Join A Club.
(the fate of America depends on it)


Check out the small groups we are launching in 2024 and share your interests here.

Interested in becoming a small group leader? We’re offering $300 stipends all year. Check out the details here.

This year at The Square, we’re going to be starting a club. To be more precise, we’re going to be starting a club about starting more clubs. We hope we’ll see clubs popping up all over about every sort of thing—about walking + talking, stitching + bitching, about big ole thorny problems—or about nothing much at all. Jump down this page to see a few of the groups we’ve started already (some of them you can even sign up for). (You can also download our concept document here and add to our club-a-palooza brainstorming document here, including telling us about existing clubs that like all sorts of people to join them.)

“I’ve never been much of a joiner. We hear that a lot from new people that come in. But I think whatever your burn is in the world, there’s something out there for you.” —From the feature film “Join or Die.”

So why all this group-ish-ness afoot, you’re cleverly wondering? We think that hanging out with each other in our hometowns might just be how we’re going to save America (and ourselves). We’ve believed that since we were founded 17 years ago by an unofficial “club” of a few friends who disagreed on politics but liked each other anyway. Ask yourself how much time you spend really talking with friends or acquaintances who disagree with you ideologically? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is “hardly ever,” so how do you really know you hate “those people” so very much? Right?

And now, especially now, too many of us are sad and lonely and angry. We wonder when was the last time that some of our sad and lonely and angry neighbors were invited to join up to much of anything?

Healing what divides us in America doesn’t have to be a slog — it can be with good music in the background, a beer in your hand and laughter all around. We’re convinced that if we turn this experiment in self-governance around, it will be because we got up off the couch and joined something or other, preferably that included people who aren’t just like us.

“In the background of the American story behind the presidents and wars, recessions and boom times, scientific breakthroughs and social movements—are clubs.” —from “Join or Die”

We met the stars of the film last fall. Click here to listen to our conversation.

Here are just a few of the clubs that popped up and built America: Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society, Detroit Athletic Club (and the Banjo Club at the Detroit Athletic Club), and (of course) Ben Franklin’s famous Junto, that met on Friday nights in Philadelphia to debate philosophy.

So—in this proud American tradition—here are our first clubs, below. Give Cassie a (polite) yell if you’ve got one you want to add to the list with your “Beautiful Dogs & Their Beautiful Owners Club” or your “Coffee Roasting Unicycle Club.” Give Liz a (friendly) holler if you’re just trying to figure things out and you want a little club-coaching.


“Wherever at the head of some new undertaking you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association. —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America”