Ode to Swings Tampa Bay

When was the last time you swung on a swing? It was probably much too long ago, and that is exactly what Swings Tampa Bay (STB) is trying to change. Known as a “spontaneous community-building organization,” STB organizes volunteers who hang handcrafted, hand-painted swings throughout the Tampa Bay area. Hanging from trees, bridges or other structures, the swing is meant to spark community interaction in an otherwise unnoticed area. 

For STB co-founders Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne, swings have become the tool of choice to facilitate the exchange of stories and ideas. The goal of the project is to help build a community focused on pushing past personal comfort zones in favor of building social cohesion, connections and relationships. “It still baffles us to see random groups of people collect around a swing before we can finish tying its knots,” says Pressman. “Perhaps we lace the rope with a human version of catnip.”  

Adds Payne: “Our favorite installation is of four swings hanging from a huge Kapok tree next to the Museum of Fine Arts in the heart of downtown. The swings turned the dormant lot into an inviting habitat that became busier than any playground in St. Petersburg.” 

Besides hanging swings in cities around Tampa Bay, STB hosts “Let’s Paint Swings” events, in which community members of all ages come together to paint, chat and meet new people. So far, 74 swings are in operation. In the future, Pressman and Payne plan to apply for grants to bring swings to other communities.

Solution News Source

Ode to Swings Tampa Bay

When was the last time you swung on a swing? It was probably much too long ago, and that is exactly what Swings Tampa Bay (STB) is trying to change. Known as a “spontaneous community-building organization,” STB organizes volunteers who hang handcrafted, hand-painted swings throughout the Tampa Bay area. Hanging from trees, bridges or other structures, the swing is meant to spark community interaction in an otherwise unnoticed area. 

For STB co-founders Reuben Pressman and Hunter Payne, swings have become the tool of choice to facilitate the exchange of stories and ideas. The goal of the project is to help build a community focused on pushing past personal comfort zones in favor of building social cohesion, connections and relationships. “It still baffles us to see random groups of people collect around a swing before we can finish tying its knots,” says Pressman. “Perhaps we lace the rope with a human version of catnip.”  

Adds Payne: “Our favorite installation is of four swings hanging from a huge Kapok tree next to the Museum of Fine Arts in the heart of downtown. The swings turned the dormant lot into an inviting habitat that became busier than any playground in St. Petersburg.” 

Besides hanging swings in cities around Tampa Bay, STB hosts “Let’s Paint Swings” events, in which community members of all ages come together to paint, chat and meet new people. So far, 74 swings are in operation. In the future, Pressman and Payne plan to apply for grants to bring swings to other communities.

Solution News Source

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