Often we see quotations about learning from mistakes. How about learning from successes? That’s what Ad Hockers did this morning as we chatted about the incredible past weekend filled with music, visual art, laughter, camaraderie and real experiences. Warm thanks to each and every person who participated, helped, attended, or in some way spread the word.
Perhaps you were able groove at the 2nd Annual Jazz Walk, waffle at Våffeldagen, or sing along at “Messiah” — or take part in any number of receptions and celebrations on March 23, 24 and 25. What dynamics seemed to bring out the best?
• Participation. Whenever we make room for guests and residents to be more than observers, we succeed. Joining voices. Hamming it up. Laying hands on a project or purpose. We all hunger for a chance to create with others or create a personal experience.
• Communication. Sharing by social media and word of mouth continues to help us build and reinforce the notion that Lindsborg and Bethany College continue to try new things while still remaining well linked to heritage. Still, *all efforts* to share, explain and give context pay dividends. We may have heard it all before, but many have not.
• Awareness of all ages. Whether someone is a long-time Bethany College alum or a young person who is trying to find some distraction/fun while accompanying adults, it’s important to see experiences from the point of view of all age ranges. Kids at the front, coloring, during the performance at the J.O. Sundstrom? Help for seniors to get to and front their seats at the Messiah sing along? Yes, please.
• Visuals — now more than ever. Strong symbols, playful business window decor, colorful flowers, video in social media and on websites, and so much more. Don’t count on anyone to read the words (including this newsletter). Show 'em.
• Personal touches. Dr. Mark Lucas was part emcee/part conductor, setting a tone of ease and meaning at Sunday’s sing along, we agreed. BC alum Brandon Draper and his Little Big Band made it personal for us — and band members marveled in return. “These small town gigs,” one band member said. “They just take care of you.”
If you have any additional observations about lessons from the past weekend, do share them, pls.
Advertising can be expensive. Small organizations or individuals often can’t afford broad advertising reaches. That’s why there is stiff competition for what is called earned media. This is free editorial coverage that results from effective “pitches" to editors. Pitches are ideas, tastes, sounds, and experiences provided to editors to entice their interest in writing or photographing what you are doing. If you can get a mention or a story in a broad-reaching publication or broadcast, the value can be many thousands of dollars and have a long half-life of effectiveness.
Lindsborg is among several Kansas cities traveling to make pitches next week to editors headquartered in New York. Lindsborg CVB director Holly Lofton will be our representative. Because of her past experiences with pitches to national editors, Holly was able to create a truly one-of-a-kind pitch for Lindsborg she is calling “So Swede.” Editors will pop open a small paint can full of Lindsborg items (a small hand-painted canvas by Carla Wilson on wood easel, two samples of Blacksmith Roastery coffee) and look through an accompanying paint chip booklet full of Lindsborg photographs and short narratives. At Lindsborg’s booth, editors will be invited to snack dala horse chocolates, be invited to paint on canvass boards on which a Lindsborg artist already has sketched out a distinctive scene, walk on a “rug” that is a canvas painting spatter catcher, and see the multi-colored cans stacked on Scandinavian-inspired shelving. A huge “So Swede” traveling banner will back the scene.
The Ad Hoc Roundtable’s “Let’s Get Out There” fund (fueled by those who are able to pledge $30 a month for social media and advertising) was able to partner with the City of Lindsborg to make this memorable pitch package possible. As Holly said this morning, Lindsborg won’t be able to make this kind of pitch every year, so we have to make this one count.
• Kansas State University and Kansas University international students will explore Lindsborg tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, from 9:30 to 3:30. Please welcome and wave.
• Freshened by rain and predicted to be warmed by the sun, this weekend should be an out-of-the box experience. Friday night’s 2nd annual Jazz Walk starts at 7 p.m. at the Swedish Crown followed by an 8 p.m.-ish processional walk with Brandon Draper's all-star band around the downtown and then to the J.O Sundstrom for a jam session. Saturday’s Våffeldagen with tasty waffles and wacky waffle people. Sunday’s sing-along performance of Handel’s Messiah at 3 p.m. in Presser Hall on the Bethany campus. Good vibes. Groove, laugh, sing out. It’s Lindsborg.
