Collaborative Communities: Why We Need Them and How They Are Created


John Nicholas Brown Center 357 Benefit Street

Collaboration is an essential tool of any institution. How can members of the cultural and educational communities maximize the power of collaboration by reaching out beyond their own walls? How can community groups and organizations contribute to one another's success? How can we all better meet community needs through collaboration? Christina Bevilacqua and Amy Greer have found that building interdisciplinary collaborative relationships between organizations strengthens communities. This presentation will offer participants an understanding of why collaboration is essential in today's under-resourced and under-staffed world, and provide tools to identify and engage the organizations that have the potential to be valuable collaborators in their communities. To build on those discoveries, participants will then learn how to initiate contact with those potential collaborators and build long-lasting, reciprocal collaborative relationships.

Christina Bevilacqua, Director of Programs and Public Engagement at the Providence Athenaeum and Amy Greer, Community Services Librarian at the Barrington Public Library

About the Facliitators: 
Christina Bevilacqua is the Director of Programs and Public Engagement at the Providence Athenaeum, where she has worked since 2005. In 2006 she created the Athenaeum’s Salon Series, which brings together people from the Athenaeum membership and beyond for weekly conversations on such topics as history, visual art, politics, collecting, dance, community organizing, theater, writing, food, music, storytelling, architecture, poetry, performance, education, healthcare, and memoir – for starters. She also organized the Marcel Proust reading group at the Athenaeum, which now has over 25 members. Prior to working at the Athenaeum she was the Program Coordinator at Leadership Rhode Island for three years. She has written for the Providence Phoenix and served on the boards of the RI Council for the Humanities and Everett Dance Theatre. She has a BA in writing from Bard College and an MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago. In addition to work in publishing, social services, and criminal justice in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Providence, she spent eight years designing hats as a custom milliner.

Amy Greer is the Community Services Librarian at the Barrington Public Library. Through this position, Amy hopes to offer programming that promotes civil discussion, cross- and inter-cultural awareness, and enjoyment for the whole family. Amy also collaborates with a number of community organizations to ensure that the whole community feels engaged with its public library. You can about the library here: Before working at the library, Amy was archivist of the Feminist Theory Papers at the Pembroke Center of Brown University. She was involved with establishing, growing, and making accessible the FTP's exciting collections. Amy received her B.A. from Wheaton College, her Master's in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Master's of Archives Management from Simmons College. She is currently a Library and Information Science doctoral student at Simmons College in Boston.