One Saturday in late October, the concrete sidewalk at 4250 Connecticut was transformed into an art- and activity-filled town center.
This was the work of the Van Ness Social Club, an event sponsored by AARP and Van Ness Main Street. The goal of the October 28th event was to create a space for young and old to gather and enjoy one another.
We’d call it a success. Van Ness Main Street says more than 200 neighbors came to dance, enjoy free ice cream, play games and chat.
Marjorie Share provided the flowers and plants. Artist Katie Pumphrey created these works exclusively for this event.
Activities on the plaza included life-sized checkers and bingo. Armor Down, a veteran owned nonprofit promotes the practice of mindful moments of compassion and gratitude led a guided meditation. There was yoga for kids and chair yoga for adults. Choreographer Sarah Oppenheim taught us the “Van Ness Shuffle” and artist Holly Bass led more dancing. Neighbors enjoyed free ice cream – and each other.
Attendees were given a dance card to help them break the ice:
TRIVIA-What famous philanthropist and socialite used to live in Van Ness?
DOCUMENT-Show us your version of the Jean Claude Van Ness and post with #vnsocialclub
ASK-Ask someone your senior to share a story about millennials. As someone your junior to share a story about the olden days.
CREATE-Suggest an event for the Van Ness Social Club and share it on the info table.
DANCE-Invite a neighbor to the Van Ness Shuffle with you.
Dance they did.
“One neighbor met another and one of them invited the other to a water aerobics class,” said Theresa Cameron, the executive director of Van Ness Main Street. “One neighbor learned that they lived in the same building but didn’t know it. Dancing brought them together.”
Event suggestions included dancing on the plaza, concerts, community gatherings and Van Ness Go Go.
Van Ness Main Street’s mission is to make Van Ness a beautiful, sustainable, walkable, and vibrant economic and cultural hub by supporting the growth of existing businesses, attracting new, local enterprises, and activating local cultural institutions.
The Van Ness Social Club theme was born out of community meetings discussing ways to get our many residents of all ages to interact and get to know each other. Stay tuned for more Van Ness Social events sponsored by Van Ness Main Street.