I had a great meeting last week with Boris and Julia who work for the Bresee Foundation. The Bresee Foundation is a nonprofit community center that is a source of faith, hope and service to low-income youth, adults and families in central Los Angeles. They serve nearly 2,000 individuals annually, primarily at-risk youth from the Mid-Wilshire, Koreatown, Pico Union, and Westlake neighborhoods.
Spark Good Studios is partnering with Bresee (mostly Boris) to try a small experiment to see what happens when "at-risk" youth begin taking risky acts of altruism.
While we were talking the topic shifted from Bresee to all the people who volunteer there but then have to move away. One person we discussed had moved to Los Angeles to pursue fashion and was now having to move back to the midwest from whence they came.
Which is when I said, "So who says someone has to move to Los Angeles or New York to do fashion? Who says a small town in the midwest can't become the new fashion hub of the world?"
We all agreed but it still sounded kind of...you know...stupid.
Then again, 200 years ago New York was only a town of 20,000. And now with globalized markets and democratized technologies anyone, anywhere can find a voice and change the cultural landscape of literally the entire world.
The irony of our conversation was that the Bresee Foundation exists to give hope to kids who might not otherwise have it. But at risk kids aren't the only ones who need hope. Cities need hope as well, and so do fashionistas destined for Topeka, KS. Just like a kid in Pico Union can go to college, so too can your town become a creative force in the world. Just like Los Angeles was built (and needs to be rebuilt) so too can your city be built and rebuilt.
Hope isn't locked to a geographic location. Hope goes where creativity goes. It goes where the hopeful go. So what cultural force is your community going to be because you're a part of it? 200 years from now why are people going to move to your city?
And how are you going to give hope to those who are searching for it?
Posted on Thu, October 7, 2010