I have had a couple of months now to evaluate the first year of Enough Pie. When I realize how much work we have done and how many connections we have made, I am amazed that we’ve only been in operation for 15 months! Sometimes I find that hard to believe. Yet when I think about how small we are and how much we still have to learn, I certainly feel like a newbie. A stakeholder once described Enough Pie as “the little kid on the playground, sticking up for everyone, that everyone wants to play with.” I love that description. We are small, but we are mighty. Enough Pie’s staff, board, partners, stakeholders, community groups, artists, donors and supporters help make the organization stronger and wiser than its age belies. It truly takes a village. And that is exactly how we see the community of the upper peninsula – as a village inside a city. Enough Pie works hard to support, engage and highlight the diversity and uniqueness of this special area. We choose the arts, culture and collaboration as our tools.
Though Enough Pie has been around for just over a year, the vision and research behind the organization started more than two years ago. An informal group of businesses, residents and stakeholders began to gather casually around the area. We met at Taco Boy, DwellSmart and Studio PS to talk about why we loved the community as well as potential challenges. The one thing that seemed to be missing though was a way to activate these conversations – a vehicle that could catalyze creative collaboration, build social capital and reach even more community stakeholders. It was out of these gatherings that the idea for Enough Pie was born, built on the tenants of creative placemaking.
Enough Pie soon realized that for the upper peninsula, the approach had to be as much about creative placesaving as creative placemaking. We feel strongly that the uniqueness of this community must be preserved, and our goal is to celebrate its inherent vibrancy, creativity and diversity by using the arts as a catalyst.
I am not an urban planner. I am not a policy wonk. But I do spend an incredible amount of time researching both of these fields for smart ideas that could be applicable to our city. We don’t need to re-create the wheel. We just need to share that information with each other, our neighbors, councilmembers and city officials. In an effort to make ideas easier to share, Enough Pie will start an ongoing blog post for best practices and additional resources and we invite you to contribute the ideas you find across the state, nation and world.
There is so much behind-the-scenes work going on at Enough Pie. Chris, Claire and myself are continuously attending meetings with neighborhood associations, city planners, community groups, community task force committees as well as other nonprofits that share our vision. We want to be plugged in to every issue and never operate in a vacuum.
Our vehicle is art. Our slice of the pie is creative collaboration. Yet we understand that the real picture is much bigger and feel the stakes are much higher in this community in particular.
We truly believe there is enough pie for everyone.
Thank you for your support in our first year. We look forward to the future.
I have pulled together some examples of best practices in order to get the data bank started. Click here to view the Best Practices + Resources blog. If you would like to submit an article, please leave a link in the comments or drop us a line at email@example.com.