Community Repair Events
The essential element of Community Repair Events is teaching and emboldening people to fix their own things, encouraging a shift in how we think about our possessions, and raising awareness around the profound impact made by extending the life of what we already have.
Our intention was to initiate Community Repair Events in The East Bay, to prove the concept, to identify partners enthusiastic about taking over leadership, and to support their assuming responsibility for ongoing events.
The tremendous wave of interest in and support for our four Community Repair Events in 2018 brought that vision to fruition much more quickly than expected! As of the Spring of 2019, two programs have been launched and are running independently of The Culture of Repair Project.
COMMUNITY REPAIR EVENTS
Folks who know how to fix things get together folks who don't, and work together to bring broken things back to life. Along the way, the more important objective is accomplished: Raising people's awareness of the imperative of extending the lifespan of the things we have by fixing them rather than prematurely discarding and replacing them.
Community Repair Events are sweeping the globe, from the over 1450 Repair Cafés around the world affiliated with Amsterdam's Repair Café Foundation, to Fixit Clinic's 400-plus events nationwide, to London-based Restart Project’s dozens of "Restart Parties" across the UK and the continent, to many, many stand-alone initiatives, such as Chicago's Community Glue Workshop, Portland's Repair PDX and Brooklyn's Fixers' Collective.
Through transferring operational material, making seed grants and providing initial logistical support, we helped Transition Berkeley and Berkeley Public Library establish the processes and resources to support ongoing Repair Cafés and Fixit Clinics in The East Bay, independent of The Culture of Repair Project.
Details → The Vision
Two Formats: Fixit Clinic and Repair Café
The heart of both is fixing — community members come together to help each other repair what’s broken. Neither is a free repair service — they’re free participatory events. Participants work with volunteer fixers toward repairs.
The differences? Fixit Clinics are explore-and-discover STEM workshops focused on learning through fixing. Repair Cafés are also concerned with developing social infrastructure and community resilience, so also host complementary activities related to repair, reuse and community well-being.
Details on Fixit Clinics are below, with Repair Café details following.
After organizing the first three Fixit Clinics at Berkeley Public Library in 2018, we helped the Library establish Fixit Clinics as ongoing programming, run by the Library. The Library hosted its first library-organized Fixit Clinic in March 2019 — a complete success.
Focusing on empowering people through knowledge and experience, Fixit Coaches help participants repair their own things. "Fixit Clinic conveys basic disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair skills using peoples' own broken things as the vehicle. By sharing these skills while transferring them to others we teach critical thinking through the lens of our relationship to consumption and sustainability. We strive to demystify science and technology so that we can ultimately make better policy choices as a society."
After spearheading the inaugural Berkeley Repair Café in May 2018, we supported Transition Berkeley’s assuming leadership for organizing ongoing Repair Cafés. Transition Berkeley’s February 2019 Repair Café was a resounding success.
At Repair Cafés some folks will bring broken things, others will bring know-how and tools, and yet others will bring coffee, bagels and fruit. They aren't free repair services — they're about neighbors helping each other out, getting to know each other, and learning how to squeeze more life out of the things we already have.
Partners, co-sponsors and supporters of our Repair Café work have included: