Futures festivals: An intergenerational strategy for promoting community participation

Matthew Kaplan, Frank Higdon, Nancy Crago, Lucinda Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


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 eventscalled “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)
Pages (from-to)119-146
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 27 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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