It’s Giving Tuesday. I went to bed last night dreaming of how wonderful it would be to be able to give to every local cause I believe in. What a long list that is! Of course, that’s just a lovely thought, and I must winnow my list like everyone else.
Recently the talk over at the Columbia Conversation has been about a Third Place, which they define as “…somewhere you feel you belong that's NOT your home or office (The Central Perk, the coffee shop from Friends, is a perfect example). This could be a dog park, gym, church, library - really, any public setting where you feel a sense of community.”
They go on to ask:
Do you feel like you’ve found your “third place” in Columbia? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
I had to think about that for a while. The pandemic had pretty much wiped my brain clean of the concept of a place where it was safe to hang out with anyone. Last night I saw a photograph and everything clicked.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since it was posted. My Third Place is definitely Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, and specifically all the cool events at the Chrysalis. Especially this last spring and summer, when I didn’t feel safe being indoors and close to others because of COVID, it was such a joy to be able to enjoy music in the park and feel connected to other human beings as well.
This is the photograph.
Photo courtesy of the Inner Arbor Trust
This season alone the park hosted free, COVID-safe musical events in collaboration with:
- Baltimore Symphony
- Baltimore Concert Opera
- Maryland Winds
- Drama Learning Center
- Cultura Plenera
- Columbia Jazz Band
- U.S. Coast Guard Band
- Ms. Rowe and the DC Strings Workshop
- Marsha and the Positrons
- The Columbia Orchestra
In addition, Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods was the home of collaborations with Howard Ecoworks, Howard County Pride, and the Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention.
Oh, I almost forgot! All those free happy hours in the park with live music, and yoga on the Chrysalis Stage in collaboration with the Columbia Association.
Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods is unique among area nonprofits in providing free arts experiences that appeal to and are responsive to the diverse audiences that make up our community.
Let me say that again.
Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods is
among area nonprofits in providing
free arts experiences
that appeal to and are responsive to
the diverse audiences that make up our community.
Why say it twice? Well, sometimes I think that message gets…drowned out by all the noise from commercial venues.
Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods is my Third Place because it welcomes everyone. If you have some funds available to give today, please send some their way. Any donation, whether small or large, sends a message that our community supports access to arts for all.
To give through today’s Giving Tuesday event, click here. Facebook is matching all donations.
We remain committed to bringing free, accessible arts to this diverse community. You can show the power of collective generosity this Giving Tuesday. - - Inner Arbor Trust