it’s been a whirlwind couple weeks! I just finished up the work part of my tour with some timebank stuff then a fun show, a MidMichigan TimeBank benefit, in Lansing. Now I’m about to start a family vacation so I want to post about as much of it as possible before freeing my brain for the rest of the week…
Yes, it would have been great if I’d written and posted about all these as they happened, but there was a lot going on. So I’m going to jam a bunch of stuff into one post and try to keep each thing brief for now.
Picked up Project Co-Coordinator Chris Petit in Oak Park IL, where he lives, to head out east. I’ll skip the parts that didn’t involve Mutual Aid Network work.
First work stop: Ithaca, NY where Scott Morris is organizing Ithacash, one of the potential MAN pilot sites. We caught up on the status of all our various projects and talked about ways to move forward in cooperation and collaboration. And saw the waterfall! It was cool and lovely how easy of a walk it is from downtown to the waterfall, and how many people just hang out there. Ithaca is beautiful! And has such great legacy in Ithaca HOURS (which is who we emulated in making Madison HOURs back in 1995/6) and all the other local efforts that make Ithaca so cool and livable.
Then on to Gardiner, Maine, another exploring MAN possibilities, where Stacey Jacobsohn of Time Initiative of Maine (T.I.M.E.) organized a potluck and talk on timebanking. The crowd was a mix of people who were newer to or wanted to focus on timebanking and some who were interested in other complementary currencies and more comprehensive community economy models, so I presented primarily on timebanking with a quick and incomplete mention of Mutual Aid Networks. Could have been more graceful, I’m sure, but it at least got the point across that there are some efforts to connect and take things in a new direction, for those who are interested. And there were a few, which was great. I already reconnected with one at the CommonBound conference and we collected a bunch of contacts for the future, both as observers as we progress and as active contributors.
After Gardiner we made a quick detour (well, 3.5 hours) to Brooklyn for a fundraiser for the Yes Men! They are heroes of mine, and if you don’t know their work you must do yourself and the world a favor and check it out. Funny and powerful, and educational in the best possible way!
The event was a lot of fun, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a preview of the film they’re working to fund (The Yes Men are Revolting!), and a game of Pin the Tail on the Lobbyist.
Because we drove so far out of our way I knew I could force myself to talk to them (I’m just star-struck and intimidated, they’re plenty approachable) – and I wore a fancy, colorful outfit to help me along. Too bad I totally forgot to try to get a photo with them, or at all.. Both of them were enthusiastic about the MAN and both agreed to be on our advisory board. Huzzah! I’ll follow up more formally in a couple weeks and am excited to try to work with them in some way in the future.
Right after the fundraiser ended, at 10pm, we drove back up to Brattleboro Vermont for the Slow Living Summit. I’ll check back in later to write about that, the CommonBound conference, NYC, Kent Ohio, Detroit and Lansing. It might be a few days because now I’m about to check out for my family vacation. I’ll catch back up with you after some R+R.
Lots of exciting stuff, including more awesome advisory board members, people looking to pilot MAN sites and general overall good ideas, energy and action.
Thanks for reading,