"Creativity takes courage." - Henri Matisse
What does creativity look like in a neighborhood? Interestingly, Halloween is a holiday that can open the door for kids and teens in your community to display their wild creations. Whether they go with traditional standbys like superheroes or princesses, or surprise us with their take on Where’s Waldo or foosball players, October 31 can uncover the creativity among us.
In South Atlanta, neighbors are hosting our 6th Annual Treat Street celebration. This fall carnival emerged out of a desire to nurture more creativity in our neighborhood. Sometimes, in urban communities, creativity may be undervalued.
Residents began to notice that local kids would knock on the doors at Halloween, hold out a bag, and expect candy. In an effort to encourage more costumes and more active participation, as well as to provide a safe and fun space, Treat Street was born.
After five years, Treat Street has become a neighborhood expectation. Candy donations are solicited from the community Civic League. Volunteers create and run simple carnival games, like ring toss, fishing for candy, cornhole, tic tac toe, and more. Many years, neighborhood youth enter the “haunted woods” where other teens and willing adults try to scare them with delight. We’ve also offered crafts, face painting, and group dancing various years.
So much of our dreams for our neighborhood include creating places of beauty, peace, and justice. Housing, jobs, and education are all important for a strong community. But celebrations and neighborhood fun also speak to the redeeming power of our Lord. We approach October 31st not as a day of darkness, but as an opportunity for community, fun, joy, and creativity. Treat Street offers a beautiful, alternative picture of how our community can look.
How does your neighborhood celebrate creativity?