Up until I started my internship with Ogallala Commons, I would have not been able to put a name to all the assets of a community. What the assets and commonwealth mean to me is understanding the blocks that support our community and how we can preserve, enhance, and build them. This allows us to help our local communities flourish and grow, and in the mean time we can make new connections with peers and invest into our environment.
Reflecting on the assets I’ve witness and discovered during my internship; I’ve realized that I’ve had a teacher that I look up to who was an example of education and arts & culture. Jim Griffin is a local artist in Amarillo, Texas who plays a wide variety of instruments like the guitar, bass, sitar, flute, saxophone, and much more. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him play in local venues around town and learning guitar and flute from him. We’ve connected on topics such as motorcycles, music, philosophy, and engineering and I always enjoy listening to his interesting stories. I believe that he embodies those two assets of a community though teaching others about the arts and bringing people together to enjoy it.
Another example of an asset in my community is 6th Street in Amarillo, Texas. The street is part of Route 66, one the original highways of the United States. The local street has a diverse culture and is one of the gems of Amarillo. Filled with events, music, thrift shops, antiques, coffee, food, and many more local vendors, people come from all over to visit the street and see what it has to offer. I’ve been able to spend a large amount of time at great food locations such as Braceros Mexican Bar & Grill and The 806 Coffee lounge where I’ve seen lots of people and their culture come together on this street. The street is part of the culture of Amarillo and allows locals to gain support from their communities through the events and local shops.