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Where Community Comes Together

by Mary Clymer on May 5, 2020

Renton Live

Where Community Comes Together

Renton Live is the Renton Chamber of Commerces answer to the community coming together. The idea came out of a zoom meeting, not unlike other meetings that helped bring the app into stardom. The meeting agenda based solely around brainstorming ideas to help the Renton community feel supported and connected.

Isolated, Stir-crazy, and trying to figure this new reality out

There is no manual for any of us as to how we're supposed to stay connected and positive while keeping our distance and working from home. One of the blessings of this time in history is the internet. If used as a tool in the right way, the internet can be used to keep us connected. It can help us feel less isolated and alone. It’s a great entertainment, and educational tool. It's the new boardroom for meetings. 

The idea

The meeting of a baker's dozen started with a group of forward thinkers connected in a variety of ways to the Chamber being invited to share openly ideas of how we move forward in a positive way. The whole meeting felt very organic and the conversation steered right away into a positive direction. Creativity was flourishing in this environment of need.

Ben Andrews, Renton Resident, and former director of Special Events for the Chamber, amongst many other entrepreneurial ventures, first came up with the idea of hosting a show that showed micro-bits of the awesome things happening now in our community. 

Here’s what he had to say about it.  

“It came out of a Renton Chamber marketing think tank. The original idea was to highlight Renton chefs and have them cook a meal that people could follow along with at home. It evolved from there when everyone compared notes on the great things happening in the community. It was also rooted in a feeling of subtle helplessness from the creative and marketing community. All the frontline healthcare and essential workers are doing their part, but a whole subset of the community whose skill set has felt put on the shelf during the crisis. I think everyone was asking themselves how do we put these skill sets to use for our community. After lots of discussion... bam.”

Bam is right. Once the seeds were set, the momentum took flight.

Bruce Hudson, of Hudson Portrait Design, and Josh Hudson, of H5 Creative were in that meeting and jumped up to make this happen.

Josh’s thoughts were, “Everyday you turn on the TV you turn on the radio and all you hear is bad news.  I really like the idea of the show because it's an outlet for positivity in our community.  And yes it came from the chamber but the show is not about business it's about every day people making a difference and sharing a positive message of that to Renton.”

Josh is absolutely correct. Renton Live did come from the creative thinkers surrounding the chamber, but the message is truly set for all people connected to Renton. At its core Renton Live is about community. It’s about you.

Diane Dobson, CEO of the Renton Chamber, is busier than a bee working to see that all chamber members come through this. She has been a shining example of what a great leader does. Diane has surrounded herself with truly remarkable people. She leads by letting those around her use their own unique talents to help raise the boat for all involved. Leading from behind the pack to be sure no one is left behind. 

What to expect

Expect things to happen as they will. This concept has very few borders which is why it’s being received so well. It's the rawness that makes us feel connected. 

If you are watching Renton Live on YouTube realtime, you can join the conversation as it happens. Adding in comments and laughing along with guests and hosts alike. 

The four hosts, who naturally were selected and perfect for the job, are:

Ben and Tara Andrews, who broadcast from Vino’s at the Landing. Tara’s place of employment and where Renton gathers for wine. Meanwhile, Josh and Melissa Hudson, your other community hosts, have found a place in their home adorned with a beautiful family portrait behind them, no doubt the work of Hudson Portrait Photography. 

Guests come on in five to ten minute spots to give us insight into what the heck people are doing to stay busy and positive. In the two episodes that have gone live, we have already seen so many familiar faces. 

Our new Mayor, Armondo Pavone, appeared as the first guest at home with his family. Giving us a glimpse at what his life looks like and speaking candidly about what a unique situation it has been to suddenly be in charge of the city when everything shuts down. 

Diane Dobson will be a weekly guest, updating us on Chamber news. Superintendent Dr. Pattenaude briefed us on the Renton School District, a subject many confused parents and citizens need to stay abreast of.

And Food! The original idea has had a fun and comprehensive way to connect us through our stomachs. As all good community gatherings, it’s not the same until you bring in food. These have been a great highlight and a way to help us non cookers at home get some ideas.

The police and Fire departments have checked in and music videos are a thing. So far from a Renton family doing a parody of Separate Ways by Journey, and the Police Department's version of Adele's Hello

Lots of cool things are happening.

This is where you come in.

Besides leaving comments on the YouTube page, the chamber wants to hear from you. Business or pleasure. What’s going on? Do you know of people doing super cool things for the community right now?

If this show continues, and we hope it will, we need to hear from you. What news would you like to see? Is there something missing from this platform that would help elevate the community? It’s been said a thousand times, but we are in this together. As I watch these live shows it has been remarkable how much those words have resonated throughout. Almost all guests have spoken about the heart of this community in the form of people coming together to support one another. This is a wonderful thing. Renton does pull together, and we will rise up together too. 

Renton Live is just one of the ways for our community to stay connected. Pure in its essence to deliver good news to your living room every Wednesday night at 6 pm. There will be laughs, there will be wine, there will be a community coming together. You don’t want to miss it.

Links below to watch past episodes:

Episode 1 : https://youtu.be/P1ZlFFSVyTo

Episode 2: https://youtu.be/JCjVshvw0d4

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