As part of my continuing quest to ‘activate’ downtown Phoenix, I want to invite you to my next THERE-apy event: The Urban Breakfast.
When: Saturday, December 12, 9am – 11am
Where: Phoenix Civic Space Park
Why: To celebrate public spaces and gatherings in downtown Phoenix. To activate urban spaces at otherwise quiet times.
What: Come and join a group of downtown enthusiasts for breakfast, bring FRIENDS, coffee, pastries, fruit, cereal, etc to enjoy and share with others in an urban environment. As the Civic Space already has tables and chairs, we won’t need them for the first event, but feel free to bring table clothes, centerpieces, etc to add a festive atmosphere to the event.
This event is inspired by a European based movement, translated as “Permanent Breakfast” http://www.permanentbreakfast.org. Permanent breakfast is a ‘continuous social experiment’ executable by anyone, anywhere. The original concept is that one person invites someone to breakfast. The invited persons (usually 4) commit themselves to invite to a public breakfast on the next possible date. And so on…
The idea was first conceived in 1996 by the Austrian artist Friedemann Derschmidt. His basic idea was to bring people together to have breakfast in public spaces that are not necessarily obvious picnic spots, thereby modifying the way we think of these spaces as well as stimulating social interaction in them. Over the past two plus decades, the idea has spread to 25 different countries and hundreds of cities, resulting in thousands of events around the world.The ‘Urban Breakfast’ event is an adaptation of this concept to Phoenix. My vision is to have, at least one breakfast each month, each in a different public place. There are a lot of underutilized park spaces, as well as empty lots, parking lots, and other publicly accessible spaces around downtown that we can explore together, and meet each other’s friends and families along the way.
One of the goals of this event is to help rethink our relationship with public spaces throughout downtown Phoenix. Over the past five years the downtown core has seen much revitalization with new buildings and businesses being created. However, much of this vitality is occurring behind closed doors in restaurants, businesses and classrooms. For the most part, the public sphere in downtown Phoenix is neglected. An obvious exception to this is Civic Space Park, which has become THE main public space in central Phoenix. Alas, outside some city and ASU organized events only a few other groups have taken advantage of the space. This is why I’m holding the inaugural Urban Breakfast here—to illustrate how the park can be used for different events at different times of day.
Part of the philosophy behind Permanent Breakfast and my adaptation is the fact that public space undergoes vital visible changes when events taking place. Just by being present the participants become their own medium for change. They begin to communicate with their surroundings and transforming empty spaces into vital urban places. The participants shape these situations themselves and, by seeing the space from a different perspective, become aware towards both the use and the usability of the public place. The ultimate goal is for each of us to feel encouraged to use our own creativity to occupy new spaces and different spaces in a meaningful way.
If you are interested in joining us, feel free to RSVP and connect with other breakfasters on Facebook.