Trusted Space Partners has been working In Cleveland Ohio with Neighborhood Connections, a component of the Cleveland Foundation to design and implement an innovative strategy to connect local neighborhoods and the anchor institutions in the Greater University Circle area.
Part of this work is to create a new Community of Practice among residents, non profits and large institutions in the Greater University Circle Area.
The idea of the COP is to develop and explore strategies for building a powerful Community Network to better leverage the power and investment of large institutions in that area to help improve the prospects of the surrounding distressed neighborhoods and their people. The long term strategy is to develop new networks of personal and institutional relationships that bridge some of the geographic, racial and class barriers that have kept people apart.
As a way of kicking off this work - the group took over a home recently renovated by a local CDC - and transformed it into an innovative space for a network night. The event - billed as a Communities of Aspiration Party took place on March 16, and over 300 residents and local institution and non profit leaders participated! The event was a great start to a new direction for Neighborhood Connections which is combining their work providing small grants to local groups with an expanded role as community network builders.
Check out this video of the event: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/65942450/NC_GUC_Kickoff%20Video.mp4