The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) is currently working with cities and towns across the state to put people first in community development and planning processes through Community Heart & Soul®. The program’s innovative approach uses the tools of the humanities to creatively engage residents in planning and decision-making processes as a way to strengthen a town’s social, cultural and economic vibrancy.
A group of Meadville residents launched a Community Heart & Soul project in early 2016 and renamed it "My Meadville" in the spring of 2017.
Read My Meadville's 2017 year end report here.
The Meadville Community
Founded in 1788 in picturesque, rural northwestern Pennsylvania, the City of Meadville has been ranked one of the top five places to start a small business by the blog Talent Tribune and the third best commuter city in the state by Obrella.com.
Meadville’s 13,000 residents enjoy amenities including a beautiful recreation complex featuring an enclosed competition ice rink and year-round swimming; a growing number of community gardens; a historic structure said to be Pennsylvania’s oldest continuously-operating enclosed market house; and a cast-iron fountain in the city park in the center of town believed to be the second-oldest in the United States. Since its founding in 1815, Allegheny College has grown to rank among the finest colleges in the nation and currently has an enrollment of more than 2,000.
Serving as the Crawford County seat, Meadville has a proud history of both dreaming beyond its size and bouncing back from economic setbacks. Many city residents work in the area, with 87% of those employed outside the home working in Crawford County and more than 61% of working residents traveling fewer than 15 minutes to work. With the city government facing a multitude of budget-related challenges and citizens sometimes failing to thoroughly understand the workings of municipal governance, this project aims to raise the level of civic engagement among residents and increase their participation in local decision making.
Long Term Goals
- Boost community pride and involvement.
- Ease long-standing social, racial and economic divisions.
- Help community members discover a deeper connection to the city.
- Provide planning and marketing tools to support economic development.
- Distill and publish a short list of essential community values.
- Establish new lines of communication and connection among those who live, work and play in Meadville.
- City of Meadville
- Crawford Heritage Community Foundation
- Crawford County Historical Society
- Food for Thought Collaboration (Creating Landscapes Learning Center Inc. and Women’s Services)
- Crawford County Mental Health Awareness Program
- Allegheny College
- Meadville Neighborhood Center
- Chamber of Commerce of Meadville and Western Crawford County
Additional information is available at the MyMeadville web site.
- Pennsylvania Heart & Soul Communities
- Community Heart & Soul (Orton Family Foundation)
- Meadville Heart & Soul Team Forges Partnerships and Expands Ranks
- Humanities put residents at the helm of local planning in Meadville
- PHC partners with PCA to co-sponsor arts and culture projects in four Pennsylvania communities
- Community Network Analysis Sparks Dialogue and Action
- From Stories to Community Action
- Uncommon strategic partnership advances applied humanities work in PA
- My Meadville Team Develops Crucial Partnerships and Builds Leadership Team in Relaunch
- Heart & Soul Hero Award: Lee Scandinaro
- Heart & Soul Hero Award: John Hartnett
- My Meadville Ideas Summit [Video]