With a young, eclectic and socially connected neighborhood like Fondren, is it possible to feel “out of the loop?” One Fondrenite thinks so and that’s why he’s taking initiative to bring the young – and young at heart – closer together. Micajah Sturdivant says an event next Thursday night at 5pm at Brent’s aims to bridge the gap for people who may not feel plugged in. Next Thursday night’s “Neighborhood Social” will be a chance for people to gather, get acquainted and find out about all of the things Fondren has to offer. “No one should be intimidated by going to Brent’s,” the Fondren Renaissance (FRF) board member reasons, “and this is a chance for us to be informed. It’s important to make sure we all know what’s happening.” The brainchild of Sturdivant and Brent’s owner Brad Reeves, the duo didn’t want to create a new organization but to make existing organizations work for those who are here. Part of the evening will consist of collecting info and contacts to put them into systems that are already in place. “The easiest way to do that is to get people together to meet and find out about each other’s interests.” FRF executive director Jim Wilkirson says those interests may line up very closely in a neighborhood where people seem to have a lot in common. “We have a lot of music and art events,” he says, “but what about things like volunteering? There are many areas we can plug you in to.”
Sturdivant cites the upcoming summer concert series at The Cedars as a gathering opportunity. “Do we know what Ardenland is doing,” he asks? “What about festivals like this past weekend’s Stray at Home?” All of these things, he tells us, are places where people can get together – if they know who they can get together with. It’s that pesky question – “don’t I know you from somewhere” – that Sturdivant believes holds people back, even himself. “I’ve seen people out that I think I should know, and I feel bad to ask their name. It’s good to have an outside party like this social, get in the room, and (re)introduce yourself.” And it’s an opportunity to introduce a different generation to FRF. “This isn’t an opportunity to look for new donors,” he says, “but to find ways we all can celebrate together.” And FRF provides many of those opportunities. Wilkirson says they have fun, free things open to the neighborhood, and they want you to be a part. And he thinks a social like this could be a springboard for other things. “Maybe someone rises up to put on an event or be on a board; let’s let them know they’re valued.”
The FRF sponsored Neighborhood Social is FREE and will be held next Thursday, May 24, from 5 to 6:30pm at Brent’s in the Woodland Hills Shopping Center on Duling Avenue in Fondren.