Unless you’ve been living under a rock
(or you just completely ignore our emails ), you are aware that we’ve changed our name from Ace in the City to Flourish Placemaking Collective. We‘ve unpacked some of the reasoning behind the change, as well as the meaning of the new name.
Particular emphasis has been given to the words flourish and placemaking, as they help explain the goal of our work (to see our churches, communities and neighbors flourish) and the work we actually do (placemaking—transforming spaces in a way that better reflects and serves the realities of its community).
But today, I wanted to shine a spotlight on the last part of our name (in my view, perhaps the most important part):
A fundamental aspect of the way we approach our work has been through partnership. We’ve never supposed that we have all the answers, and we know we don’t have all the skills necessary for any given project. We wholeheartedly embrace the African proverb,
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We always cringed when someone thought the word “Ace” in our former name implied that we saw ourselves as the best or that we are the solution (“we’re the ace in the hole for the city’s needs”). That has never been our posture, and is the furthest thing from our original namesake—Tim’s friend, Andy “Ace” Wiersma.
In any given project, we always seek to partner with the church well, to invite others to help with the project (architects, city and community organizers, and more), to help the church partner well with other community-facing organizations, and ultimately to step into this work of placemaking by inviting our neighbors into collectively shaping the space.
This collaborative spirit certainly is a messier, less efficient approach. But we believe it is the only way forward if we truly want all to flourish.