I feel as if that concept is thrown around a lot. I've heard of companies talking about the office community, neighborhoods describing the tight-knit community, or socially cognizant people discussing the merits of a network vs. a community. After having spent over a year here at tresor space and using it as a space to host dance rehearsals, art days, and decompression days after regional burns we coordinated with two leaders in the Baltimore Burning Man Community, Ian and Millie, who host monthly Wednesday Baltimore Burner Happy Hours at the Mount Vernon Marketplace.
We hosted a Burner Brunch a few months ago at the end of the spring this past year, but stopped due to festival season. Now that the weather is getting colder and people are starting to hibernate, we felt like a monthly Sunday brunch would function as an intentional community builder. It amazed me how a critical mass of burners arrived and brought a variety of dishes ranging from kale walnut salads to a full-sized ham and turkey with vegetarian stuffing. The conversation flowed freely, and I would overhear snippets of discussions. My favorite moments were looking out at the crowd of friends and strangers and seeing them interact with one another in a more relaxed setting that was also my home. It pleased me so much to know that this place where we poured our heart and energies could finally function as a gathering space for our friends and new people.
I think that in order to build community, people must come together with unifying purposes. In this case, it was to share wacky stories involving warm homes filled with chosen family members, the social connotation of forcing everyone to do ice-breakers at a Burning Man orgy tent, and the openness and uniqueness that comes from an open invitation for all beautiful weirdos to come together in a unique space to share Thanksgiving-themed brunch dishes and photoshoots courtesy of Noodles.