Care Cafe is a place - public or domestic place for people to gather - their wits, thoughts and comrades in action.
Since the results of Brexit and the US election, a lot of us are trying to figure out how to breathe through this present moment and look for ways to keep connected to each other while we figure out what to do about our future.
Care Cafe is a way to address some of these things.
Care Cafe was conceived by Lois Weaver as a place – a real or virtual, public or domestic place for people to gather- their wits, thoughts and comrades in action. Lois is an artist whose work over the last few years has been about finding creative ways of using the familiar to get people to talk with and about the unfamiliar. Some of her formats include the Long Table, Porch Sittings and the Situation Room. In response to this painful moment, she is proposing the Care Cafe as new call to conversation.
How to Have a Care Cafe...
Care Cafe is a place - public or domestic place for people to gather- their wits, thoughts and comrades in action.
It's a place. It can be a hall, a hallway, a meeting room or someone’s living room - even the corner of a real café.
There should be chairs and ideally a table or two for sitting around and leaning on. If possible, room for people to move and mingle as well as sit and talk.
There is no specific agenda or discussion topic and the space should be kept mostly open for small group or one-to-one conversations.
Provide for food and drink. This can be an informal, potluck table that is free and open to all. It’s fun to see what arrives and we can all serve and clean up after ourselves.
Music is optional. Remember that conversation is optimal.
Make available one small and somewhat mindless task of care – something that needs to be done for someone or some group - folding laundry, texting appeals, stamping mailings, cutting out cookies/art projects for kids, anything! There is something about doing something simple and mindless with your hands that keeps the conversation gentle, slow and flowing. Having everyone engaged independently but in the same or similar activity creates both autonomy and community.
Provide a way to share resources for action, activism and care - post-its, sign-up sheets, a wall poster, bulletin board or blackboard, video diary corner.
Document and log your activity on the Care Café Facebook community page so we can stay connected and share care strategies.
And remember that this is primarily a state of mind that we can carry with us, asking ourselves and others daily: how can we maintain an attitude of care in such an uncaring world?