A LETTER FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Do you sell pies? It’s a question we get a lot. Enough Pie is many things, but bakers we are not. Enough Pie is a non-profit organization with a simple philosophy: there is enough pie for everyone. Our goal is to facilitate creative connections to empower our community so that we can all enjoy a slice of the proverbial pie. Neighborhood by neighborhood, resident by resident, business by business.
Enough Pie focuses on the community of the upper peninsula of Charleston, SC because it is rapidly growing and facing challenges that cut to the heart of how we will grow – inclusively? Dynamically? Creatively? Will we come together to envision and co-create a place where everyone feels welcome? A neighborhood where long-time residents feel supported in their homes or apartments alongside the burgeoning mixed-used developments that house Charleston’s newcomers?
This year, the City passed the Upper Peninsula Zoning District Ordinance, which incentivizes developers to build more sustainably for additional stories (up to 10 floors) in this specific area. These buildings would run alongside an existing neighborhoods like East Central, Bridgeview, Rosemount and Silver Hill, which house about 3,000 residents alongside dozens of local businesses. Developers are planning a $1B+ development of Laurel Island, and have begun meeting with the City of Charleston and the community to discuss their ideas, linked to new urbanism and pro-retail models.
Change is coming. That is certain. The question Enough Pie asks is: how can change be better for everyone? How can the City help ensure growth alongside and in honor of UP’s existing neighborhoods? How can developers be encouraged and supported to shoulder their weight of the burden to keep the UP inclusive and home to everyone? How can Enough Pie facilitate creative connections to help growth be better for everyone?
Enough Pie believes solutions exist within an empowered community that is engaged and connected. We facilitate artistic collaborations, dynamic partnerships, creative placemaking and civic engagement to empower our community. For we believe at the intersection of art and community engagement, we awaken to how the world can be, and begin to help co-create that place.
In my first year with Enough Pie, we realized unprecedented creative projects in Charleston. We took over an 80,000 square foot warehouse for six days with installation art of sound + light. We’ve hosted community pizza parties, roundtables, forums with placemaking leaders, and regular breaking of bread at a communal table at 1600 Meeting. We’ve built a community kiosk, playgrounds in the streets, and knit a massive yarn flag to wrap high over the smokestacks of St. Julian Devine Community Center. We’ve sung, danced, prayed and cried together. We have joined hands as one part of this historic, changing community, sharing our joy as well as our sorrow at the systemic injustice in this world and in our community. And we have vowed to try to help co-create a neighborhood where everyone feels welcome.
At Enough Pie, we recognize creativity at the root of empowering the upper peninsula’s challenges. When we come together as creative citizens (or citizen artists, as EP’s founder suggests), we envision how the world can be – and how Charleston can be – from a place of hope.
As we enter our fourth year, our organization circles back around, asking who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? Why do we do it? How do we share it? If you have ideas, please offer them. It takes a lot of citizen artists to co-create the neighborhood we all can dream of where all feel welcome – and it takes a willingness to explore and openly share our dreams.
To the residents, partners, collaborators, artists, board members, staff, fellows, foundations, donors and community cheerleaders who have helped Enough Pie flourish this year, we thank you. To those of you who are curious, come in. Come in!
Cathryn Davis Zommer
“If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean-buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
― Shel Silverstein