Fresno Friday: Get involved!

I'd like to preface this post with a little background. When I was in school, particularly high school- I had this thing about being a time-commit-o-phobic. I avoided a lot of extracurricular activities simply because I had no desire to give up my lunch breaks or time after school to participate in club meetings or sports practices or what not. I liked having my free time to do whatever it was I wanted, and since I hadn't previously been a part of team sports or many extra curriculars I didn't exactly feel like I was missing anything (my limited athletic ability may have had a small part in that as well, but, I digress...).

Anyway, at some point, I decided to get over my time-commit-o-phobia and try out for cheer. By sheer luck, I made the squad, and discovered that in fact, being a part of a team and working on a routine for competitions, games, what have you- and seeing it come together when we got it down was WORTH losing some free time. Shortly after I decided to take a leadership class as well, which also would require some of my free time be spent preparing for campus events. Guess what? Turns out painting ginormous banners with others while blasting music in the gym = more fun that my typical lunch break would have been anyway! The reason I am sharing this in a Fresno Friday post is because my high school experience totally relates to my recent Fresno experience.

In Fresno, like in high school, what I am realizing is- the more I get involved- the more I enjoy it. I've realized that there is so much more going on in Fresno than I ever knew. I was entirely CLUELESS to everything our city had to offer until I made the decision to become more involved. Am I doing everything I'd like to be? No, not at this point- with a full time job and a young family- my free time is tight, but I am finding ways to connect and be involved even with limited free time to spare.

You might be thinking, ok, so Natali thinks Fresno is great, and that there's a lot to do here- but I'm not seeing it! Where is the great stuff? What am I missing? And to that I say start your (enjoyable!) research now! Check out the following links, you're bound to find something you would be willing to invest your time in!
  • The Fresno Beehive: The Beehive is a local blog authored by some of the freshest voices from the Fresno Bee's staff. Covering all things local and pop culture you can find out about food, trends, the art and music scene, movies and enjoy some good humor. The Beehive keeps readers up to date on local entertainment and community events. In addition to the facts, the Beehive allows for opinions to be shared as well and often serves as a jumping off point for some great discussion in the post comment sections.
  • MEET other positive people who want to connect by attending a Tweet Up such as The Great Fresno Tweetup! (Info here- it's July 22nd!!)
  • Creative Fresno: Creative Fresno, formed by a group of local creatives and entrepreneurs seeks to connect folks who want to contribute to a better community. The site is a great source for local events and discuss and brainstorm ideas. They do a better job of describing accurately the type of person who should get involved than I do so I'm going to use their words here "Creative Fresno believes everyone has the potential to be creative in his or her own way. Being creative doesn’t mean you need to be an artist, but artists are certainly welcomed. Being creative means that you embrace new ideas and alternative approaches to problem solving. Being a member of Creative Fresno will give you the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get involved—whether you want to sit on a public policy committee, be a part of the mural project in downtown, or just give your social life a little lift." (taken directly from Creative Fresno's About Us section)
  • Social Media Club Fresno brings innovators in media, government, business, technology, healthcare, education, entertainment and more in order to expand social media literacy, share lessons learned, encourage adoption of industry standards, and promote ethics through action. SMC Fresno is a brand new group, passionate about sharing information. They meet often to share ideas and learn from one another. Want more info? Ning site:, or email Lisa Alvey,
  • Taste Fresno: Taste Fresno is an awesome website designed to allow Fresnans to connect through FOOD! Taste Fresno's site allows you to post recipes, share (and read) local restaurant reviews, learn about local produce and wine and much more. Taste Fresno's community events are an awesome way to enjoy deliciousness from around Fresno and from it's kitchens and connect with other friendly food loving folks. Membership is free and anyone can post recipes and restaurant reviews.
Photos from the Taste Fresno Tri Tip Cook-Off May 2010
  • The vision of is to be the primary resource for all arts-related information in Fresno County and the cities it serves. This would include the arts and entertainment events, artists profiles, and local artwork. is also the official Fresno ArtHop calendar and the social network platform of choice for many local artists." (information taken directly from
  • NoTown Derby: Did you know that Fresno has a rapidly growing, super fun and action packed roller derby scene? If not, you know now! With multiple local teams, and new ones currently forming, a regular enthusiastic fan base has been formed and bouts are lining people up to get in regularly. If you're not familiar with roller derby, do what I did, rent Whip It for a fun movie night and get excited!

The above are just a FEW places where I've found ways to get informed and involved with Fresno folks... The Beehive's "Stuff we like section" is a far more comprehensive list of sites you can check out, but I wanted to be sure you're visiting the Beehive's site first! :-)

Final note: Fresno folks are AWESOME and there IS a lot to do and become a part of and I hope to see you at a local event soon!


  1. There is so much great momentum happening with the organizations you mentioned and more! It's up to us to do our part by participating online and offline to keep the good things moving and growing. Thank you for sharing about these resources, Natali. I appreciate you being a voice of the community and helping people become more aware of the opportunities currently available to them.

  2. Great post, Natali.

    I really appreciate it because I think so many of the organizations you've listed work hard to get people more engaged in the community. (I know that's a big goal of ours at The Beehive). So it's really nice to hear when it's working.

    Here's hoping a few more people have some experiences like yours thanks to your post, and they pay it forward and so on, until we dismiss many the poor myths about Fresno.


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