The Community Builder’s Playbook

Last Thursday, something happened. Something big. That morning my crowdfunding campaign launched for my book-in-progress. Later that day, I turned in my application for an Artist Research and Development Grant from the AZ Commission on the Arts. Over the weekend, the campaign already raised the first $100 dollars, and I submitted the project for a micro-grant from the Awesome Foundation.

If it’s not evident from all of that, this new project is something I’m really passionate about. It’s also something that up until now, I’ve not talked about here, because I wasn’t ready. Now I am. So, what exactly am I working on?

I’m calling it The Community Builder’s Playbook.

The idea for my book is pretty simple. There are a lot of “handbooks” and “manuals” out there for community development and positive youth development, and there are volumes upon volumes of interactive and collaborative games. But there’s nothing out there about developing a community and its young people with those games, and how creative play fits in with those developmental goals. The Community Builder’s Playbook (or, Playbook,  for short) is a book dwelling in that cross-section, full of innovative games and story structures designed specifically for community and youth development — an accessible collection of different ways to play in community.

It’s a culmination of everything I’ve been doing — and hope to do — as a teaching artist, and I’ve gotten great results as I’ve developed and tested some of the games. As of this writing, 10 of the games in the book are my originals, written just for the kinds of youth development settings where I work. Others are adapted from improv, applied theatre, community-engaged theatre, gamestorming, and dialogue methods like The World Café.

I’ve now created a page to track the book’s progress and development. I’m hoping that a lot of the support for the book can come from my readers in the education community. So if you would like to contribute, see here. A note on my platform: Piglt pays student loan servicers the money raised from a campaign, while graduates put their hard-earned knowledge to work. So you don’t have to worry about what I’ll do with the funds– I never actually see a check. By working off my loan debt this way, I can devote more of my time and energy to researching, writing, and developing the book — which up to this point has been a side project.

In closing, here’s the video that my friend Dave helped make to promote the book:

I hope that you all can share in my passion for this project, and thanks in advance for your support!

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