Holyoke Community Organizer Katy Moonan has been awarded a Creative Communities Fellowship. Built by National Arts Strategies, the Creative Community Fellows program brings together a unique community of innovators committed to using arts and culture to design solutions for community problems. Led by experts and world-renowned thought leaders in social innovation, design thinking and creative placemaking fellows gain the tools, skills and networks to activate the ideas that will transform their communities.
Currently working in Holyoke, directing Family Literacy programs for the nonprofit Reader-to-Reader Inc, Moonan has lived in Western Mass for the past 6 years. After falling in love with the community, she became increasingly focused on community building through the literacy programs as well as through several creative place making projects. The project she’ll be working on during this Fellowship is a community weaving coop; using old tee shirts to create strips of cloth that are then woven into rugs, with the idea that these rugs can be sold to benefit the weavers themselves.
“This summer we will be in the Sargeant West community room doing weaving and I have a great cohort of enthusiastic community members participating. The next step is to find the best venue for selling the rugs.” Moonan said. “I’m honored to have been selected as a Creative Communities Fellow to continue working on the community weaving project I started last fall. I founded the project out of a passion for community-led development and love for the Holyoke community, and I’m greatly looking forward to growing this project and seeing how the experience, contacts and tools that I gain from this fellowship will support the process.”