Living Into a New Story in Cedar Rapids

Generative Communities

A heartwarming reflection of how it felt to be there.

Living Into a New Story in Cedar Rapids

Small group gathers to cross boundaries and ignite transformative change

For the longest time things have been done a certain way in Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Creative Corridor. Those ways have served the city well. Yet, a small group longed for something richer.


Chuck Peters, Suj Chandrasekhar, Liz Schott, and Mick Starcevich invited their community to gather in receptive, creative, and listening ways to explore abundance. Their hope was to transcend the boundaries of social circles and cultivate emerging possibility.

What if the Creative Corridor was Authentically Relational, Worldly, Attractive, Fun, Inclusive and Sustainable? How can we unleash the sacred gifts within those around us to cross boundaries and ignite transformative change?

Last Thursday an eclectic group of strangers spent time together to see their community through the eyes of others, to see, and be seen by others. They then explored what was alive for them and what they would like to create together.


Some felt their time together reminded them of the limits of their past way of operating in their professional and community work and were able to sense a new way. Others learned about their own intentions and willingness to risk.

The group gave life to a dozen ways forward to a new narrative in their community. They will reconvene in small groups in the coming weeks to continue the journey.

If you live in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Creative Corridor and would like to follow the story and get involved you can sign up to receive communications and invitations here.

To see more photos from the event, click here.

You can comment on this story below, or e-mail peter(at)

Writer Bio

Peter Pula's picture
Peter Pula

Peter Pula has been exploring the pathways to social evolution since founding the Grassroots Review in his hometown of Peterborough in 1992. Since then he has served on the boards of civil society and arts organizations and served as board president on two of them.

He has been actively involved in federal politics and led a corporate communications firm. Axiom News was incorporated under his leadership in 2009 and went on to establish the practice of Generative Journalism in an international arena.
In 2015, Axiom News founded and funded the Peterborough Dialogues in its hometown. The Peterborough Dialogues hosted over 350 deep community dialogues, established and refined hosting arts, and has had lasting impact in the Peterborough community. For this work in community, Peter was awarded the 2017 Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Award by Fleming College after being nominated by his peers and members of the community.

Peter works in support of deep democracy and passionately but lightly-held spaces for citizen-led community development. He believes that artfully hosted dialogue and generative media making are together a necessary social innovation for cultivating local-living abundance.

Peter is an artful dialogue host, newsroom director, team leader, mentor, trainer, and consultant. He can be a supportive force in the cultivation of initiatives in your community, network, or organization.

He has been invited to host dialogues, summits, workshops, and learning circles in Canada, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently in France.

If you would like to enjoy an exploratory conversation about engaging Peter in appropriate ways to enliven or enlighten your initiatives, you can reach him directly by writing to

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