Community: An Idea Worth Spreading
Posted by in community on May 13, 2013
by Guest Blogger, Chris Greiner of 3S Artspace
3S will be New Hampshire’s first nonprofit, multidisciplinary contemporary arts space. To be comprised of three spaces — a mid-sized performance venue, non-commercial art gallery and farm-to-table restaurant — in addition to a dozen affordable artist studios, 3S will foster the creative community and engage and educate the community at large. Focusing on emerging, innovative and unconventional arts, 3S will feature local, regional and nationally and internationally recognized artists, presenting accessible, high quality programming across multiple media. As a dynamic cultural gathering place for the Seacoast region and beyond, 3S will provide artists and the public affordable farm-to-table dining and a welcoming venue for professional development, networking and the discussion and exchange of ideas.
I’ve spent the last three years working with an incredible team – volunteer board and committee members, consultants, mentors, and experts of all kinds – to bring this long-held dream to life. Having raised over $1.45 million toward our founding capital campaign, and finalizing plans to begin renovations this summer on our 18,000 square foot building at 319 Vaughan Street in downtown Portsmouth, I’ve lately been able to take a few steps back: to reflect on the work we’ve already done; to think more practically about the future – what a fully operational 3S looks like; and to consider more closely the values that will continue to be the bedrock of our organization.
This past Friday we had the honor of hosting the first ever TEDx conference in the Seacoast region. For me, it was an object lesson in what 3S is all about. Standing in the back of the room I listened as 12 people, from around the region and around the country, presented on subjects that touched our hearts, made us laugh, provoked our thoughts, and stretched our understanding of what is possible. I watched three diverse performances. I saw an audience of friends, acquaintances and strangers share this experience, by turns discuss it over food and drink, tweet it out to the world, sit silently and contemplate it. And at the end of the day I watched them leave, walking out in waves onto Vaughan Street, with palpable energy, eager to share the day with their friends, family, and colleagues.
There are many ways to think about our health, some quantifiable and many not. We are, by nature, creatures enlivened by our curiosity and by our connections to others. There is no one litmus test by which we can measure the health of our community, of course, but the discussion and exchange of ideas – whether it be at a coffee shop, a park bench, or a cultural venue like 3S – is a life force, and one the ripples out, amplifying its effect as it spreads. Fundamentally, this enlivening, this engagement and creation of community is what we at 3S aspire to and strive for.
Learn more about 3S Artspace
To learn more about 3S and its upcoming events, to keep apprised of the development of our new space at 319 Vaughan Street, and for more information and a downloadable commitment form for Making Space: The Campaign for 3S Artspace, please visit www.3sarts.org.
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