NeighborWorks Anchorage, in Alaska, celebrated its 30th Anniversary on September 30, 2011 with the theme "Around the Kitchen Table". In 1981 a group of concerned neighbors began a grassroots effort to take back their neighborhood from the crime left behind from the oil pipeline boom of the 1970s. That meeting around the kitchen table of the founder, Faye Connelly, resulted in what is now NeighborWorks Anchorage, one of the largest community development organizations in Alaska. To honor their work, the organization revisited the Spenard neighborhood where the community building began. 

The video below recaptures the spirit of the past 30 years of people working together to bring positive change to the community. The video, "Around the Kitchen Table", premiered at the 30th Anniversary celebration attended by over 300 guests including, community partners, government officials and representatives from NeighborWorks America. Also in attendance were the families who graciously participated in the video and told the story of how NeighborWorks Anchorage has positively affected their lives. The award winning videographer, Richard Cooper, captured the story of the people in this community that make a difference and those whose lives are changed by their dedication.

The video also highlights the fact that it was a group of neighbors that took the initiative to gather together and address their community’s issues. This is what community building and organizing are all about! It also clearly states: Getting the community involved was the key to the whole thing.” I love this video!

Neighborworks FINAL from FrostLine Productions on Vimeo.

In addition, the video also features “Paint the Town” volunteer activities. I know there are many NeighborWorks Network Organizations that have “Paint the Town” events in their communities. It would be great to see photos, read comments and watch videos of other beautification projects happening around the country.

You can also see another very moving video of the organization in general on their about us page:


The way NeighborWorks Anchorage is using video and images to tell the story of their work is impressive. It’s always nice to be inspired and learn about good projects; using multimedia to make your case helps a lot. Visit their facebook page to see more photos and learn about other events happening in Alaska around homeownership.

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