The National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds has created a rare opportunity to engage in a national discussion about landscape, democracy, history and civic life. The competition, which is the subject of the Virginia Center for Architecture’s current exhibition Someday in the Park with George, inspired Jacquelyn Pogue, the director of Richmond Action Dialogues, to organize a Community Dialogue to engage in conversations about places for public gatherings, sustainable environments, our history, and the relevance of the Washington Monument to our own community and monuments. The Community Dialogue will be held at the Virginia Center for Architecture on June 13, 2012, from 6:30–8:30 p.m.
“This exhibit offers a unique experience for dialogue because the focus is not design but ideas,” says Pogue. “Dialogue, as we describe it, is not discussion, debate, deliberation or decision making,” she continues. “It is an invitation to share what is meaningful, evoke group wisdom, stimulate creative thinking, and deepen understanding of ourselves and others.”
The facilitated dialogue offers a structure that includes guidelines for questioning assumptions and exploring diverse perspectives and new insights. The Community Dialogue will consider questions like who we are as a people and how can our identity be expressed in public spaces; how should we remember or honor our past and what or who can represent it; what role can monuments play in telling the American story; what elements in public spaces help create a sense of community; and others. The evening starts with a tour of the exhibition Someday in the Park with George, and leads into round-table conversations on either preconceived questions or questions inspired by the tour. The Dialogue will be followed by a brief reception.
There is no charge to attend the Community Dialogue. To register to attend, call (804) 644-3041, ext. 100 or visit bit.ly/monumental_dialogue to register online.