In July 2017, Brest hosted the Neighborhood Festival, a non-standard urban event of one courtyard. The fest agenda included a many-hour picnic, master classes, performances, and freemarket.
The festival activities were designed for everybody: children sculpted from clay, competed in sports races, painted a wall; teens and adults spent in a photo, bookcrossing, and dances zones. Babushkas traditionally observed the situation on the benches, but even this category of sophisticated critics was also pleased with the event.
The festival had an educational purpose rather than charity – to show people that it is possible to cooperate with the authorities, each other, and stakeholders. Relying only on exhausted municipal services, it’s impossible to achieve positive changes in a community. The organizers conducted eight meetings with the locals before for the festival and, through the skepticism, step by step, unpacked the idea of taking the initiative into own hands.
Dzedzich regional development agency, which arranged the festival, stresses that they have nothing in common with an event bureau. They hope that the initiative will take root with the local community that will change its attitude from the dependent “do for us” to “neighbors, let’s do it”. In this case, the experiment will be considered successful.