The Wingnut Anarchist Collective is working in the Southern Barton Heights neighborhood to help facilitate community autonomy and solidarity. One of the things we have noticed and heard is that the community needs a place to come together. For those not familiar with the area, it is lacking in businesses or public spaces. There is 1 bar, 2 corner stores, and a garage. The area barber shop closed down months ago. Aside from the churches and the mosque in the neighborhood, there are not any public community spaces. There is no place for people to come together indoors to have casual conversations, play games, learn from each other etc. The Wingnuts have been trying to work on purchasing a second building for use as a community center. We have so far not had much luck- encountering people trying to hoard properties in order to get a much larger amount from people actively gentrifying/developing for profit, and banks who cater their sales to developers who purchase dozens of properties at once.
Our solution in the mean time is to start having open hours at the Wingnut. The Open Hours model is one similar to that of many radical spaces, including Oregon Hill’s Flying Brick Library. Our intention with open hours is not to compete with the Flying Brick, but to provide a more local space for our community to come together. We have tabled with fliers advertising the Flying Brick and found that while people in our neighborhood were interested in the idea when we explained it to them, Oregon Hill is too far to expect folks to go just to check out something they are unfamiliar with like a radical library. The history of Oregon Hill as a white neighborhood, with some avidly racist inhabitants, also makes the area less appealing to people from our neck of the woods.
Open Hours are just that- open. You are welcome to come hang out, look at books, work on a project, drink tea, talk, do your homework, write, play a game etc. You don’t have to want to engage in a particular activity to come use the space. Open hours are intended to create a community space. For both the Southern Barton Heights and the radical/anarchist community.
If you want to volunteer at open hours, get involved, donate supplies or books or snacks, just get in touch. We would love your participation! or 804 303 5449 or 2005 Barton Avenue

What can you expect to find at Wingnut Open Hours:

Wednesdays from 4pm-10pm
Fridays from 4pm-10pm

Radical Lending Library- We are building bookshelves and are collecting books to add to our library of available titles. We have over 400, which is a pretty good start. You can search our collection on under the name thewingnutrva – We are working hard to include a combination of radical books, queer books, and how to books!

Approaching Apocalypse Zine Library- Zines are home-made magazines. The Wingnut collection includes zines about herbal medicine, Do It Yourself projects, anarchist history, history of social movements, sex, sexuality, accountability, queer issues, animal liberation, radical theory and more!

Puzzles- We have a variety of puzzles appropriate for people of all ages.

Board Games- From Candyland to monopoly to Uno, we have a nice collection of games for people who want something to do.

Legos – We have a giant vat of legos that are very popular with the 12 and under crowd, although anyone is welcome to come play.

Movies- We collect VHS tapes, which can be borrowed or watch at the Wingnut (depending on the rating, gotta stay kid friendly).

Coloring books- we welcome coloring out of the lines.

Craft supplies- Thanks to friends and neighbors the Wingnut has a really big collection of craft supplies. Come use some or bring us more!

Free Box- There is a free box in the foyer, always ready for you to find treasure in or to donate more stuff to!

Community Bulletin Board- Come find out what types of events are going on in the area, or come post for events you are working on.

Homework Help- Tutoring will be available, or just a place to sit and work on your homework. If you want to arrange for homework help ahead of time just stop on by or give us a ring.

Blood Pressure Readings- Mo is trained to take Blood Pressure, so if you are someone who needs their BP taken on a regular basis you can save yourself a trip to a pharmacy a couple times a week.

Special Events- look out for special events happening during open hours. Or come talk to us if you have an event you want to do during open hours- from poetry readings to movie screenings, we are open to suggestions.

Planned Activities and Workshops- From bi-monthly craft nights to Know Your Rights workshops, open hours are available for meeting space, workshops, group projects etc.

Sober -the Wingnut is a sober space, so no drugs or alcohol in you or on you. This policy is to make the space more inclusive, not to be exclusive.

All Ages- infants, children, adults, and seniors are all welcome!

Wi-Fi – if you have a laptop feel free to bring it with you and tap into our internet!

Computer Access – we are working on getting a couple desk top computers ready for folks to use during open hours.

Bike Repair- any bike mechanics who want to donate their time during open hours to help work on neighborhood bikes should get in touch

Community Gardening (Seasonal) – We want to create a culture of community gardens in Southern Barton Heights. Anyone who wants to help with this should talk to us. When it starts to get warmer we can work on this together!

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