Sunday Nights in Fountain Square
Kyle Ragsdale’s painting for the newest City Gallery billboard captures a moment with friends in the Fountain Square Sunday night dinner group he has been a part of since 2006. Week after week, this group of neighbors has gathered to sit down and share a meal together. It’s not fancy -- paper plates and plastic silverware clutter the tables and a number of kids through the yards and houses -- but it is special. “What I like about it,” says Kyle, “is that it’s a tradition that we’ve been doing for years and years and years. The kids have grown up in it. It has all the good things about community - we talk through hard things . . . even though it’s just dinner.”
Adeleine Sinsabaugh, a senior at Herron High School, is one of those kids who grew up in this community, with Sunday night dinner a consistent part of her week. Having a large, neighborhood, “extended family” has been a really unique and irreplaceable part of her experience. She’s spent this year photographing her neighborhood, trying to capture Fountain Square’s people and stories which shape her life. A lot of her favorite photos are of the Sunday dinner.
The host of the week’s dinner is encouraged to invite additional guests. Over the years, invited guests in Fountain Square have included local politicians running for office (including Mayor Ballard before he was elected), brand new neighbors, and newcomers to the city who are contemplating moving downtown and wonder what life is like for the people who live in a particular neighborhood. Please join us in hosting our first ever city-wide supper on November 9 (you can register to host here). Consider inviting someone outside your circle, someone new to your neighborhood, or even your local politicians. Tonya Beeler, another member of the group says, “I still have a fond memory of John Day sitting down to sup with us. But what is it mostly? Just a day in the week where we meet to take a breath, sit down, and eat together. It’s my favorite day of the week.”