When you think of a park, what comes to mind? We often imagine quiet, green spaces with formal boundaries, places we seek out for a sense of escape. But as our societies change, we need to reimagine what parks can be, who uses them, and what they can do there.
A design collective called Performing Parks collaborated with Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service on two community engagement workshops at Coltsville National Historical Park to explore new park models that push beyond preconceptions of what national parks – and any park or public space – can be, and to re-imagine how these places shape and impact our everyday lives. Performing Parks is made up of Quilian Riano of DSGN AGNC (Team Lead), Adeola Enigbokan of Archiving the City, Annie Barrett of Annie Barrett Studio, Greg Mihalko of Partner & Partners, Joyce Hwang of ANTS OF THE PRAIRIE and writer, and oral history-based artist Sukjong Hong.
Next Parks Coltsville: Engaging Communities to Imagine the Future of National Parks
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Using the newly established Coltsville National Historical Park as a case study, the team documented the stories and experiences of the workshop participants, local individuals and groups who have a stake in the future of Coltsville, and developed initial ideas for involving partners in managing the park and in bringing a broad range of narratives and programming to various audiences. The goal was to identify initial themes and topics that the National Park Service can learn from and develop further. Download Your Park — the full report for NPS by Performing Parks The team’s findings and recommendations are based on two half- day workshops conducted with stakeholders of Coltsville National Historical Park in November and December of 2015. Two workshops were designed to: Generate ideas for partnerships and potential stakeholders Highlight connections between historical and contemporary narratives Begin conversations about future engagements with a broader range of stakeholders
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