Gertrude Stein’s “there is no there there” has been used as a description for placeless spaces. By contrast, place has some kind of “there” going on. But what is this? What exactly is “place”? There are lots of ways to think about it. In this workshop, we reflected upon Helena’s sense of “place” in terms of our urban outdoors. Learn more & access resources here!
Gertrude Stein’s “there is no there there” has been used as a description for placeless spaces. But what exactly is “place”? There are lots of ways to think about it. In this workshop led by Dennis McCahon we’ll be thinking about “place” in terms of our urban outdoors. When we get that Helena “sense of place” out there, what’s going on? What are we sensing? Is it urban design — deliberate “place-making” on somebody’s part? Is it a lucky accident? Something else? If it’s a mix of those, what’s the ratio? When can urban design be called “place-making” at all? This is an unruly bunch of questions. Unruly questions, though, can be fun, and even if they don’t lead to a hard-set definition, they can, in the case of Helena’s urban outdoors, lead to something useful — a shared, or at least better clarified and articulated vision and use of a Helena-specific, vocabulary and frame of reference — a basis, maybe, for practical understanding. Learn more, download the preparatory material & RSVP here!
A 2021 Vernon Press anthology series edited by Stephen Kekoa Miller featuring eight chapters about doing philosophy in innovative ways, both in the schools and the community at large. In our chapter, “Philosophy In & By the Community,” we explore how Merlin CCC — with the help & support of community — has taken shape in interesting, delightful, and unexpected ways. In the process, we discuss our approach to philosophy, the kind of work we do, and some of its characteristics…as well as the significance & beauty of community & place. Learn more here!
To celebrate the new year, we kicked off our 2021 workshop series by looking at the questions: “What is philosophy? What does it involve, what does it do, and why should we care?” For this first ZOOM workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, we surveyed several approaches to the question, “What is philosophy?”, each of which raised its own further questions for reflection and discussion. We also took a quick tour of the major areas or divisions of philosophy, as they developed in Greece, India, and elsewhere. Access resources and reading recommendations here!
We were pumped to team up with Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, Forestvale Cemetery, and historian Ellen Baumler for some fun days of pumpkin picking and hayride ghost story cemetery tours. After playing at Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, folks loaded into our hayride wagon and took a ride down the road with us to Forestvale Cemetery, where heard ghost stories, wandered the cemetery grounds, and learned more about its residents and history! Check out the video and photos here!