Hallowed Placemaking: Part 3

QC Family Tree, in Charlotte, NC
QC Family Tree, in Charlotte, NC

In part 1 of the Hallowed Placemaking series, Helms Jarrell, of QC Family Tree, proposed the idea of Hallowed Placemaking – a place-based practice of casting the vision, manifesting the reality we are hoping for. Hallowed Placemaking is the practice of making real our prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.” In part 2, Helms explored issues of displacement, development, and a place-based practice of resurrection. Now in part 3, she   highlights the people and places that inspire QC Family Tree’s practice of Hallowed Placemaking.

At QC Family Tree, the practice of Hallowed Placemaking has taken shape in several forms.  We have worked to enliven spaces with whimsical visuals, beautiful plants, or thoughtful quotes. Our hope was that the creativity would make folks feel welcome, inspiring them to engage with the art and with one another.  The bus stop in the QC Family Tree yard has been a focal point of Hallowed Placemaking. It has become a pop up art studio, a library, an art gallery, and a place to rest and enjoy a snack or a swing on the big tree.

More recently, we worked with our neighborhood youth group to create art that combines with advocacy.  Inspired by the work of the United States Department of Arts and Culture, a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging, we reflected upon Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” and created public visual art as a part of the #revolutionofvalues project. Also, during a recent community meal, we utilized the USDAC toolkit on Honoring the Native Land to guide our welcome and prayer.

The possibilities of Hallowed Placemaking are abundant.  Inspired by the work of  Grace Lee Boggs and adrienne maree brown, we hope to explore how we might be able to listen to and learn from the lessons of nature, time, somatics, and emergence in our practice..  Upcoming Hallowed Placemaking projects will include: improvements to the gathering space (lighting/shade); communal ceremonies of acknowledgement and gratitude; and seasonal observances that take shape through visual art and storytelling.

Here is a list of places and people that inspire us as we seek to practice Hallowed Placemaking:
The Heidelberg Project
City Museum
Candy Chang’s Ted Talk
Joy Unspeakable by Barbara Holmes
Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
Watershed Discipleship
BeLoved Community in Asheville, NC

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The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate or by contacting Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, at awatkins@nbacares.org.