In October, the Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership Executive Committee hosted a community-wide public forum at Dalton High School. At the public forum, the Executive Committee celebrated 11 months of hard work by rolling out a community vision, which the group named “Communit-E3: A vision for the Future of Dalton-Whitfield County.” Approximately 300 community members braved severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings to learn more about the vision and opportunities for involvement in the process. Newspaper coverage of the event can be reviewed at http://archwaypartnership.uga.edu/category/news/whitfield-news/.
To develop the community vision, the 16-member Archway Partnership Executive Committee and the 13-member Archway Partnership Young Professional Steering Committee analyzed countless community planning and visioning documents. In addition, the committees directly sought input from approximately 1000 residents through 23 focus groups, a community listening session, and one-on-one interviews.
Communit-E3 Visioning Document
At the public forum, the Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership Executive Committee had the opportunity to distribute a document that succinctly outlined the visioning process and the plans moving forward. This document, which was created with the assistance and creative expertise of the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute, can be viewed electronically at http://daltonwhitfieldcommunityvision.com/uploads/DaltonWhitfield_Visioning_Report.pdf.
Communit-E3 Vision Video
A highlight of the public forum was the presentation of a 10-minute video outlining the community vision. The video was created under the direction of the Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership Executive Committee by University of Georgia Masters Candidate Mark LeBlang. In addition to live footage captured by LeBlang, the video featured the photography work of University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art seniors Anna King and Alex Palmour. It also featured conceptual drawings of downtown Dalton rendered by University of Georgia College of Environment and Design seniors Casey Marbutt and Cameron Yates. The video can be viewed at: http://daltonwhitfieldcommunityvision.com/.
Communit-E3 Vision Website
Guests at the public forum were invited to learn more about the Communit-E3 vision by visiting a new website located at http://daltonwhitfieldcommunityvision.com/. This new website, still in its infancy, was made possible by the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia. Special thanks to David Aft and Linda Blackman for their assistance with this project.
Local School Boards Pledge Support for the Communit-E3 Vision
Prior to the community vision roll-out, both the Whitfield County Board of Education and the Dalton Public Schools Board of Education pledged support for the community vision. Coverage of the Whitfield County School Board’s reaction can be viewed at http://daltondailycitizen.com/local/x1941092760/Archway-seeks-schools-partnership. A letter of official endorsement from the Dalton Public School Board Chairman, Steve Williams, can be viewed at http://archwaypartnership.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/dps-letter-of-support1.pdf.