Join Downtown Harrisonburg’s Committee of Joy


About the Committee of Joy:

What is a Committee of Joy? It’s a group of people who come together to brainstorm cool ideas that could lead to multiple smaller projects or one big one that they implement together and have fun doing it to create sparks of joy in our downtown.
  • Purpose – Renew volunteerism with HDR by launching a committee for and by the people! Committee members will have full ownership over the committee projects as well as their implementation.
  • Goal – Create a series of projects, initiatives, happenings, and “activations” that spark joy in some way in our community. We especially encourage experience-based ideas. We want the end-product to provide additional reasons for people to come downtown and to feel good.
  • Budget – We will seed the Committee with $5000 but members are welcomed to fund raise for additional money.
What is the time commitment? We would like members to complete their project before the end of the year. Your time with the Committee is not intended to be a long-term, multi-year commitment unless you want it to! We envision one-to-two brainstorming meetings to share ideas and select projects, one-to-two working planning meetings, and then a few gatherings to make it happen. Some work may need to be completed independently (sending emails, researching online, making calls, etc).
What kinds of things can we do? You can implement multiple, smaller ideas or you can realize one, larger idea. The sky is the limit for now, but we want to stay away from large community events with street closures because that has its own process and application with the city. Some ideas: inspirational quotes and art painted on the sidewalk that only appear when it rains; artistic crosswalk designs; a busker Saturday where unplugged musicians are popped up throughout downtown; fun selfie stations (year-round or holiday-themed like a Tree-a-saurus Rex – T Rex made out of fake christmas trees); tiny gnome parks around downtown
What if I don’t love the idea or ideas that the Committee selects for this round? If the group chooses a project that you aren’t as excited about, we’ll keep you on the list for next year if you’d like, and can share other volunteer opportunities at HDR for your consideration.

Zoom Interest Meeting Video Recording:

2022-2023 CoJ Projects

HDR’s Committee of Joy will be moving forward with three projects.

  1. Pop-up Music Venue/ Busker Street Scene
  2. Miniature art installations/gallery paired with a scavenger hunt/geocaching/self guided walk
  3. Open storefront gallery/exhibit/showcase – potentially paired with a First Friday event

If you have questions or want to learn more about getting involved in one of these areas, email Jen at