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Wow. Today is the 9th anniversary of our very first Community Glue Workshop repair clinic. I know, I can’t believe it either.
We’ve been able to stay with this project because we’ve had the most talented, generous, collaborative, and dedicated volunteers throughout this whole weird experiment. Many, in fact the majority, have stayed for five or more years. Pretty sure Michelle Burgess has been there since the beginning and Jason Richards joined us right after. Seems we also happen to like and respect each other, even though almost none of us knew each other before this initiative came into existence. Backgrounds range from editor to pilot to subatomic physicist––the glue is that everyone is curious and industrious and damned good at fixing things both independently and collaboratively.
While we’ve mostly stayed local to the Edgewater community, we’ve remained nimble! We started the clinics at Kitchen Sink Cafe, moved to Jackalope Theatre, then to Edgewater Workbench, where we spent the longest stretch. In between, we’ve had repair clinics at The Plant in Back of the Yards, Steppenwolf Theater in Lincoln Park, Storystudio in Ravenswood. Most recently, the pandemic brought us to the backyard of Family Matters Chicago in Rogers Park, and last month we set up shop at the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange – CCRX in Auburn Gresham.
When this started in 2012, repair clinics—or at least this contemporary incarnation of them—was a new thing. As a result, we got a lot of press and were featured in the Chicago Reader, on an Australian radio show, in a Malaysian sustainability magazine, chosen as the cover story for StreetWise Magazine, interviewed in pairs by StoryCorps in Chicago, and even nabbed a feature on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt—a segment that taxis continued to feature on backseat TVs all over the country even after the broadcast (when cabs were still a common part of our lives—another indication of how long we’ve been lucky to do this work). There were other lists and stories that named and celebrated the work, and we were so grateful for all of it.
So, we’re going to keep on trucking. Happily. In lieu of spending hours putting together a montage of memories throughout the years, we encourage you to check out other entries on this site, where we’ve posted pictures from the beginning, at www.communityglueworkshop.org.
Thank you all for your continued encouragement, interest, curiosity, and environmental leanings for the past almost-decade. If there’s no you, there’s no us, and y’all always bring us the most challenging (and often, weirdest) stuff to the clinics. Thanks for helping us continue to work together and sharpen our problem solving skills, and for helping us all keep more things out of the trash and back into purposeful existence. We love you.