• We spent part of last Monday's gathering talking about how cities work toward creating what we in Lindsborg already enjoy: a 10-minute neighborhood (aka a 20-minute village). Most everything many people need and want in the course of daily life is within 10 minutes by bicycle or on foot. Cities know that residents hunger for connection — and cities spend millions of dollars creating in neighborhoods what Lindsborg enjoys every day. Large-city leaders know that more young people —by financial need or option — are forging lives not dependent on owning cars. Some seniors are looking for similar options. The Valkommen Trail winding through Lindsborg, as well as the Meadowlark Trail threading south, are significant encouragements. Many of us agreed that more benches and artwork along already-known foot and bicycle pathways throughout the town would help Lindsborg — a lot. What more can we do to encourage a local pedestrian and bicycle culture?
PS: If you happen to be an around-town or distance cyclist, consider joining Smoky Valley Cyclists at www.lovetoride.net. It’s a place to see how easy bicycling can be and enjoy the many reasons other people ride. Members also can log miles and win prizes. Thanks, Holly Lofton of the Lindsborg CVB.
• From 10 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 17, please drop by The White Peacock Coffee and Tea Company at 124 N. Main St. for cuppa with Lindsborg City Council members. Come share your dreams for Lindsborg, as well as your observations about results of the 2017 Citizen Survey. Survey results were published in the latest city newsletter., and if you haven't seen them, info will be provided at the come-and-go coffee time.
• The weekend of Friday, March 23, to Sunday, March 25, will be chock-a-block with fine music, extra company from out of town, and a little wackiness. Friday night brings us the second Lindsborg Jazz Walk, presented this year by the Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series as part of the Messiah Festival of Arts calendar. It's a don't miss event that concludes with a final performance at the J.O. Sundstrom Center. Saturday brings Lindsborg Våffeldagen (Waffle Day). Sunday is the Messiah Festival's "Messiah Sing Along" at Bethany College's Presser Hall. That makes now a great time to plant pansies, clean windows, and clear winter's grit from sidewalks and gutters.
• Casting ahead: Lindsborg in Bloom, our community send- up of the Flower Power Era, will be on Saturday, April 28. Many responding to the 2017 Lindsborg Citizen Survey said the liveliness of downtown has improved since the 2014 survey -- and we believe that events like Lindsborg in Bloom build the community's reputation among residents and visitors alike. This year, we're planning groovy outdoor entertainment and hands-on activities for families and friends, and we need the community's help to make it happen. Would you/your organization be willing to make a $50 donation toward Lindsborg in Bloom and the ongoing work of the Ad Hoc Roundtable? If so, please send a check to the Lindsborg At Work Association in care of David Hay at First Bank Kansas or Kathy Richardson at Small World Gallery.
• Please drop by and relish the newly re-situated Connected Fair Trade at 129 N. Main St. It is a pleasure to have proprietor Amy Kay Pavlovich continue one of her three successful Kansas fair trade businesses in Lindsborg's downtown area.
• We're also looking forward to the debut of Hands of Time Gallery at 118 S. Main -- *perhaps* as early as the first week of April. Hands of Time will feature the furnishings and wood sculptures of Brandon Sherwood, paintings of Dawn Sherwood, and fine art and craft from near and far. We know that Hands of Time will be a key addition to the Lindsborg lineup.
• Here's a kind reminder from Scott's Hometown Foods about the availability of its electronic monitor for community announcements. Please work with Danyel Patterson at the store. Either send a digital file in landscape format -- or send event details and Danyel would create the digital file for you. That email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much, Danyel and everyone at Scott's.
We thought you'd like to review this FAQ (frequently asked questions) prepared by members of the Strategic Alliance about its discussions thus far. Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may be interested.
Thanks so much to members of the Strategic Alliance for their efforts -- and for responding to questions as they arise.
What is the purpose of the Strategic Alliance?
The Ad Hoc Roundtable discussed the possibilities of the leading organizations in Lindsborg gathering on a regular basis to think and collaborate strategically for the benefit of Lindsborg. Realizing most organizations do strategic planning in some form, it was hoped that the entities would share their future objectives and see where needs, goals and objectives may intersect among organizations. The participants of the Strategic Alliance agreed to form a group that meets regularly to discuss and collaborate on long-term initiatives that would benefit Lindsborg.
When was the Strategic Alliance formed?
The first meeting was held on September 21, 2017, in the Levin Room on the campus of Bethany College. The alliance has met approximately two times per month since that time. Facilitator responsibilities for each meeting have rotated among the members of the group.
Who is involved in the Strategic Alliance?
Becky Anderson, Ad Hoc Roundtable
Larry Van Der Wege, Lindsborg Community Hospital
Mike Dreier, Ad Hoc Roundtable
Shane Eck/Steve Peterson, Mid Kansas Coop
Corey Peterson, Ad Hoc Roundtable
Cassie Johnson, Smoky Valley Community Foundation
William Jones, Bethany College
David Hay, Smoky Valley Development Corporation
Kris Erickson, Bethany Home
Chris Carlson, TACOL
Erica Kruckenberg, Circles of Smoky Valley
Glen Suppes, USD 400
Greg DuMars, City of Lindborg
Is this group accountable to any board or organization and does it have any decision-making authority?
No. This group does not have any authority or budget to force anything on anyone. Each member of the group is accountable to the organization he or she represents. Each member realizes that working together can make Lindsborg more robust, which will ultimately benefit each organization and the community at large.
Will this committee decide how the David J. Nutt money will be used?
No. The McPherson Community Foundation will determine how the money will be dispersed. It is possible that efforts of the Strategic Alliance may facilitate partnerships in order to align common interests and to avoid duplicated efforts. This in turn may assist in the grant application process.
What has the Strategic Alliance accomplished thus far?
The initial meetings consisted of performing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of Lindsborg. Many of the organizations represented have performed their own SWOT analysis as a part of their own strategic planning. This information was incorporated into the discussions.
The group then utilized information from the SWOT analysis as well as a review of individual organizational visions to develop a Vision Statement. The statement is ideally for Lindborg as a whole, although this group has neither authority nor desire to force its use anywhere in the community.
The vision statement is:
Lindsborg will be loved as one of the most welcoming and livable communities in the Midwest for families, retirees, businesses, and visitors, with a unique quality of life that builds upon our Swedish heritage, fosters and appreciates creativity and the arts, embraces educational excellence, and is firmly rooted in our rural Kansas values.
The Strategic Alliance reviewed the results of the City of Lindsborg community survey. The 2017 and 2014 survey results were compared. Based upon review of the survey results as well as review of individual organizational strategic and operational needs, three areas of need have been selected for further exploration.
The three areas are: 1) Student/Community Wellness Center; 2) Affordable Housing; and 3) Affordable Childcare and After School Programs. Subgroups will be formed – including other members and organizations of the community – to further evaluate these areas and develop tactics to make improvements for the betterment of Lindsborg. These groups are currently forming.
What if I want to participate?
Contact one of the members listed above. Subcommittees are forming to develop tactics to work toward strategic areas of need.
How long will the group continue to exist?
It will meet as long as the individuals who participate and the organizations they represent feel there is value in the group.
Where can I get more information on the activities of the Strategic Alliance?
Further information can be provided by the Ad Hoc Roundtable. It meets from 8-9 am most Mondays in the City Council Room at City Hall. Anyone is welcome to participate. Ad Hoc Roundtable newsletters appear on its Facebook page or individuals may subscribe to its email updates.
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Yessss. We have turned the corner into March. Spring is in sight and the fires of creativity in Lindsborg are stoked, to wit:
One of the juiciest Makers Street Art Walks ever is on tap this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. The temporary "Lindsborg Collects" exhibit will be at 110 N. Main; many downtown locations will offer special exhibits and experiences for all ages, all browsable and walkable. In a special plus, the Bethany College Swedish Crafts program will be unveiled that night, including Bethany Brooms and Bethany Bowls. At 5:30 p.m. at the Mingenback Gallery on campus, hear Bethany College President William Jones explain the outlines of the program. The first three Bethany Brooms will be auctioned, as well as three Bethany Bowls. Then walk across the street to see BC Swedish Crafts demonstrations and products at the former Chi Rho house on N. 2nd. Also open for the evening: the Sandzen Gallery. Maps to Makers Street available at any participating location across the community. Come for dinner, too!
