Assessing our Summer Salons Jun 21, 2021

This summer, QC Family Tree has been visiting folks' backyards in order to facilitate a discussion surrounding anti-racism, affordable housing, and taking action in Charlotte. While sitting around enjoying a brew or a fizzy water, we begin reimagining narratives through counter-storytelling. The back porch becomes a place to transform the story we know, i.e. the dominant narrative or stock story, into including what may have been covered up, a.k.a, the concealed story, as well as the resistance story, which describes folks taking back the narrative, and finally, the transformation story, the one that helps us to reimagine a future with honest storytelling and flourishing communities.

At the end of the evening, we ask folks to give us a "grade" through the Stamps of Impactful framework. These stamps were adapted by Helms from Animating Democracy, with the goal of informing and inspiring reflection, dialogue, and description in mind for speakers and audiences alike. The categories are as follows:

  • Commitment: creative processes and products embody conviction to the cause espoused.
  • Communal Meaning: facilitates collective meaning that transcends individual perspectives and experiences.
  • Disruption: challenges what is by exposing what has been hidden, posing new ways of being, and modeling new forms of action.
  • Cultural Integrity: demonstrates integrity and ethical use of material with specific cultural origins and context.
  • Risk Taking: assumes risks by subverting dominant norms, values, narratives, standards, or aesthetics.
  • Openness: deepens impact by remaining open, fluid, transparent, subject to influence, and able to hold contradiction.
  • Emotional Experience: facilitates a productive movement between "heart space"- the emotional experience that art evokes- and the "headspace" of civic or social issues.
  • Sensory Experience: vivid sensations deepened the experience of the creative work and heighten the power of its messages and the potential for change.
  • Coherence: strong ideas expressed with clarity advance both artistic and social purposes.
  • Resourcefulness: imaginative use of available resources drives artistic innovation and demonstrates responsible social and environmental practice.
  • Stickiness: The creative work achieves sustained resonance, impact, or value.

By giving us a colorful Stamp of Impactfulness on a poster at the end of the discussion, the attendees of the salon are able to reflect on what they learned from our time together, what they yearn to learn more of, and what action they plan on taking. We as QC Family Tree are able to reflect on how we achieved (or didn't) our own goals for the discussion and how we improve for the next salon.