Easthampton Futures Project

You’re Invited:

Easthampton Futures Project:
Arts & Culture

A new model for citizen-driven development in Easthampton, Massachusetts


A new model for citizen-driven development

The Easthampton
Futures Project

Change is here.

You’ve likely noticed it. Shifts in housing, neighborhoods and businesses are changing the look and feel of our community. City government is being called upon to respond to rapid development and protect what has made Easthampton so welcoming. It is our responsibility–as Citizens–to do our part in helping articulate what we hold dear, and what we want to help create anew.

Change is never easy work. The pace and sheer number of decisions required in the coming years will challenge the capacity of the City to act and facilitate the citizenry’s processes to choose. This is why it is so important that we come together now–to learn how to think strategically about the future, and to develop pathways forward.

New forms of dialogue and decision-making will be needed to match new challenges. Other cities are doing it. We know what it can look like. This project is designed to help with this foundational transition.

Let’s create a community that reflects what we, the citizens, want and need. Let’s shift how we work together to do this.


We propose an interactive and collaborative process to identify ideas, establish priorities, and work with City officials to bring these ideas into being. Graceful navigation of this transition will create lasting impact, today and tomorrow. We will start with exploring the future of Arts & Culture in Easthampton.

  • May 18th: Sensing & Discovery
    We learn about who we are, what want want, and how we hope to participate in the making of our collective future. We will engage in an interactive and creative exploration of what is possible, and what it might take to get there. We will develop a draft vision that will lay the foundation for our future work.

  • June 1st: Prototyping Possibility
    We we will explore possible futures and their implications. We will play “what if?” and evolve our thinking about what we want to put in place in Easthampton, and what our individual roles are in realizing it.

  • June 22nd: Prioritized Action
    We will land our vision for the future of Arts & Culture in Easthampton, and engage in structured design work around goals and strategies.

  • September 21st: Community Celebration
    We will share the outcomes of the public workshops, celebrate our work, and commit to weaving together a future we all want.

This is an invitation to co-design our future.  Find out more. 

“It is when citizens stop waiting for professionals or elected leadership to do something, and decide they can reclaim what they have delegated to others, that things really happen.”

―Peter Block


Schedule of Events

Community Workshops

This project is designed to help members of our community articulate and guide the change we want to see.

Through the lens of Arts & Culture, we will celebrate our past and design our future.

People of all ages and disciplines who live and/or work in Easthampton, Westhampton and Southampton are invited to participate. Join your fellow community members to share your perspectives, roll up your sleeves, and build the future you want to live in! Learn more.


Saturday, May 18th

Sensing & Discovery


Saturday, June 1st

Prototyping Possibility


Saturday, June 22nd

Prioritized Action


Saturday, September 21



“We have a calling. We are the people who know what we need. What we need surrounds us. What we need is each other. And when we act together, we will find Our Way. The citizen’s way. The community way. The democratic way. We are called to nothing less. And it is not so wild a dream.”

—John McKnight



Who Should Attend?

Anyone living or working in Easthampton, Westhampton or Southampton is invited to participate. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet your fellow citizens and engage in a creative exploration of the future of Arts & Culture in Easthampton. Each working session is limited to 100 people. Childcare will be available onsite.

You’re Skilled.

You have a specific set of skills or expertise that makes you an indispensable asset to this city–whether people know it or not. You know you can be of service. Come share your gifts.

You’re Concerned.

You have some worries or concerns about the future of Arts & Culture in Easthampton, and have not had a space to share or explore these with other community members in a meaningful way. You have experience and insights to share.

You’re Curious.

You are wondering if this will work. Who will show up? Will my voice really make a difference? If you have any curiosity, the only way to satisfy it is to show up. :)

You’re Disillusioned.

You have been part of change initiatives in the past that never went anywhere. You find yourself having trouble getting excited about another visioning project. We need your perspective in the room. You are fully and totally welcome and needed in this work.

You’re Excited.

Change is underfoot–you are excited to participate in designing this next chapter. You have a lot of energy to explore the future, and you want to be a part of shaping it.

You’re Committed.

You love it here. You’re in it for the long haul. You love the city and the people and the exciting new changes that are coming. Whether you work or live here, you consider this place as home, and want to see it thrive.

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

– Margaret J. Wheatley




What to expect.


The public workshops will be highly interactive, and highly creative. We will ask participants to work individually, in small groups and large groups. We will share food, learn from one another, design and play together. We will engage in strategic inquiry and practical work and planning. We will create new relationships and deepen existing ones. We will co-create the future.

Norms and Behaviors

  • Participate fully. stay for the whole duration, turn your cell phone off or on mute.

  • Be respectful and open. invite and listen to different perspectives.

  • Listen. Be aware of your own voice and how much you are dominating a conversation. Make room for others and for yourself.

  • Speak from your own experience. Use “I” statements.

  • Ask questions. If you don’t understand something–it’s safe to assume you’re not the only one.


“We currently have all the capacity, expertise, programs, leaders, regulations, and wealth required to end unnecessary suffering and create an alternative future.”

―Peter Block