Sonoma Community Center Celebrates 70th Anniversary With New Branding

The Sonoma Community Center celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and marks the start of its eighth decade in Sonoma with a new branding, a revamped website and the launch of a new community projects program.

The goal of these new initiatives, said CSC Executive Director Charlotte Hajer, is to achieve greater accessibility throughout the Sonoma Valley – to make it easier for the entire community to find what they research in the programming of the center, founded in 1952. of a former school.

“We are focused on meeting our community where it is,” Hajer said in an announcement of the rebrand. “Reaching out through multiple channels and languages, and creating easy ways to engage with us – whether that’s signing up for courses, signing up to become a member, or giving us feedback on how we manage.”

The renamed SCC logo was designed by San Francisco-based design firm Elixir, which also built “fundamental elements” for the new website, aiming to make its digital space more welcoming and accessible, Hajer said.

The logo, featuring three line-drawn teal arches next to the words “Sonoma Community Center,” is meant to elicit a “feeling of welcome,” Hajer said, with the design arching a nod to the location. of the historic community center in the 107-year-old Building at 276 E. Napa St., which was originally built as Sonoma Grammar School. (The school site was found to be seismically unstable in 1948 and the property was sold for $28,000 to Dr. Carroll Andrews, who donated it for use as a community center, which opened in 1952 .)

But the name change isn’t just about looks, Hajer said. “It’s just as much about improving the way we communicate.”

In addition to the logo and website, the third phase of the 70th anniversary strategic plan consists of a series of bi-monthly community service projects, which will promote initiatives such as volunteer service with other non-profit organizations, beautification public places and other community projects. works. Service opportunities are open to the public and all members of the community are welcome to participate.

CSC’s director of marketing, Alyssa Conder, said community project outreach will use the community center’s new digital focus.

“We will send out regular communications within our digital communities inviting people to join us in our efforts to improve Sonoma and serve our fellow community members,” Conder added in CSC’s rebrand announcement. “We invite everyone to come participate, meet some of your neighbors and have a positive impact.”

The first community service effort will take place in August and September. In keeping with SCC’s 70th anniversary theme, the goal of the project is to collect 70 pairs of dancing shoes to donate to local children who enroll in classes at the community center. The goal is to ensure that buying expensive dance shoes isn’t a financial barrier for families, Hajer said.

Later in the fall, the community center will ask participants to contribute 70 volunteer hours to Sonoma Overnight Support, the nonprofit organization that serves homeless community members. In December, the program will include a holiday wreath-making event in partnership with the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance; as part of this program, all mentored families will receive a $70 gift card to help with holiday expenses. Hajer said the event was meant to bring holiday cheer and support to what can be a difficult and stressful time of year for low-income families.

Also in the planning stages, a school campus service project in Springs, in partnership with Springs Rotary; and a city park beautification, done in partnership with the City of Sonoma.

Finally, the community center plans to participate in a conservation project in partnership with the Sonoma Ecology Center.

The variety of projects aims to give community members a wide choice of ways to volunteer.

“The idea for each of them is really to give back to the community in different ways,” Hajer said. “So we’re doing something arts-based – ballerinas; something community oriented without housing – volunteering with SOS; something to support low income families – holiday support (gift card) in partnership with Mentoring Alliance.

Beautification of a city park might be of interest to those who enjoy working outdoors, a project at a school in Springs might attract volunteers to the valley north, while a project with the eco center would be something ecological thing, she continued.

A “70th anniversary committee” organizes the service projects, Hajer said, and each member will lead a different project.

The registration process and scope of work will potentially be different for each project; those interested in participating should contact Hajer at [email protected] for more information.

Email Jason Walsh at [email protected]

Jill E. Washington