how does it work?
Cornerstone//Connect will assemble a team that includes a project lead, a manager of community partnerships and a lead artist who will develop and implement a customized community engagement plan for your organization or business.
Over the past three decades working in and with communities of all kinds, Cornerstone has developed a process that is thorough and responsive. Just as every community is different, so is every process, but the building blocks remain the same:
Each engagement begins with a discovery process. We work with you to identify what communities are you trying to reach? What information are you hoping to discover? What are the desired outcomes?
Prior to entering a community, we do preliminary research to understand the history of that community, identify potential partners and individual “connectors”.
Upon being invited into a community we work with partners and connectors to build a real-life social network of people who want to be involved in our process. This research continues throughout the life of the project.
Cornerstone’s team, including professional theater artists from our ensemble, immerse ourselves in the community by conducting story circles, cultural mapping exercises and artistic workshops that provide opportunities to talk and listen to each other.
Workshops include a wide range of activities such as writing, acting, movement, art-making, music, recipe-sharing and photography. We identify the interests and creative resources that exist within the community and integrate them into the process.
All programs are open to the public.
After a period of creative collaboration determined by the discovery process and timeline, we work with the community to produce a culminating event that can take a variety forms ranging from a concert sharing of workshop writings to an installation to a fully produced play about the community.
For each project Cornerstone works with at least one lead artist or creative director who shapes the presentation and determines, with the community, what form it will take.
Sustained engagement requires ongoing communication, so we develop a follow-up plan that includes at least one “reunion” of community participants in the project and maintain a “Community Council” of participants from past projects.