By Community Heart & Soul

Community Heart & Soul and Our Towns Civic Foundations announcement header image

Shelburne, Vt. (March 3, 2022) — Community Heart & Soul (CH&S) and Our Towns Civic Foundation (OTCF) are collaborating to bring national attention to the undertold stories of innovation and renewal in small cities and towns across the United States. Through articles, podcasts, conversations, and interactive storymaps, OTCF will report on the people and the changes they are driving in Heart & Soul communities nationwide, toward enduring social and economic benefit.    

CH&S is a resident-driven process that engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it. Currently, over 100 small cities and towns across the country practice the Community Heart & Soul process.

Journalists and authors James and Deborah Fallows founded OTCF as the next step from their best-selling book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, and the HBO documentary, Our Towns. They continue to chronicle the stories from their own reporting, and now to create a platform to hear from community members in their own words, to connect people across communities, and to identify the lessons learned from innovative small cities and towns throughout America.

Commenting on their collaboration with CH&S, the Fallowses said, “the Community Heart & Soul process is both distinctive and replicable. It guides the way for residents to listen to the stories they tell each other about their towns, to reach common community goals, and to transform those goals into actions for change that can be measured and sustained.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with OTCF”, said Mark Sherman, Executive Director of CH&S. “Storytelling is an integral part of the Community Heart & Soul process, and the Fallowses and their Our Towns team are masterful storytellers. I can think of no two people I would rather have help us spread the word about CH&S than Jim and Deb Fallows.”

About Community Heart & Soul

Community Heart & Soul®, a nonprofit organization, builds stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across the United States. In addition to promoting the Community Heart & Soul model, the organization trains and supports a nationwide network of Certified Community Heart & Soul Coaches who provide training and guidance to over 100 local communities.  The organization is currently offering $10,000 Seed Grants to qualifying small cities and towns to start the CH&S model.

About Our Towns Civic Foundation

Our Towns Civic Foundation logo

Our Towns Civic Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded to share and connect the voices, the stories, and the lessons of communities around the country who are driving change from the ground up democratically and positively.