I thought it was really interesting to read the words in the Ferrari factory about the connection between care of the environment and creativity. This idea was reiterated in different ways during the week I spent at the Culture of the Atelier International Summer Institute in Ligonchio. From the generosity of the host community, to the presentation of the food, to the quality and beauty of the materials available for explorations and more, Reggio embodies these concepts. Some words from Vea Vecchi from the opening of the conference:
“Process means to take care of the details.”
“Care for details, the culture of research of beauty is a filter against violence.”
Table setting organized by participants for the end-of-the-program dinner (food also prepared by a group of conference participants).
Mercolodi Rosa, Reggio Emilia, July 14, 2011, around 11pm
Tonight was our last night in Reggio Emilia. I was here the previous week working with Reggio Children for the International Encounters with the Culture of Atelier
“The Hundred languages in dialogue with the natural environment” in Ligonchio (Appenines of Reggio Emilia)–more about this later, and this time I brought my family.
It was the first visit to Italy for my 2 sons and husband–it felt so good to take them to Reggio, where they could really get an understanding for what I do. My older son Louis said to me tonight, “Mom, you really have to know the city to understand Reggio.” I don’t know what brought him to that conclusion, but he couldn’t have been more insightful. We were here as a family for a week after the conference, and we really spent time in the city, just being a part of the life of the town. Our favorite night was Mercolodi Rosa (Red Wednesday), when the town opens at 9pm, all the shops and museums are open until midnight, there is music in the piazzas, people–families-everywhere….you can see in the pictures there was a hot air balloon, and then, best of all (for us at least)–a whole area dedicated to games for children–board games, stilts, old-fashioned games like ring-toss and ‘air’ hockey (no air, just a wood frame with a puck and goals)…
My husband and I were moved by this–a night on the town that included children–where they were thought about and their presence was not an afterthought, but a vital part of the evening. It made it fun for both sides–adults and children. We were ALL able to participate in the life of the city, without babysitters, without having to keep the children quiet or on good behavior–the evening was for all of us, and it made a very big and lasting impression. It was a real example of the image of the child that the city of Reggio Emilia has, not only the schools.
We are sad to leave.