Nuçi’s Space is a true, bona fide community. To me, the most marked characteristic of Nuçi’s Space isn’t the beautiful, industrial-chic building that may as well breathe – it is the people; people who fill the space with care and big, boundless welcomes.
I’ve been a volunteer with Nuçi’s Space since August of last year (2016). When I was a Freshman at UGA the year before, I remember taking pictures outside of its building I knew nothing about. The exterior is as interesting, artistic, and eclectic as the people within; really, I think it’s a perfect fit and an absolute reflection. I love volunteering in the way of community work and have been doing so since high school because I love plugging into where I live and giving something of my own to it. Being relatively new to Athens, Nuçi’s Space was just another way to make that connection, and I am so grateful I’ve been able to do so.
For me, the joy of being at Nuçi’s Space has been less about Athens and more about the passion that comes from inside this space. I never considered the benefits of being near the turning cogs of a non-profit, but because the leaders of Nuçi’s Space make their mission and their community number one, witnessing the benefits of this musician’s community is a joy. I’ve gravitated toward community work for as long as I can drive, and witnessing people whose personal missions are giving back day-in and day-out make me believe that one day, I can be a person who works for that purpose, too. As college students, our eyes are often turned to profit and accumulation; we better get some kickback from that expensive college degree, or what was the point? But the point, as modelled by the staff at Nuçi’s Space, is that our personal communities can function from love, understanding, outreach, and personal expression. All of these qualities of life are aspects that Nuçi’s Space practices, and provides to others who come in its doors.
And, from a personal perspective, these qualities are constructed none more so than by the friends I’ve made at Nuçi’s Space – the staff. I can’t impress how genuine each person is. Of course, they’re all individuals and not to be generalized, but I haven’t come across a humbler or more loving group of people. Whether it’s a passing welcome from behind the counter, or a staff member eating lunch with me to keep me company, or a staff member offering me a chocolate chip muffin just because, the people of Nuçi’s Space are who feed its breathing walls. I like to look at the picture of Nuçi (who now would be in his forties) when my back is turned on the receptionist’s desk. It’s a magical, encapsulated grasp of youth, that picture of him in a field. Youth fades, and as we know only too well, so does life. What doesn’t fade is one’s effect on the world. It isn’t lost on me that the reason anyone within Nuçi’s Space gets to be together is Nuçi, whose effect on the world spreads every day in Athens and elsewhere. My time at college, and most likely at Nuçi’s Space, is part of my own magical, encapsulated grasp at youth – it’s only a moment. There will be so many more, so many others. But a moment or a soul is by no means ended when we leave it or when it leaves us, as we know so well with Nuçi, and the people I’ve met and befriended, and the memories I’ve made, I will carry forever.