RUMINATION GARDEN: Public Imagination Labs

The power of public imagination to advance social and cultural evolution is immense. Imagination is a powerful tool for creating new ideas, challenging existing norms, and inspiring people to take action. It can be used to envision a better future and to create a shared vision of what that future could look like. Public imagination empowers communities to think outside the box and to develop creative solutions to community problems; encouraging us all to think critically, feel more deeply, and challenge the status quo.

Rumination Garden: Public Imagination Labs include convenings that engage artists and changemakers working across fields to envision a better future through artistic practice.

Public imagination labs explore race, culture, gender/sexuality, the environment and/or civic life, and map and analyze stories that build empathy, identify social challenges, and imagine new pathways forward.

NICHLOSON + THEATRE COMPANY believes that when artists use their imaginative power, they can identify alternatives to existing socio-political structures and build a future in which we can all thrive. We make space for collective visioning of the future, discussions, and brainstorming dynamic possibilities.

Our approach to the practice of public imagination manifests as (1) research-driven arts & cultural offerings and (2) virtual/in-person labs and community space for artists, writers, and changemakers.

The Rumination Garden Story & How We Work

Rumination Garden began in 2015 as an emerging thought leadership hub seeking to engage artists and social innovators working across disciplines. Today, the project has been re-designed and is committed to convening artists, writers, practitioners, educators, and social innovators to promote social justice and equity by:

  • Exploring the values, norms, narratives, and cultural dynamics upholding injustice and inequity in the spaces where they seek to create change
  • Engaging them in the practice of public imagination to envision the values, norms, narratives, and cultural transformations needed to uphold just, equitable communities, systems, movements, projects, and organizations
  • Establishing and/or re-affirming envisioned values in shared space and developing the strategies needed to embody them
  • Developing clear plans of action to promote established values to create sustainable change

Public Imagination Lab 1: Envisioning Futures

Envisioning Futures is a visioning-focused workshop that centers the impact of stories as resources for accelerating social and civic imagination; and identifying solutions to social problems.

Participants explore what alternative socio-political, economic and/or community structures might look and feel like — experiencing them in relation to existing ones and inspiring discourse around how we might develop, resource, and bring them into being.

Public Imagination Lab 2: Creating Futures

Creating Futures invites participants to consider the limitations, challenges, and possibilities related to envisioned alternative structure (s) and/or community; with emphasis on identifying seeds of change. Participants are encouraged to brainstorm specific projects, initiatives and/or movements that can be developed to make envisioned change a reality.