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July 2018

“Stay in your lane.” This is a phrase often applied to people to encourage them to stick to what they know. For a lot of organizations and government agencies, specialization in a specific sector can help them to provide in-depth services. But sometimes when organizations become siloed – when they become used to staying in their respective lanes – they can miss out on opportunities to reach more people and innovate with new ideas.

Anythink works to break down barriers by creating opportunities for people to connect with ideas and each other. Here are just a few ways that the library is building bridges in the community.

A full hour before their class is scheduled to arrive, three freshmen from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy are peeking in the front door of RedLine Contemporary Arts Center, located in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. JC Futrell, education director at RedLine, welcomes them in and offers donuts. The students gladly accept, but are more eager to find Thomas “Detour” Evans, the artist who has been mentoring their class, and begin installing the art they have been working on all semester.

When thinking about the concept of a robust and thriving community, video games might not be what typically comes to mind. Yet Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games have been creating complex networks where people come together to connect, learn, socialize and play for decades. While playing games itself isn’t a new concept, connecting with individuals by watching other people play games is  – and Twitch is already one of the most popular platforms for doing so.

Just because you can’t vote doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice: That’s the advice from Colorado teens who are making waves through civic engagement by forming organizations, reaching out to their elected officials and even hosting their own fairs. For these teens, taking an active role in the community doesn’t have to start when you turn 18. We invited them to share their experiences and advice for other teens looking to make a difference.

In 1998, Kathy Dean went looking for donkeys to keep at her home on the Eastern Plains. While searching, she became aware of a problem: Dean knew there had to be unwanted donkeys that needed homes, but she wasn’t able to locate them. She found that neglected donkeys were often sold to be slaughtered instead of rehomed. When she was unable to find a rescue shelter that could take in these creatures and rehabilitate them for future owners, she decided to start her own. In 2000, the Longhopes Donkey Shelter was established in Bennett, Colo., with a mission of improving the welfare of donkeys through rehabilitation, rehoming and sanctuary for those that would otherwise be at risk of abuse or neglect. Since then, Longhopes has rescued over 1,000 donkeys, placing more than 930 in adoptive homes.