When somebody says the word "community" what tends to pop into my head is a picture of a neighborhood with nice houses and lawns and all the people coming out of their big houses and clean cars to wave hello. I don’t think that’s "community." I think the appropriate word there is "commercial."
So what is community really? If you look up the definition, yeah the first couple of options refer to a common locality or place, but the third definition is this: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.
Who do you feel like you have "common characteristics or interests" with? Five or six best friends? Some close family members? A lot more? A lot less?
Maybe community comes down to that word "common," as in things you "have in common." What do you have in common with others? The things you do for fun? Your social and spiritual beliefs? Your goals in life? The changes you’d like to see in the world?
Do you sometimes feel like your "community" of people who like the same things you like or believe the same things as you are few and far between? If you’re lucky, you know a few people in person that you can get together with and enjoy that particular aspect of your life that you all have alike. Others of you may have social media sites that you frequent with like-minded people who live elsewhere in the world, but while you can say and do as you like on-screen, it’s harder to express yourself "irl." Does it seem kinda like the larger world, the mainstream community of your neighborhood, your city, your state, your country, are all kind of pressuring you to have things in common with them instead of forming your own little niche tribe?
Yes, the mainstream does tend to make a big deal about "fitting in," as if that’s healthy and desirable, rather than following your own life path. But you also don’t have to go it alone, or have a tiny group of friends and family who "get" you, or settle for online interaction. One thing you can do is expand your idea of what makes a community and what kinds of people have something in common with you and your group. Isn’t it good to just hang out with a group of people who, maybe don’t have exactly the same point of view as you, haven’t experienced life quite the way you have, but they do have a different twist on their view of reality than "everybody else." What if what you have in common with other small groups is that you all stand under the pressure of that big mainstream media machine?
Going back to those first definitions talking about people in the same locality: Phoenix as a city is home to a huge variety of people, all with different thoughts, ideas, and activities that they like to play and work with (and Tucson and other cities like it aren’t that far away). A lot of those people aren’t sold on the "commercial" life that the mainstream is pushing. What if all those people got together and did something? Well, they do! But they tend to do it in small groups with niche interests. OtherWorlds is looking to take that and expand the idea: What do all these groups have in common that we could share together? They have ideas, interests, hopes and dreams that go beyond the mundane and material aspects of the world, and most of them also are open to and supportive of new and unusual ideas and lifestyles of others. If you’re looking for a place to be yourself, isn’t it nice to get to know more people who are also just being themselves, even if they’re not exactly the same as you are? That’s the space we want to create, and beyond that, we want to have a community that has each other’s back. When the mainstream machine barks "Who do you think you are?!" we’re just like "Hi! We’re the OtherFolk!"