Seeing Double: 2 Years of We Are the Next

This July, we celebrated two years of existence - two years of festivals, community outreach, youth programming, construction management, struggles, and successes. This anniversary has meant a lot to us, and gave us a fun reason to celebrate with our partners and supporters!

On August 11th, our team and members of the community gathered at the historic Psychic Temple in Downtown Long Beach to toast to two years of We Are the Next. Through our theme, "Seeing Double," we had designed custom posters and graphics based on our projects that guests could experience through 3D glasses! 

At the event, we presented the reflections and changes we've been making over the last six months or so. As an organization, We Are the Next has done a lot in two years.. everything from partnering with residents to form Wilmington's first art walk, to carrying out a statewide Youth Heritage Summit with the National Park Service, and saving the world's first Taco Bell

Thinking back on these projects has had us thinking about the ones we're taking on moving forward. The kinds of places that tell stories and celebrate our cultures are all around us, and if we want to build widespread support and awareness for how important they can be, we need to inspire an entire generation to see it for themselves. In order to create opportunities for the next generation to have meaningful experiences that build a love for these places, we've created a new mission statement that will help us ensure that all of our projects stay true to our purpose as an organization:

Our mission is to turn yesterday's spaces into public places and inspire the next generation to steward them.

With this new mission, we'll continue rehabilitating important buildings and other places in need while also maintaining the ability to design corresponding youth development and civic engagement programs that will ensure our work benefits the next generation of property owners, heritage advocates, community stakeholders, and leaders.

All of the work we've done to date has been possible because of our team and our Board of Directors. Our staff have poured their creativity and energy into carrying out and designing new and innovative projects that can set a precedent for communities in Long Beach and the surrounding cities, and nothing we have accomplished would have been possible without their dedication. 

In addition to our team, we're grateful for our supporters who came out with us to celebrate our anniversary and think about these big ideas. We can't wait to see what the future holds!

Acknowledgements:

Katie RispoliComment