Monthlong youth engagement will culminate in public participation with an interactive sculpture in Courthouse Square
Santa Rosa, Calif. – The City of Santa Rosa, in partnership with Kimzin Creative, is asking people of all ages to “Journey to the Future” on May 21 at Courthouse Square, culminating a month-long engagement effort to bring area youth into the fold of building a more sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive city through the City’s general plan update.
From noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday at Courthouse Square, “Journey to the Future” will debut an interactive sculpture, designed by Erika Lutz and Briona Hendren, to continue to gather public input on the City’s future planning efforts. Locals of all ages are encouraged to attend and play with the interactive sculpture, enjoy snacks and refreshments for purchase, and learn more about Santa Rosa Forward, the City’s multi-year effort to update its General Plan.
The interactive sculpture is a culmination of several world-building workshops, with over 100 high school participants, to collectively envision a future Santa Rosa as it relates to health and environmental justice. The City’s Public Art Program, the Santa Rosa Forward team, and Kimzin Creative organized the workshops in collaboration with Latino Service Provider’s Youth Promotores, ¡DALE!-educational justice youth program, Sonoma County’s Environmental Justice Coalition, Roseland University Prep’s Environmental Science Class, and Amarosa Academy.
“During our time travel workshops,” said Lutz, “we engaged Santa Rosa youth in a playful form of Freedom Dreaming—a tool that invites us to create the world we dream of by visualizing the future we want to live in. The ideas that emerged are incredibly fresh. These students have a powerful voice, and we're listening.”
The catalyst of these engagements was gathering critical missing data from young people on environmental justice and health, but new possibilities arose with this approach. What emerged as key elements from that feedback in the success of the community activities is the opportunity to empower teens to envision a future they want to live in and to mentor young people to envision themselves as creators of cultural change.
“Our goal in this process was to redefine how we think about civic engagement for our youth,” said Nikko Kimzin, founder of Kimzin Creative, “by providing a joyous experience that allows them to access their radical imagination and become active in designing their futures.”
“Santa Rosa Forward wanted to create meaningful opportunities for young people to participate in the General Plan Update process,” said Equity & Public Health Planner Beatriz Guerrero Auna. “Through this partnership, we've been able to reach young people from all income levels, races, ethnicities backgrounds, and abilities; provide them with information about urban planning in Santa Rosa; and give them a voice to be part of the future planning of their city through art.”
Visit SantaRosaForward.com for more information about this event and the City’s general plan update General Plan Update.