Circle of Conversations – Discussion Guide

Catalyzing Newport is hosting its next visiting catalyst Estevan Rael-Gálvez, PhD from the historic city of Santa Fe, NM December 12 – 16th. As a cultural anthropologist and storyteller, Estevan has developed a practice that uses the 5 human senses to explore place, feelings and memories. In Santa Fe, he used this practice as a way to engage greater community participation in the development of the city’s first Cultural Plan.

Catalyzing Newport is excited to host Estevan in Newport at a time when several planning efforts are underway for the City, and more broadly speaking, at a time of such national civic discord. How can storytelling (using the senses as a focal point) help encourage diverse residents to come together to share and understand their home in a new way?

We endeavor to answer this very question — and we need your help. But don’t worry – it’s free and very easy to do!

Below please fine our guide for helping you host your own Circle of Conversation. This step-by-step guide will walk you through a 1-hour activity meant to spark storytelling about your Newport memories based on sights, scents, tastes, touches, and sounds. We simply ask that you document your Circle of Conversation using the #SensingNewport hashtag, or by emailing your take-aways.

The various products of all the residency’s Sensory Week Newport activities will be on display on Thursday, Dec 15th, from 4-6pm at Bike Newport’s new headquarters at 62 Broadway, Newport, RI. We have many surprise activities planned that night to engage the senses! We hope you can drop by to learn more about the sensory experiences of your neighbors! For a full list of Sensory Week Newport activities, visit our website.


What is Sensory Week Newport?

December 12th – 16th is declared “Newport Sensory Week” by Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez who will be visiting Newport as a part of Catalyzing Newport’s catalyst residency program. Leading up to and during his December residency, Estevan will be empowering Newport’s residents to collectively tell the story of their city through activating their senses. As cities work to address challenges around equity and participation, it is critical to develop an engagement framework that raises questions of who does the work and for whom public value is based. Exploring Newport through the senses will create new possibility, a new understanding of our environment, the knowledge that can incubate economic and artistic prospects as well as expand the possibilities of new relationships, ideas, and opportunities.


Circle of Conversations – Discussion Guide