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Enough Pie is excited to announce the award of UP-Start Seed funding to…Pamela Simmons! A Charleston resident, and freelance writer/editor, Pamela has had a longtime interest in educational reform, leading her to pilot a newsletter via Charleston Promise Neighborhood aimed at the residents of the Upper Peninsula. Her favorite quote comes from an Atlanta-area non-profit, “When low-income residents are included in the planning, implementation and on-going life of their reviving neighborhood, they become the beneficiaries rather than the victims of gentrification.” 

Pamela has been awarded seed money to construct a community kiosk in the Upper Peninsula with a team of folks committed to making it happen. Kiosks have historically existed in the crossroads of commerce and resident life in bygone days. They provided space for important, timely information, in a pre-mass communication era and allow residents to reach out to fellow residents. They encourage engagement at street-level and make sure there are free places to learn about events and activities in our neighborhood.

From Pamela’s submission: “Charleston’s Upper Peninsula is in the midst of rapid change. Gentrification is boosting many property values while increased rail traffic is harming and destroying others. Light industry is locating to the area, creating new footprints in old spaces. A park and bike trail along a neighborhood railroad is in the works. Information on all these local trends could be a game leveler for residents. But many residents don’t have Internet access and don’t read the city’s papers. How can they be included in the change that is occurring so that it happens in a neutral way?

How could we improve on the model? What if artists made kiosks that reflected the neighborhood and drew people to them to receive information and impart information? What if these kiosks were works of art in and of themselves? If placed in areas where people interact, they could please as well as engage.”

Pamela’s application proposed building artful, community-centric kiosks in the Upper Peninsula, where non-profits can disseminate key information for residents, Tri-County transportation plans can be explained and residents can react, health clinics or job fairs or church festivals can announce community-building events, and where newcomers can share news and connect with long-time neighbors.

Congratulations and we look forward to unveiling our first artful community kiosk in the New Year!

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