Wisdom is Everywhere! And the quest of Qniversity in Lawrence MA is to bring all that good wisdom out so it can be well shared! And since February 2014 - when Qniversity opened its doors in a renovated Mill building on the Merrimack River - over 500 residents have come together to share passions, skills, ideas, advice and yes, wisdom with each other. And this past Labor Day yet a new dimension to the Q Campaign and Qniversity revealed itself: The Q-Mobile, a restored vintage 1960's Shasta Camper that has been transformed into a mobile Kitchen Table and Living Room.
On Labor Day at the Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, Qniversity volunteer stewards connected with a few hundred folks to talk about Qniversity and ask the question - "What Do You Want To Teach?" and to recruit "hosts" for the coming year. That day 25 new hosts were recruited to join the already 50+ Lawrence residents who have hosted skill and wisdom sharing sessions over the past 9 months. And the Q-Mobile was a great stop for visitors who wanted to stop and have a conversation, play dominos or try on one of our Cool Q-Share Good Life T-Shirts.
Lawrence Mayor Danny Rivera hanging out at the Q-Mobile. This coming year the Mayor will be teaching a workshop on "Camping and Setting Up a Tent Without Swearing Too Much!"Qniversity was conceived and designed by Bill Traynor and Frankie Blackburn of TSP as a way of getting real about the rhetoric that 'everyone counts and everyone has gifts.' "For years we have heard this from foundations and non-profits but it is so often empty rhetoric and worse, patronizing. Of course its true, and communities don't thrive because outsiders come in with big programs. Communities thrive when they can tap into and reveal and share all the good stuff that is hidden or has been undervalued. People and their aspirations are what fuel sustained progress and we want that idea to be taken seriously and resourced. So we decided to put our own time and resources into shaping a safe, fun, and free place for regular people to share what they know and what they have passion for. Today, less than 9 months later hundreds of Lawrencians are part of the Q thing!!
Qniversity is all volunteer and is coordinated by a loose group of 8-10 residents and supported so far by some 50+ residents who have volunteered to be "hosts" of sessions as wide ranging as "Cardio Fitness at Home" or "Making Films With Your Iphone" or "Public Speaking For Beginners". Since February these "Wisdom Is EveryWhere" sessions and the regular "Meditation Mondays", QFliks - Movies that Shake Things Up, Yoga, Zumba for Mom and Kids, English Spanish Conversation Circles have drawn over 500 residents at least 175-200 of which have participated in 2 or more sessions and activities. These spaces are are all led by regular people who want to learn, want to teach and want to connect.
The Q-Mobile made its first appearance on Labor Day but will be a regular part of the Qniversity movement for sharing skills and wisdom in Lawrence: as part of Grouundwork Lawrence's public events and parked outside of schools where Lawrence Communityworks is leading community education circles etc. In 2015 the Q-Mobile will hit the road to the DC area, North Carolina and possibly Cleveland and other spots in the Midwest. Let us know if you want the Q to make it to your home town!
Make Sure to check out what is coming at Qniversity on Facebook and "like" our page at www.facebook.com/QniversityLawrence
Trusted Space Partners is a team of experienced community developers and designers who are supporting collaborative community change initiatives all over the United States.