Norwalk 2.0 is a hybrid economic development agency focused on public arts and creative placemaking – using arts, culture and creativity to engage residents locally, enhance public space and improve city quality of life. The idea behind this community development organization, founded by Maribeth Becker and Jackie Lightfield, is to utilize their professional backgrounds in marketing, technology and design to connect ideas with the people and organizations that have the resources to make them happen.
The Norwalk 2.0 mission is to engage residents, business and community organizations to work together and create an authentic, creative, economically diverse and sustainable future. With the goal of creating a flourishing city, the plan is to provide education and insights into supporting a new creative economy, organize events to encourage networking and the sharing of ideas, and promote organizations and initiative in the greater Norwalk community. Norwalk 2.0 is a flexible and nimble catalyst that initiates a wide variety of projects that engage a diverse group of community members.
We are ‘hi-tech’ and ‘high-touch’ believing that community engagement is best achieved using a combination of in-person and technical interaction. Norwalk 2.0 serves area residents, businesses and visitors.
Over five thousand people have attended a Norwalk 2.0 prject over the past five years. Norwalk 2.0 has produced public art events, community focused support with the After School & Beyond and Norwalk Resources web sites, Street Beautification plans, a city-wide public Fence art Project and data collecting through the Norwalk Listens Survey.c
Big changes start with little projects and every project starts with a team. For more information on how you can be involved in the next community project, donate or help Norwalk 2.0 get your journey started.
Why Norwalk 2.0?
A funny thing happened along the way to civic activism. We realized that there was no one entity that would gather ideas, raise money and empower people to solve issues that bureaucracies haven’t been doing for quite some time. So we started a different kind of organization to do just that. Norwalk 2.0 is more than just another non-profit, non-governmental agency. Norwalk 2.0 represents a new way of tackling big problems and the little details, and a pragmatic approach to getting things done. Norwalk 2.0 represents a reimagined future of Norwalk and its hundreds of neighbourhoods, powered by the hands-on agents of change, backed by brains, technology and vision. Be a part of the reevolution of Norwalk.
Jackie Lightfield and Maribeth Becker co-founded Norwalk 2.0 in July of 2010. Norwalk 2.0 is a 501(3)c.
Leaving no stone unturned, Maribeth Becker uses her inquisitive powers to solve the eternal questions that stymie most organizations. A community leader with hands-on experience, Maribeth blends intuitive analysis with her unique style and a flair for strategic planning. Her experience developing and organizing various groups is based on facilitating communication, increasing participation and effecting change. Her stints on diverse boards such as Connecticut Friends School, Norwalk YMCA and the Norwalk Arts Commission play to her strengths of strategic thinking, vision, and finding connections between seemingly unrelated things. She is the Chief Dot Connector for Norwalk 2.0 and irresistibly bossy. She speaks marketing, collaboration and English fluently, and often finds herself turning impossible dreams into fabulous projects.
Able to leap tall tales and faster than a speeding viral market, Jackie Lightfield has used her super hero skills in the fight against mediocrity. Her career, if you must label it, consists of serial entrepreneur adventures in startups, acquisitions and shutdowns in the areas of marketing communication, product design and operations. Lightfield’s body of work includes a wide variety of commercial software that most people have relegated to the isle of misfit toys, award winning web work, and the occasional published byline. Her six year stint on Norwalk’s Zoning Commission, the last three is chairwoman, qualifies her for the London 2012 Olympics in land use and zoning regulations. She recently served as chairwoman of the Norwalk Arts Commission, continues to serve as advisor to the Norwalk Preservation Trust and is Publisher of Pocket Tour Guides. Occasionally she has accepted consultant posts at the “C” level of technology companies and currently is satisfied with Chief Problem Solver for Norwalk 2.0. She speaks geek and often finds herself translating impossible operational deadlines into streamlined tech that works.