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  • Writer's pictureTWP

Safe Creative Space

A safe, welcoming neighborhood space for art, entertainment and learning in a beautiful, bountiful garden The Creation of a Community Garden within a Safe Creative Community Space (SCCS)

Norfolk, Va. – On September 2nd, the nonprofit Teens with a Purpose (TWP) – The Youth Movement presented the 5th annual F.U.S.E. Fest (Focus on Unity, Spirit and Edutainment), a free celebration of Norfolk urban life through interactive art, music, games, food & more. This community-led, interactive festival, celebrates the heart of inner-city Norfolk in the downtown Church Street District at the historic Attucks Theatre.

The transformative festival was originally planned to be at the SCCS but moved indoors due to the weather. September 9th was the official launch for the Safe Creative Community Space (SCCS) – a safe, welcoming neighborhood space for art, entertainment and learning in a beautiful, bountiful garden. Saturday, Andria McClellan, City Council and Wynter Benda, Chief Deputy City Manager of the City of Norfolk alongside Teens With A Purpose, The Mission Continues, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Virginia Co-operative Extension and the Community ushered in this new space and ongoing partnership. The development of the city-owned vacant lot adjacent to the Vivian C. Mason Teen Center for Arts and Technology Center, 700 E. Olney Road, started early summer of 2017.

The SCCS will continue to grow as an environment for creation, application of the visual and performing arts and community gardening with activities that are educational, fun and artistic planned for the remainder of the year. Members of the community are encourage to contribute to the garden, to gather and add their voice and ideas about important subjects.

Among the known positive impacts relevant to this Norfolk community garden are the following Physical health, Mental health, Leadership development, Improved security and safety, Reduce carbon footprint, Capturing rainwater and Beautification of the area. Because of TWP’s mission and its partnerships with other groups this community garden creation adds other benefits that are not generally part of typical community gardens. The additional benefits that TWP and its partners add are:

* An environment space for creation and application of the visual and performing arts.

* An Environment for enhancing STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and mathematics plus “Green” job skills and entrepreneurship).

SCCS Collaborative Partners, Contributors & Supporters include: City of Norfolk, The Mission Continues, Virginia Co-Operative Extension, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Norfolk Police Dept., Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Dominion Energy, Four Seasons Nursery, Navy Seal Scout Team under the Leadership of Mark Courrier, Retired Master Chief Seal; Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Young’s Terrace Community Center, EVMS, ADP.

SCCS Leadership Team: Deirdre Love, Renee Foster, Chris Epes, Margaret Hatcher, Mark Moreno, Bill & Joanna Fowler, Sarah Williams, Lynn Francois, Judge Graham Jr., Troy McCray, Theresa Augustin, Stefon ‘Dat Artist’ Penn, Karuum El, Alisha Burke, Donovan Pollock, Caleb Ayers, Michelle Sims

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