Some concerns have been related to me and some said directly to me of the dissatisfaction experienced by some of our membership at the September meeting this year. I agree — the room was oppressively hot, there was no sound system, the parking lot was the size of a postage stamp if we’re being generous, and we had some technical difficulties with getting the membership cards printed. Sometimes life just happens that way. None of it was show-stopping, but the sum total was that people didn’t enjoy the September meeting as much as they might have otherwise. The Guild has a standard and, the excellent program notwithstanding (Lise was stupendous, even in the face of ridiculous heat); there were setbacks that, taken altogether, made for a disappointing meeting.
Growing up, I learned that when something isn’t working, it’s a good idea to step back and look at the bigger picture, and even when nothing seems to be coming together, to look for the positives that can be found, and work from there. So, some positives from our meeting:
- The program was wonderful, and was a great lead-in to our Annie Modesitt workshop.
- Despite the pretty oppressive heat, I still saw smiling faces in the crowd, and most people stuck it out to the end, though I am sorry it made some members feel too ill to stay.
- We had more people than would have fit in the room at All Saints.
- We had more people than I estimated might come to the meeting, and we ran out of handouts. I see this as a positive, because I’m always happy to welcome more people.
- I heard murmurs and laughing, and the folks I saw trying out entrelac with Lise were getting it in hand.
While I was in turmoil and trying to process what went wrong and what went right about the meeting, a wonderful thing happened — I got an email from Kathy Jean about a space that would be perfect for our guild: The Center for Community Cooperation.
The only thing that gave me pause was its location: it is near Uptown, off Live Oak Street, and we’ve met closer to the 635 corridor for many years. I had to roll this over in my mind a lot, and I decided that even though we have traditionally met further north than the CCC, 635 is a construction and traffic nightmare in full daylight right now and an unpredictable roller-coaster after dark. So, eager to do right by the Guild after I got the first one “wrong,” I checked the CCC out, even doubting my decision-making abilities when the Legion Hall turned out not to be what I signed on for, and I was met with a location that is a complete change from the American Legion hall, and is much more the caliber and quality of space that our Guild needs and deserves.The Center for Community Cooperation is run by the Center for Non-Profit Management, a division of The Meadows Foundation. I got a tour and, I have to say, this space is spectacular. As an experiment, Lea and Kay drove there on Tuesday, 9/9 at 6:30 p.m., and it took 21 minutes to reach the Center from the 635/75 High Five. I drove there for my tour on Saturday morning 9/6, and it took me around 25 minutes to get there from Grand Prairie, using 360 and 183. It’s located very near Baylor Hospital, and there are wonderful restaurants and parks nearby. For the public transit-inclined, the Baylor Light Rail stop is just .4 miles away, across Swiss Avenue.
Sheryl reminded me recently that as knitters, we can all understand and even sometimes enjoy the outcome of having to rip back and try something again. For our October, November, and January meetings, we are going to have a new experience: programs with Beth Brown-Reinsel over Skype. I invite you to come try the Center for the October and November meetings while we’re growing technologically. Then, we can decide as a group if that is where we would like to stay in the future. I think that once we get into the groove of meeting there, we’ll want to keep using it — it’s billed as the premier meeting space for non-profit organizations in Dallas, and I can see why. I’m excited for all of us to take this journey together, and despite a disappointing step back in September, I’m optimistic that the Center for Community Cooperation will represent a leap forward for the Dallas Hand Knitters Guild in 2014-2015, and hopefully into the long-reaching future as well.
I hope I’ll get to see you at the October meeting. Enclosed with this letter are a close-up map of the area around the Center and a summary of directions if you’re headed southbound on 75/Central Expressway, and a supplies list if you would like to participate in Beth’s Program.