Build chess tables at a public space in Bloomington
This petition had 118 supporters
“All I want to do, ever, is just play Chess” (Bobby Fischer)
This petition proposes that the City of Bloomington construct and install permanent chess tables at a strategic location so that members of the Bloomington community can have access to this resource.
There is an active and growing chess community in Bloomington. The city has a number of clubs and organizations that encourage people of all ages to play chess. These organizations include (but are not limited to):
The Bloomington Chess Club http://www.btownchess.com/
University Chess Club http://bloomingtonchess.org/
Childs and Roger-Binford Elementary Chess Clubs
The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club http://biscc.org/
Chess Club at IU (CCIU): https://www.facebook.com/groups/902573009772644/
Crestmont Castles Chess Club: https://bloomington.in.gov/calendars/viewEvent.php?event_id=3370;date=2016-1-17
People from these organizations have worked for years to introduce and nurture chess activity among young people. On the west side of Bloomington, for example, Fairview Elementary School, Banneker Center, and the Crestmont Community Center all have chess programs and have learned much about promoting community chess in this process. For instance, the Crestmont Castles chess program is now a part of the expanding Crestmont Boys and Girls Club on Monroe Street.
These organizations have collectively developed and maintained a community that requires space to play and learn about chess. For example, members of the community meet at Buffa Louie's restaurant on Tuesdays, the Indiana Memorial Union on Wednesdays, and the Monroe County Public Library on Sundays. Having a public space available for chess players would improve the current infrastructure of Bloomington.
We propose that the City of Bloomington support the construction and installation of several chess tables in a public space (e.g., outside of the Monroe County Public Library or in a public park). The ideal location will be both visible and easily accessible.
The City of Bloomington will benefit from this project. It will improve the public image of Bloomington and enhance its reputation as a civic, community-oriented, midsize town. It will offer people a free and open space to play a well-known, fun, and intellectually challenging game. It will also provide the city with an opportunity to commission hand-crafted tables that feature the work of local artists.
The experiences of other cities suggest the benefits that chess tables may offer the Bloomington community. In St. Louis, chess tables have provided a way for economically disadvantaged people to enjoy Forest Park. Washington Square Park in New York City and the Chicago Lakefront Chess Pavilion offer other compelling examples that can be used as a model for future construction of chess tables in Bloomington. Bloomington would not need to emulate the scale of these chess installations, but rather could seek inspiration in the benefits chess tables have provided these larger urban communities.
The City of Bloomington should invest in making chess accessible to everyone in the community, especially given the substantial and growing interest in chess within the city. Building chess tables will establish chess as a community activity and make Bloomington a place where anyone can gather to play a chess game.
Cristian Medina (Board member of BISCC)
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