Creating a roadmap for the future by Galesburg residents for Galesburg residents.
What is Community Heart & Soul?
Community Heart & Soul is community development based on broad and deep participation from residents. The idea is to allow residents to determine what they value most about their town and then encourage them to actively participate in steering change that strengthens the cultural, social and economic vibrancy of the place. The method was developed and field-tested over a decade. More than a dozen towns in Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont have worked with Orton Family Foundation on Community Heart & Soul projects.
What results can we expect?
Community Heart & Soul towns have witnessed transformation. Heart & Soul helps communities see possibilities instead of obstacles to revitalization. That transformation leads to positive change. Several towns whose economies have suffered as industry left have witnessed their downtown business districts rebound in the wake of Heart & Soul projects.
What is the timeline for this project?
Community Heart & Soul is a two-year project that aims to get everyone in Galesburg involved in shaping a roadmap for the future. Right now the Community Foundation is looking for partners to support the Community Heart & Soul project. The project officially kicked off in November 2015. When done right, the process is one that really lives on forever, as all major community decisions should be based upon the values identified.
The Galesburg Community Foundation approached the Orton Family Foundation about partnering with Galesburg in a Community Heart & Soul project. The Community Foundation saw Community Heart & Soul as a strong, proven and successful method of community development that transformed dozens of towns across the country. Many of these towns faced economic and social challenges similar to Galesburg’s, and Heart & Soul provided a roadmap to positive change that also rekindled pride of place and shifted focus from what’s wrong with a place to what they love about it. The Community Foundation was drawn to the Heart & Soul method because it is a true community-based strategy that’s organized by and run by residents. Heart & Soul is focused on not just planning, but taking action.
Why should our community do this?
Based on success in other towns, Community Heart & Soul has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change in Galesburg. Other Heart & Soul communities have seen the process build leadership, boost volunteerism, bridge divides, create partnerships, preserve historical sites, increase resources for k-12 education and strengthen economies. Because Community Heart & Soul is organized and carried out by the people in the towns most affected by change—the people who live, work and invest in the community, the people with an emotional attachment to the place they call home—Heart & Soul creates plans that lead to concrete actions that lead to positive change.
Leadership Team Meetings
6:30- 8:00 pm
Galesburg Community Foundation
246 E Main Street