Special to 1812Blockhouse

Kaleidoscope is a joint initiative coming in 2024 from the Richland County Foundation, Mansfield-Richland County Public Library, Renaissance Theatre, and Richland Source.

With the help of nationally-known authors, this 4-part speaker series is designed to create a space where people from every corner of our community — from high school classrooms to the factory to the neighborhood potluck to the boardroom — come together to discover new perspectives, ideas, and connections that lead to a stronger, thriving community. 

The Kaleidoscope Series is a speaker series based on the understanding that the problems facing our community are complex with no easy solutions.

But, we also know lasting progress cannot occur without the ability to look at these problems with fresh eyes from different angles … like a kaleidoscope.

The 2024 Kaleidoscope Series is an open invitation to anyone and everyone to do just that, together.

Attendees will have the opportunity to consider new ideas, be challenged through different perspectives, and engage with every corner of our community.

“Richland County is a great place to live, work, and gather. We also recognize there are challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed,” said Brady Groves, President of the Richland County Foundation. “The Richland County Foundation partnered with the Library, Richland Source, and the Renaissance in a collaborative effort to create community conversations around these challenges with the help of nationally-recognized authors.

“We must come together as a community, not to lean farther to the left or right but to lean forward together … We are excited to be part of this unique initiative.”

Opening the series on Jan. 30 is Majora Carter, acclaimed author of Reclaiming Your Community: You Don’t Have to Move out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One.

Participants will be challenged to reconsider and reexamine concepts of urban revitalization from new perspectives while sitting amongst neighbors and new friends.  

Following Carter, the series will feature Matthew Desmond to examine the topic of poverty, Amanda Ripley to dive into the topic of conflict, and Andrew Ramsammy to explore the news as seen through the eyes of the Black Press. 

“It’s our hope that, as a community, we will come to the end of 2024 with a collective renewed sense of momentum and pride in our community because over the course of four evenings we’ve all gained new connections, perspectives and tools that are helping us live fulfilled, more inspired lives,” said Chris May, Director of the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library. 

“We recognize that the topics our community has to tackle are not easy. They are difficult, uncomfortable, and sometimes overwhelming,” said Chelsie Thompson, President & CEO of the Renaissance Theatre.

“We chose the name Kaleidoscope because we want these events to be a place where we purposefully look at complex problems from different angles — to consider things with fresh eyes. Sometimes when we turn the dial just a little, really beautiful things happen.

“It makes you wonder what life in Richland County would look like if we all chose to show up with our unique perspectives and collaborate on solutions together?”

Tickets for the 2024 Kaleidoscope event series are available now. There is no set ticket price; rather, attendees are encouraged to pay what they can at checkout. 

“Gathering people from every corner of our community is pivotal to the success of these events.  We weren’t going to let ticket cost be the reason someone couldn’t attend,” Groves said.

“Whether you feel inclined to pay $50, $10, or nothing, you are invited and welcomed because we need you to make our community stronger.”

All money raised through ticket sales will be used to fund future Kaleidoscope events. 

Click here to view the full line-up of speakers and purchase your tickets.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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