Posted on May 6, 2020
210 W. Holly is pretty quiet these days. I come in to take care of the building, the fish, and the plants. The rest of our staff is keeping in touch from home, doing what work they can do without access to the space, and thinking about the Mindport of the future. Luckily, everyone is doing ok! Thank you to all the essential workers, now, and always, and to everyone doing their best to figure out how to care for themselves, loved ones, and their community in difficult times.
I’ve been struggling with knowing what to say – both personally and professionally. Personally, I’m worried about a lot, angry about a lot, sometimes stressed, and almost always uncertain, while also grateful for what’s good in the present.
Professionally, I’m wondering how Mindport can be useful and accessible during this time and beyond. The diversity of our experiences of this pandemic reflects the diversity of our circumstances, and those circumstances now, like the rest of the time, are neither fair nor equitable.
What should an organization, intent on creating and stewarding an interactive space for people of all ages to explore some of the beauty and wonder of the physical world, together and in real time, do when so many people are struggling mightily, and when so many public interactions have moved to a digital environment? How long will it be before hands-on spaces can operate safely? On one hand, trying to take some of Mindport on-line will potentially make Mindport more accessible-if people have access to internet and a computer, or a smart phone and a cell plan, and the time and energy to engage. On the other hand, it invites paying even more attention to the digital world, which is somewhat antithetical to Mindport’s mission and may not be what’s needed from Mindport right now. There is a lot of digital content out there already-much of it quite wonderful-and already a lot of demand that people be connected digitally, which isn’t possible for everyone.
For now, I’ll post some blog posts I put together years ago called “Small Wonders for the Weekend.” They were inspired by working with some students in Mindport’s tutoring program – fun activities that are relatively simple to do, and which my students and I enjoyed at the time. If you find these useful, please let us know. We’ll make more.
We also have some ideas for some collaborative art projects with you. Some may have to wait until our staff can access the building again, but others may be able to make use of the reliable and essential United States Postal Service. More on that soon. Please let us know if you have some ideas for us. We are all ears!
And, as always, let’s try to take the best care of each other we can- each and every one of us – in as many ways possible.