Derek Neighbors

The more I learn, the less I know.

Community What Makes Gangplank Magical?

By Derek Neighbors, Published on November 5, 2012

For a while there was a #whygp push going on to ask people what made Gangplank unique to them. You can see the results at What is Gangplank. The truth is, Gangplank is magical. It is often cited as being so, but rarely does anyone try to explain it. So here is my feeble attempt.

Gangplank is a community of creators that fuses family life, civic life, creating and earning a living into this unique blend where anything is possible. The support and tenderness offered is counter balanced by a gruff and forceful exterior making participation daunting to most.

Recently Gangplank’s executive director, Katie Hurst, took the next step in her journey and headed to Portland with her husband, Tyler Hurst. What would your family do if one of it’s children were leaving the nest to explore what the rest of what life had in store for them? What rite of passage would you embark on? At Gangplank the choice was made by, Amanda Blum, to transform the space into the Land of Oz for the day.

Gangplank of Oz

Could there be a more a beautiful metaphor for the magic of Gangplank than the Wizard of Oz? Much like Dorothy when you first set foot into Gangplank your entire world is transformed. Regardless of what tornado brought you through the doors, you find something different about this world. It has a quality that tends to comfort while providing endless possibility. The playfulness of munchkins pervades the space, often making you think perhaps you have landed back in middle school. While the wicked witch may be looming or lurking in any number of forms, you are encouraged to keep exploring and finding the truth you are looking for.

Along the way you are sure to make friends that make the journey exciting and attainable. They will have their own quirks. Each searching for their own selves, but thats okay you are all in it together. Eagerly anticipating each part of the journey. Whether you stuff your brain with knowledge along the way, find your courage to be the creator longing to escape from within or find the passion to fuel you to your destiny or whether you are just looking for home. You will find what you are looking for in the end. It will never be what you really expected.

The status quo and her band of flying monkeys will guard the castle of the entrenched, but with your new friends you will brave the storm and push forward to victory. When you have conquered the walls of your former cubicle, your own self doubt and the mediocrity of the norm. You will have learned that the magic of Gangplank was in you all along. Once you have been to Oz it will always be a part of you, same with Gangplank.

Don’t believe me? How else can you explain the above group of connected souls literally floating across the canvas of Downtown Chandler on their journey home? Sometimes it pays to believe in magic.