By Susanne Morreale Leeber, CCE
President & CEO
Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce
Community: Some of the definitions of community in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary include, 1) a united body of individuals, 2) the people with common interests living or working in a particular area, 3) the area itself, 4) a group of people with common characteristics living together in a larger society, 5) society at large, 6) joint ownership or participation, 7) common character (likeness), 8) social state or condition.
Our downtown village is now recognized by the state as the Marlborough Downtown Village Cultural District. Over the past two years, the many volunteers who have been working to get this designation understand the benefits of working together to create a valuable “community” which is an essential part of the health and growth of the larger city of Marlborough.
Why do people come to communities? One reason is SAFETY. The need to find refuge has been, throughout history, a reason for people to come together. We are striving to make an atmosphere of comfort and belonging when visiting or living in the Downtown Village.
Another is EXCHANGE (or business). The opportunity for cities to provide an area for people to come together at the “marketplace” for buying and selling has always been a major factor of life in a community. The economic development component of the city is the contemporary acknowledgement that exchange is, indeed, essential expectation of the community. There are many opportunities for dining; get services; visual, theatrical and musical entertainment; historic learning; artistic displays and recreation in the Downtown Village Cultural District.
LEARNING – There was a time when the most learning opportunities were for children and in the schoolhouse: today’s challenge is to find ways to provide lifelong learning and training opportunities for all citizens. Learning can be accomplished in many places in the community, including libraries, museums, art galleries, concert halls, churches, as well as with historic parks, statues and buildings. The main reason to visit the cultural district of the city of Marlborough, is to provide expansive opportunities for learning for all the members of the family which have never held greater importance than today.
CONNECTEDNESS – A sense of being a part of something larger than oneself, translates into a sense of accomplishment when you become involved in the community’s offerings. It is a feeling that you are not alone. It is a sense that no matter what, there is a helping hand. While ambition drives us to achieve, connectedness is a word for the force that urges us to affiliate, to enter into mutual relationships, to take strength and to grow through cooperative behavior. By getting involved in the various cultural opportunities, you then become one with the community.
As with every city, geographic position has been a good reason for much that has happened- both good and bad. Therein, lays both the opportunity and challenge. We need to explore the characteristics of geographic position and exploit the unique advantages that can occur over time. The advantage of the geographic position of the Downtown Village Cultural District is that it includes, not only great eating establishments, but offers service based businesses, many historic sites and buildings, artist galleries, library, churches, parks and many other opportunities for our residents and visitors.
Occasionally, we encounter someone or something that transforms the mundane into the memorable. Working together, we can only improve and enhance the opportunities of our city to make a visit in the Downtown Village a memorable experience.
The community of the Marlborough Downtown Village is the heart of the larger City of Marlborough. Join in, participate and enjoy our downtown offerings and events with us to keep this heart beating strong!