“We wanted to be accessible to the community, and a place where people can just drop by,” says Dan Moulthrop, Civic Commons Curator of Conversation, of the move. “We don’t want to be hidden in an office building somewhere; we want people to feel like the Civic Commons is a place they recognize and own.”
Since launching a year ago, the Civic Commons has always planned to move out of the E. 9th Street offices of its parent organization, Fund for Our Economic Future, to a more visible spot. Moulthrop chose Trinity Commons because of its central location, on-the-street presence and reputation as an urban gathering place.
“There’s a great mission overlap — we share a sense of being of service to the community and how important that is,” he says. “It’s a really nice fit for us.”
Trinity Commons, which is located at E. 22nd and Euclid, was developed by Trinity Episcopal Cathedral a decade ago to house its offices, provide community meeting space and create new storefronts. Moulthrop says he is looking forward to using Trinity Commons’ meeting space to host face-to-face conversations about important civic issues, supplementing the group’s online presence.
“We’ve tried to be both an online presence and out in the community since the beginning, yet we can’t be in the community all the time,” he says. “We’re a community asset and we want to show that in our physical presence.”
Moulthrop adds that the synergy between virtual and real discussions lies at the heart of the Civic Commons mission. “The vision is that thoughtful online conversation can have an impact on community conversation,” he says. “The trick is doing meaningful activity in both places and connecting them in conversation. You see this when people are live-blogging or tweeting a town hall meeting.”
Moulthrop is also enjoying his central location in the Campus District near downtown Cleveland. “We’re close to a lot of things, and very accessible because we’re right on Euclid Avenue, a major artery into downtown,” he says.
Fresh Water Cleveland, 8/4/11