LINDA DUVALL Visual and Media Artist

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Face to Face 2005

Project Face to Face

Organizers: Individuals With Ideas Linda Duvall, Lorelie Sarauer, and Lorri Sippola


What is it: a diverse range of people all from the same community are invited to share conversation and food


How does it Work?
Participants are seated in such a way that each person carries on a conversation with one other person for 10 minutes, after which a shift in the seating arrangement allows each guest to sit across from and meet a different person. The process is repeated throughout the event.


Why? One of the best ways to create understanding across diverse parts of a community and break down barriers of mistrust is for individuals to actually meet face to face in a friendly, non-adversarial and equal environment.


A trial version was held on October 29, 2005. From this we learned:
It is lovely to share a delicious home cooked meal, but organizationally easier and equally satisfying to simply provide an assortment of snacks, deserts, and hot and cold drinks.
The three organizers have too limited a circle when they just invite their own friends and acquaintances. For future events, they will consult with and request the assistance of community groups from different parts of the city and representing a range of constituents.
People want the possibility of having future contact with some of the people that they met during the event. We will develop a way to both respect participants’ needs for privacy while still enabling subsequent interaction.


Comments from Trial dinner –
“Thank you for last night. It was an extraordinary experience, and I came home feeling enriched and satisfied.”
“I found it fascinating that within the structure you and your fellow organizers and hosts had developed there was such a feeling of freedom and lack of pressure.”
“The way you had designed the event seemed to allow an ease of interaction that isn’t always possible in a less formalized environment. I am grateful for having been included.”
“I want to thank you for a most stimulating evening. It was really fun, and the food was delicious.”

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