|A new conversation-generating project||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: John Wallace (walla003TC.UMN.EDU)|
|Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 17:18:03 -0500|
CALLING ALL CONVERSATIONALISTS! Back in the spring we talked at a folk school retreat about setting up conversation tables in public spaces. The concept is simple: place a sign on a table that designates it as a place open to public conversation, where people can sit and talk to each other. Simple guidelines would be provided, along with suggested questions (that could be displayed with the sign to draw attention), and there would be a journal to record the conversations that happened. Volunteers could also be tapped to facilitate occasional conversations that could be advertised ahead of time in the coffee shop. Through a lively brainstorming session a name was created - ChaTTable - to represent the concept both visually and conceptually. Graphics were designed and signage created. And now ChaTTable is ready for a trial spin. The ChaTTable group invites you to an evening meeting on Monday, October 20 for anyone interested in trying out the conversation table idea. The meeting will be held at the Dale Street Greenhouse, 533 North Dale Street, St. Paul. We will start the session by assembling and binding the pages for a set of "Chatbooks" that will be used as journals at the ChaTTables. If you would like to get in on this and learn how to make a simple stab-bound book, come at 6:30 p.m. Beginning at 7 p.m., trained facilitator Sharon Anderson will illustrate what we're talking about by leading a conversation around a question chosen to demonstrate the ChaTTable idea. After some time for discussion, she'll review some guidelines for us to use in facilitating conversation groups. By about 8 p.m., we'll get down to the business of deciding who would like to get involved, and with which coffee shops. We'd like to have two or three volunteer facilitators for each of approximately 4 to 6 coffee shops trying out the concept for a couple of months, beginning in November. Coffee shop owners can decide to set aside a ChaTTable for any period they wish, just by placing the sign on the table. The volunteers would probably facilitate one posted conversation every couple of weeks over the trial period. The meeting on October 20 should be over by 9 p.m. If you're interested in attending the October 20 meeting, please RSVP. If you have a coffee shop where you want to try this out, let us know ASAP so we can help you make the contact. If you are a coffee shop owner and are interested in having a ChaTTable in your shop, we want to be sure to follow through! Let us know! Anyone who is curious about the ChaTTable idea is welcome on October 20. But please let us know you're coming so we can plan our snacks accordingly. Please send your RSVP to Scott, sgriz [at] yahoo.com. Scott Gueltzow, Nancy Longley, and Jan Hively -- John Wallace Director of Graduate Studies Department of Philosophy University of Minnesota 831 Heller Hall 271 19th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55455-0310 (612) 624-5210 FAX (612) 626-8380 walla003 [at] tc.umn.edu
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