By Lauren Subia
Photo Courtesy of Grounded32
Grounded32, a new nonprofit organization located in North 32nd, provides a creative space for people to be themselves, challenge their minds, and build long-lasting interpersonal relationships.
“A lot of us—single people, those new to the area, or people rebuilding their lives after hardship—don’t really have a communal space to meet others that’s inclusive and open,” explains Rachel Curry, the founder and CEO of Grounded32. “It is really important to have activities that are wholesome and family-friendly, but not necessarily catered to kids. Our real goal is to make enriching activities, a sense of belonging, and personal growth accessible to everyone.”
“We’re really providing a space for people to come and be creative, to have conversations, and to build a community outside of work, religion, school, or the local bar,” adds Shawn Pfunder, Grounded32’s creative director. “People just know ‘Hey, there’s probably something going on at Grounded32 tonight. We’ll head over there.’ It’s part of their weekly routine.”
Grounded32, located at 13651 N. 32nd Street, hosts a variety of weekly gatherings and classes for people to build friendly relationships with others while also bettering themselves. From dance classes to movie nights to slam poetry to potluck dinners, there is something for everyone. In addition to attending classes, locals also can book the space and host their own gathering, so long as their class has an altruistic purpose.
“We are available to anyone who wants to facilitate a group. If someone is looking to rent space to teach or host a gathering, please do it here as we are one hundred percent run by volunteers,” says Curry. “Visit our lending library, shop local art, or just stop by and say hello!”
The nonprofit works to not only provide people with a positive outlet that is beneficial for their social well-being, but their mental health as well. Curry explains how the center has taken on a “Clubhouse Model,” a psychosocial rehabilitation environment that is founded on the concepts of empowerment, community, and to counter the stigma of mental health troubles.
“The purpose is to have a safe place to be a messy human being, free from the stresses of everyday life. Grounded32 is a calm place for people to relax, explore their interests, strengthen their confidence, and heal,” says Curry. “People should know it’s a place where they can always get a high-five or a hug. They can be a wreck and know that being a wreck is okay. Every person deserves to unwind and have fun. We must remind each other, ‘You have worth, you belong in this world, you are important.’”
To learn more about attending or facilitating your own class at Grounded32, visit grounded32.org.