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Ok people, it’s time to get personal. Here’s our story:
Community Glue Workshop is the result of many early morning meetings between Edgewater residents Ally Brisbin and Carla Bruni. It all started when Carla posted this New York Times article about Amsterdam’s thriving “repair cafe” movement on Facebook and cyber-shook her impassioned fist in the air declaring that she WOULD start doing these workshops in Chicago. Ally saw the post and knew that her chutspah and compulsion for do-gooding were a perfect match for this project, and that her cafe, Kitchen Sink, would make for a perfect venue to help get these workshops going. We set up a coffee meeting post-haste and hit the ground running. We hope to graduate to beer meetings soon, as we need them.
So, what kind of people would do this kind of thing, you ask?
Ally has owned Kitchen Sink with her business partner Jeff Fox for about two and a half years. She has watched a little community bloom within the walls of her cafe, and has been wracking her brain for a good way to help it grow even more. She loves feeling like an important part of the Edgewater community, and is excited to engage her neighbors in this new way. She is also excited to learn how to do more things with her hands!
Carla saves old buildings and documents cultural heritage for a living by working in communities to educate homeowners on home maintenance and history, listing buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and adapting homes to make them more energy efficient. She has helped to restore historic properties around the country and worked on a whole lot of environmental initiatives, but couldn’t help but notice that there’s a lot more talk about replacing existing fixtures with new “green” fixtures than repairing what is already there—even if the existing product was built to last. Obviously, this is hooey and it’s certainly not sustainable. Fortunately, Carla was forced into tinkerdom by her project-crazed father at a very young age and is not afraid of tools, creative solutions, and starting up community initiatives, especially when she has a wicked smart café owner as a partner and a little help from her friends and collegues.
We are a dynamic duo hell-bent on empowering people to do things for themselves and to stop wasting money and resources on items that just need a little TLC. Longer term visions for Community Glue Workshop include securing a dedicated workshop space; partnering with other neighborhood organizations and businesses; hosting workshops and educational programming, as well as a few parties; taking over the city; and eventually conquering the world. Baby steps. But feel free to send money.
Here is how we like to picture ourselves:
Here is how we actually look:
Use the comments to give us feedback and ideas and encouragement and constructive criticism! If you’re interested in volunteering as a fixer upper, click here. We are really excited about this, and we hope the rest of the world is, too!