Futures festivals: An intergenerational strategy for promoting community participation

Matthew Kaplan, Frank Higdon, Nancy Crago, Lucinda Robbins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (SciVal)


This paper describes a special events strategy for mobilizing community residents of all ages to take part in a community visioning process. Through locally initiated special events-called “Futures Festivals”-community residents come together to share their concerns and hopes for their community. Planning for these events is driven by a collaborative process involving representatives of local community organizations and agencies. The rationale for this intergenerational model is twofold; people of different age groups often have limited opportunities to communicate with one another, and the viewpoints of youth and seniors are frequently overlooked in the community planning process. This paper profiles two Futures Festival events and other preliminary organizing taking place in western Pennsylvania communities during the summer of 2002. Findings suggest that Futures Festivals can be effective tools for broadening the circle of community residents and other stakeholders engaged in critical dialogue about community issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntergenerational Relationships
Subtitle of host publicationConversations on Practice and Research Across Cultures
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780203050996
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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