Wilkinson Public Library is one of 30 libraries nationwide to receive programming support from the Fetzer Institute and the American Library Association for “Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion.” The nine- month program series introduces the tenets of Slow Money  to inspire our community towards a shared vision based on community, civility, and compassion.

The series begins with a Slow Food event that takes place Thursday, February 2, 6 p.m., Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library. Woody Tasch, author of “Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered,” and Michael Brownlee of Transition Colorado share local food and interact with the community to discuss how the Slow Money tenet of “Nurture Capital” and the concept of “Transition Towns” can enrich our economy.

Friday, February 4, The New Community Coalitions’ ongoing Green Business Roundtable features Tasch and Brownlee in an informative presentation and discussion that starts 8:30 a.m. in the library’s Program Room.

Both events mark a collaboration between The New Community Coalition and Wilkinson Public Library. Participants are invited to continue the discussion by joining a “Slow Money” book club led by Kris Holstrom of TNCC and Robyn Wilson of the University Centers of the San Miguel.

In March and April, the Building Common Ground series continues with the Slow Money tenet, “Carrying Capacity.” Concentrating on our tenuous relationship with water in the Southwest, the library hosts an interactive exhibit from the Colorado Water 2012 Public Awareness Campaign. On March 27, the community is invited to participate in UCSM’s “Finding Solutions” class and discussion on the San Miguel Watershed.

Building Common Ground continues in May and June, focusing on the Slow Money tenet, “Care of the Commons.” The library then hosts an “across faiths” panel of faith leaders to discuss what the major faiths have in common. A weekend workshop for community members focuses on skills for deliberative dialogue that lead to compassionate, civil discussion and collaborative problem solving. A Common Ground tour led by George Greenbank of Telluride Historical Museum provides an event for community members to experience their common heritage.

Compassion is the theme for July and the library is working with the Compassion Festival to unveil Telluride’s Charter for Compassion to the community. The Fetzer Institute’s film “Forgiveness” rounds out the programming along with a community book club and discussion on Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong.

Building Common Ground concludes in September and October with programming focused on the Slow Money tenet, “Sense of Place.” The library plans to host a writing workshop on the same theme and capture local stories for publication. The community gets to engage with representatives from “Dreaming New Mexico,” a Bioneers Collaborative Project, to dream our own community’s contribution to a sustainable future.

Stay tuned to Telluride Inside… and Out for articles on all the great presenters in this far-ranging program.

Special thanks to the American Library Association, the Fetzer Institute, The New Community Coalition, University Centers of the San Miguel, Elisabeth Gick, Telluride Compassion Festival, and the Telluride Historical Museum for their collaboration in bringing this exciting series of programs to town.

Please join the discussion as we convene at the Wilkinson Public Library throughout 2012 to envision a future based on community, civility, and compassion.

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