Friday, March 9, 2007

Starting Out

This is my first try at creating a social network with people interested in collaboration as an art form or community development tool or a way to find common minds through this Internet connection. It should be a terrific adventure to share my thoughts, experiences and successes with the world in this way. And then to learn from others who have a passion for how collaboration works and doesn't work.

I've been facilitating collaborative relationships since I was a young musician. There was always a challenge when combining forces with others. Music is a collaborative artform even as a solo player--having an audience is so important to one's development if in fact the musician wants to share. So sharing has become my life long passion in all aspects of life.

The CoLAB Planning Series was created in 2001 as a means for leveraging existing community assets and connecting people and organizations to each other, quickly and meaningfully. Several funders and stakeholders were at the table: United Way of Broward, Community Foundation of Broward, NCCJ, ArtsServe, and Volunteer Broward. The problem after 9/11 was that so many resources were going to NY that leaders felt something needed to happen to help nonprofit community groups connect. The CoLAB Planning Series design resulted from this meeting.

So this blog is devoted to sharing information about CoLAB as well as learning from others about their collaboration development experiences.

I'm curious to see what else I can do with this blog. So more later...

1 comment:

Terry Liddell said...

You are so creative and out in front Bess. Many creative artists seem to have an instinct for collaboration and are comfortable with the ambiguity of the creative process. I enjoyed working with you for part of the Martin County CoLab. I have also thought a great deal about collaboration over the past 20 years and have come up with a model that parallels some of the things that you do. I call my approach "Mapping Collaboration." It outlines some developmental stages of collaboration and acknowledges and anticipates some of the rough spots. I will share the table illustrating it with you as well as the theoretical references that helped form my approach. I appreciate the way you share your methods with your clients.