The weekend of March 23, 24 and 25 is also jam-packed with good stuff:
• At 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, Lindsborg’s world will be rocked again by a Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series Jazz Walk featuring Bethany College alum and percussionist Brandon Draper. Brandon has arranged for KC-based trombonist, composer and arranger Marcus Lewis to be part of this year’s event — along with a crew with some of the best jazz chops in the Midwest. Not since Wynton Marsalis appeared here has Lindsborg had so much improvisational music-making skills in our zip code. More details and maps to come. Plus it’s free, sponsored by local businesses. Follow on Facebook at Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series
• The spring brunch for members and guests of the Sandzen Gallery is Saturday, March 24, from 10-11:30 a.m. Always well-attended — and delicious -- in celebration of the Sandzen’s 120th Midwest Art Exhibition. Perhaps a good time to become a member?
• Saturday, March 24, also brings the march of Lindsborg Våffeldagen. It is the search for hot waffles, waffle-y treats, waffle games, waffle photos and a lighthearted welcome to spring from Lindsborg’s own Waffle People. (Alert to downtown locations: The City has granted our event a sidewalk permit, meaning sales and other activities may be planned on sidewalks that day without separate arrangements. We encourage you to participate and add to the atmosphere.)
• A theatre production of the “Easter Vigil Readings” is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in the Pearson Chapel of Performing Arts at Bethany College. The performance is free and open to the public.
• Sunday, March 25, brings the “Messiah Sing Along” as the public and guests soloists join with a large chorus and orchestra on stage to sing one of the most beloved choral works in Western music. That’s 3 p.m. in historic Presser Hall Auditorium; tickets are $10 and scores will be available at the door for an additional $10.
E-commerce was a subject of reflection and beefy Ad Hoc discussion this morning. E-commerce continues to reshape not only how we make purchases and conduct business transactions but also how we find places/people/ideas/things of interest to see in person.
E-commerce also has been very much on the minds of the Smoky Valley Development Corporation, as well as our friends who create the high-quality local online lifestyle hub called Dala Town. (Subscribe now to Dala Town: https://www.dalatown.com. Newest story is on cycling.)
As we each ponder new ways that e-commerce shifts our individual outlooks, here are some general thoughts from this morning’s discussion:
• SVDC is exploring how to create a unifying on-line presence for Lindsborg that could allow others to explore our community in virtual space. With shared costs, the effort could be effective and reasonable for even small organizations.
• The Lindsborg CVB is researching a Google Maps-related application that allows still photographs to be stitched together to give a seamless 360-degree look inside visitor attractions.
• Even for service providers such as banks, real estate agencies and accountancies, e-commerce widens the playing field. Buying properties and complex services from afar on line is more common than ever.
• In the Age of Amazon, Lindsborg is still rich. It is rich with stories — stories of owners and professionals, artists and musicians, creative minds and good spirits, educators and those seeking education, caregivers and those who need care. Our job is to tap into these stories (that many of us take for granted, by the way). The stories drive people to want to connect with Lindsborg (buy, visit, stay engaged). It is this collective community personna that remains motivating and keeps us competitive. How can we better tell our community's story? What is *your* part in that process?
• If you do just one thing to help yourself and Lindsborg in this new world, make sure your local organization or enterprise — no matter how small or large — is represented on Google. It’s an opportunity to show photographs, list hours and contact info, and describe special offerings. Many local enterprises are not yet listed on Google — yet this one thing makes a great deal of difference about whether Lindsborg’s footprint as a community is noticed in the larger world. If you need help, please contact Holly at the Lindsborg CVB. It’s easy. Takes 10 minutes. Please? Thanks.
Please send good wishes with Mayor Becky Anderson and City Administrator Greg DuMars as they visit Washington, D.C. next week on Lindsborg’s behalf. One primary meeting for Mayor Anderson and Mr. DuMars will be with Sweden’s newly appointed ambassador to the U.S., the Honorable Karin Olofsdotter. Among the gifts they will take to the ambassador? A Bethany Broom, of course.
And speaking of the digital realm, please don't miss SVHS student Logan Bodenhamer's delightful animation project about a tomte in search of his friend the Dala Horse. Thanks, Logan!