In elementary, middle and high school, working in groups was one of my least favorite activities. I’ve always been relatively introverted, but it wasn’t just a need to avoid others that made working in groups so hard; it was that it’s just such a challenge to keep focus, to integrate skill sets and to cooperate in a group setting. Unfortunately, working in groups doesn’t get much easier in adulthood. Outside of the classroom even, learning to work with others in order to effect much-needed change in our communities seldom seems worth the effort.
- “Collaboration Imagination”: In the first of this issue’s feature stories, we explore the ways in which local agencies serving the homeless community tend to work in isolation, and the energy some are investing in fostering collaboration. In a city with so many nonprofits and government agencies working towards the same goal of diminishing or ending homelessness, it would seem the climate is right for more efforts to join forces across organizational lines in order to bring about the sorts of remedies our homeless neighbors so deserve. While collaboration is far from new in Nashville, this story takes a look at the current state of collaboration, particularly around housing, and asks what might come next.
- “Moving Pictures”: Our second feature story this issue is also about bringing people together—but in a different way. Regular feature writer Joe Nolan shares his reflections on three documentary films that showed at this year’s Nashville Film Festival, and illuminates how the themes explored in each, and the locales in which they take place, find connections to the themes we regularly explore in these pages, and to the state of Tennessee more broadly. From a profile of a medical team that provides free healthcare to masses of underserved people in East Tennessee, to an uncontrollable, drug-addicted artist romping around the U.S. via Memphis, to the life gleanings that arise from the relationship between a father and son from war-torn Kurdistan, the films Joe reviews remind us of the ways in which “moving pictures” move us toward one another in often profound ways.
- And more: In addition to our feature stories, this issue also contains our latest vendor spotlight featuring a husband-and-wife team, local news about homelessness, a letter to the editor, a fantastic and harrowing tale from one of our vendors about his experiences hopping trains, a story from another vendor about “the conversation of a lifetime,” poetry, puzzles and more.
Thank you, dear reader, for joining forces with us—through buying the paper, reading the articles, conversing with and befriending your vendor, and donating directly to help keep our organization alive and well. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Happy reading!