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 is the Founder of Axiom News. He has also founded and led a community newspaper and a corporate communications agency. He has served as a member and chairperson on the boards and committees of children's services, schools, municipal grants, arts, and local exchange organizations.

Peter led the discovery, founding, and practice of Generative Journalism as a healing and community art.

He has been invited to host workshops in Canada, Europe, and the United States on the practice of Generative Journalism, an open communications approach for emergent and constructive change in organizations, networks, and communities.

To bring dialogic and narrative arts together Peter and Axiom News initiated the Peterborough Dialogues in 2015. Over 150 deep dialogues, circles of trust, working circles, and summits have been held in Peterborough, Ontario to cultivate citizen-led community co-creation with beautiful results. The Peterborough Dialogues continues to be a rich practice field delivering up daily insights into the power of community convening.

Peter continues to integrate convening, journalism, and narrative arts practices to hold space for community to heal and for citizens to take the lead in creating the community of their dreams.

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