Won't You Be My Neighbor, Berea?
Won't You Be My Neighbor, Berea? is a new community initiative launching in October. We will explore maintaining social connection in the midst of a pandemic, learn about our unique history, gather stories, create together, and reinforce that our diversity makes us strong and resilient.
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WYBMNB is a place-based creative community building response to Covid-19 and Berea's challenges and opportunities in this moment in history. This initiative is in partnership with Berea Arts Council and supported by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation.
Meet Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson, Jr.
Won't You Be My Neighbor? was conceived by Stevenson, who wanted to break down the divide between Alfred University/Alfred State College and Alfred, NY community members. Paired community members and artists spent time forming relationships; sharing stories, learning about each other's lives, and ultimately coming to regard each other as friends and neighbors. The artists created artworks collaboratively about/with/for their new "neighbor" which commemorate the experience.
Stevenson visited Berea in 2019 where we told them about our abolitionist history and Berea's challenges and opportunities. Won't You Be My Neighbor, Berea? is a call and response between Stevenson and Berea. Show me what Community looks like? This is what Community looks like.
Won't You Be My Neighbor, Berea? is a way for us to gather our stories, connect, and help build a community where there are no strangers, only neighbors. We will do that with the following activities: