have chosen, from the ground on which they stand in Peterborough, to raise a voice into our larger social systems. From time to time we will story their creative work and the ways in which it emanates from their lives in Peterborough.
A second theme is the Arts. Electric City Magazine was founded on an intention, and the talents of its founders, to participate in and illuminate the arts in all of its forms in Peterborough.
The founders of Electric City Magazine have gifted our community a tremendous and likely under-appreciated infrastructure. The amount of correspondence we receive from artists, acts, theatre companies, and venues about what they are up to and producing is extraordinary. It is almost to the point of being overwhelming. To respond to them all, much less to do them justice, is at present a task beyond our capacity. There is tremendous opportunity for growth here. As a start we have expanded our What’s On in the Arts calendar.
The arts make visible the life of community and the people in it. The arts also have the power to awaken in us an image of ourselves and of our future.
A vibrant arts community is essential to the health and wellbeing of our community. The arts make visible the life of community and the people in it. The arts also have the power to awaken in us an image of ourselves and of our future.
We are cultivating funding streams for our media works in support of both the civics and the arts. As we do so we would like to partner with those of you who have talents to offer on these fronts.
As a case in point, Mark Woolley stepped forward with a keen interest in developing our What’s On calendar. The work he has been doing has been herculean. In the past three months he has been connecting with arts venues and civil society organizations to bring attention to the vast array of opportunities for you to engage in an extraordinarily rich community life. In the last three months alone he has posted over a 1,000 local events, yes, over 1,000. Mark, thank you.
What’s On Arts & Civics
Traditionally focused on the Arts, What’s On has been an immensely popular element of the Electric City Magazine ecology. We heard this in the streets, cafés, bars, and pubs. We continue to build on that legacy. Mark is adding some terrific refinements to make it easier for you to find the events you are most interested in.
During our All Citizens Meetings we heard that people wanted a one-stop shop for local, community-building opportunities. So, we built one. One barrier to change is that people are not able to find ‘pathways to participation’. People often feel an urge to engage in community but don’t know where to start or how to get involved. It can seem that if you do not wish to be a politician, a protestor, or an activist there are few options for community contribution available to you. Taking on a volunteer ‘job’ might not be for you either. The What’s On in Civics calendar may bring to light new possibilities for you to find your niche in community. It is also a great place for civil society organizations to invite civic engagement in their work.
In the meantime, we will continue with our twice weekly short stories, ECM Weekly, What’s On in Civics, What’s On in Arts, and the occasional, long-form, and thoughtful podcast, like this one with Bernie Farber, who visited Peterborough as part of the Many Windows, One Light event, an amazing example of community-led dialogue.
Illustration by Jocasta Boone.
We can chip away at telling the stories, like this one, of Another Peterborough on our own but we could really use your financial support.
If you would like to see more stories like this please consider funding us on Patreon.