A few weeks ago, we were sitting down for our team sharing session. This is a regular session to chat through any content or campaigns we’ve seen that we like/don’t like/intrigue us. One of the team mentioned a podcast episode they had listened to from 99% Invisible. Our discussion of this episode sparked our brand new idea for “Meet the Street 2019.”
The episode was about a couple, Dan and Lu, from San Fran who lived on a street suffering from anti-social problems; things like vandalism, prostitution, illegal dumping, drug dealers. You name it; the street had it.
The couple decided to figure out a solution (over a couple of glasses of wine). They decided to buy a concrete Budduda from their local garden centre. Late one night, Dan bolted the statue to the pavement near the heart of the problems. Over the coming weeks, much to their surprise, the area slowly began to improve. Someone painted the statue gold and detailed the eyes, nose, mouth and fingers. A shrine housing was erected around it, candles left beside it, people started praying to it, and street parties setup (food, drink, music). Dan and Lu were blown away. They put it down to a single point of interest; generating a community spirit that became much bigger than the statue itself. The experiment has snowballed, and the area now features on Trip Advisor as a must-see spot.
Here’s a link to the podcast: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/hes-still-neutral/
This story reminded us of our values, but it also unearthed an uncomfortable truth: despite working from the same office on Gay Street, right in the heart of the beautiful city of Bath, we knew very few of our business neighbours. Well, except Martin, historical actor at the Jane Austin Centre (well worth a visit if you haven’t been: https://www.janeausten.co.uk/)
We found loads of research on the topic of community and the many benefits of being part of something bigger. Now, we want to start a project to enact change as well. So we thought we would kick start a small campaign to bring people and businesses together. Although our work is varied and can take us all over the world, our local community is really important to us. After all, people are the reason we make films, and we’d love to get to know our neighbours better.
Helping each other out is good for the soul, and building real, face-to-face, relationships brings us together. Maybe two doors down the street there’s someone else who can answer your query? Maybe there’s a sports team that needs another member, or even needs creating? A pub quiz or a charity to get involved with?
So, we’re trying to encourage a stronger, more connected community by launching an event to get to know the other people who also work in our little corner of Bath.
It’s not about being a business; it’s an evening for us to be neighbours and make new friends. Everyone within our area is welcome, and we’ll all be there with bells on! We hope this will lead to more events and beyond.
The first Meet the Street 2019 event will be at the Hall and Woodhouse on the 18th of September between 4.30 – 7.30.
If you would like to come, take a look at the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/453119155284110/ or find us on Twitter: