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Jul
18
2024
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The 2024-25 Guide to Yellow Springs

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Ever in the spirit of tapping into the wealth of artistic talent in Yellow Springs, the News worked with local artist Travis Tarbox Hotaling to design the cover of this year's Guide. The subject of Hotaling's cover makes literal the "community builder" theme of this publication: it depicts the 1949 construction of the famed Yellow Spring in Glen Helen Nature Preserve. It shows builders Carmelo Ricciardi and Albert ­Williams placing massive limestone boulders around the spring to enhance the beauty and access of the naturally occurring feature. To the right is Louise Odiorne, a landscape architect who was tasked with the design of the spring.

Ever in the spirit of tapping into the wealth of artistic talent in Yellow Springs, the News worked with local artist Travis Tarbox Hotaling to design the cover of this year’s Guide (click on the image to view a larger version). The subject of Hotaling’s cover makes literal the “community builder” theme of this publication: it depicts the 1949 construction of the famed Yellow Spring in Glen Helen Nature Preserve. It shows builders Carmelo Ricciardi and Albert ­Williams placing massive limestone boulders around the spring to enhance the beauty and access of the naturally occurring feature. To the right is Louise Odiorne, a landscape architect who was tasked with the design of the spring.

“Community” is a term we ruminate on frequently here at the Yellow Springs News. We imagine community as a kind of Venn diagram — people as circles that cross and touch and overlap, as lives must do, all contained within the larger circle of the village we call home.

There is community within our individual homes, and in our neighborhoods; within our jobs, vocations, schools and organizations; within our cultures and faiths and on our dinner tables. There is community within our common experiences, values and purposes. We find it in our shared joy, our shared grief.

Community is a relationship — and like any relationship, community takes work. This year’s Guide aims to celebrate some of those who work to build community in Yellow Springs. At the same time, in documenting the lives and words of local community builders, the following articles examine the diverse ways that community can be built.

Some approach community-building in a literal sense, creating or maintaining physical spaces to live or gather. Others build conceptual spaces, within which people from the village and beyond feel free and welcome to explore new ideas, new futures — together.

For others, community-building means shining light into underexamined, undersupported corners of the village, educating, advocating for change and creating new pathways through which that change can be enacted.

What emerges from those who lent their voices to this year’s Guide is that — if you’ll entertain the Venn diagram metaphor just a bit longer — it takes many, many circles, all of which must be willing to cross with others, to make a strong community. You’ll notice, as you read this year’s Guide, just how often the folks and organizations included overlap with one another.

It’s probably cliché to paraphrase John Donne when considering community — but nobody has ever accused a news writer of reinventing the literary wheel. But suffice it to say that no one is a village, entire of itself — each of us is a part of the main. The most robust, resilient communities are those that acknowledge that everyone is welcome, needed and deserves to be seen.

Bound by the physical parameters of any publication, the News has highlighted only 20-some builders. While we took pleasure in considering the diverse spheres in which that community construction takes place — briefly entering the circles drawn by villagers of markedly different backgrounds and preoccupations — we recognize that some stones are left unturned, some builders exempted.

Notably, this Guide spotlights those villagers still engaged in their work, those who continue the artistry, service or vocation of villagers of yore, whose legacies are far from forgotten. We at the News are firm proponents of “giving one their flowers” while they can still be received. May this publication serve as a reminder that the labor of building community never stops.

But of those residents still with us, whose work we may not have covered in these next 94 pages, you are also not forgotten. It’s our belief, after all, that we are all community builders, that each of us weaves a crucial and necessary strand into the social fabric of Yellow Springs as we know it.

Community construction can be messy work. It can be noisy, disruptive, even stopping traffic from time to time. It can, however, also be quiet and subtle. So much happens behind the scenes, as it were. Whether the work of building community is overt or not should make no difference — it all amounts to the same project: the building of a village that improves the conditions of life and love in and beyond our little corner of the world.

—Lauren “Chuck” Shows & Reilly Dixon

• Pick up the print edition of the Guide to Yellow Springs in and around town, for free, or view the online version below (if you can’t see it, give it a moment to load).

You can click on the icon at bottom right center    to view full screen:

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