Community Dialogue Pillowcases

When our heads hit our pillows at night, we all have dreams for the communities and world around us.

Given a pillowcase for a canvas, participants shared two of these dreams with their neighbors. One side of the pillowcase represents a hopeful DREAM for this neighborhood and community. The other side of the pillowcase represents a NIGHTMARE of this neighborhood and community and what they fear could be in its future.



“Part of the problem is that people with more power rarely see the beauty and assets of a community that looks and lives differently.


How we live is going to ‘look differently’ because we don’t have the same amount of resources to spend on our DREAMS.


But that doesn’t mean that we don’t do the best we can with what we have.  We know the importance of leaning on our neighbors in time of need.  We know the value of coming together to figure things out collectively, rather than individually.  We know how to pool our resources so we can create a communal garden in our affordable housing project.  We watch out for each other’s children because we know the stressors of living in poverty.  We don’t weigh our success on how much we spend, but by the relationships we have built and whether we feel a sense of belonging.


We don’t know what it’s like to have the arrogance to just bombard a neighborhood with a plan that suits one’s self-interest.  We have quietly inhabited spaces that others have abandoned or discarded, and made it our home.  We put our sweat labor and tears into this less than a square mile of land and every day work hard to build something for ourselves that we are proud of.”


~ Bonnie Neumeier, “A City That Values My Brothers and Sisters”

This series is funded by the generosity of ArtsWave.

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