Saturday, December 24, 2011

full speed ahead

All being said and done, tour was 74 days long, and we presented at least 55 times (i actually can't quite tell. but for sure that many)- plus general tabling (sort of like all day presenting) at several places. It was an epic tour. Here are some additional highlights from where I last left off...

first... a quick jump backwards to the first part of tour with a couple photos tyler took...

{In the twin cities- we had done a presentation at Boneshaker Books... which... my aunt and uncle came to! Here, Gordon is adding to the shareback from his breakout group about the poster. SO COOL!}

{more from boneshaker.}

Ok... now... after Columbia (where the last blog photo set left off), we headed to St Louis...

{A small presentation at the GIA gallery in St Louis}

{We also did a quick presentation at Occupy St Louis and got a chance to see one of their General Assemblies--- it was a cool learning experience to be around and something that provided a good point of reference as we saw more occupy spaces and talked with lots of people about their experiences working with occupy things in their town.}

{We headed to Urbana to do a presentation in the EPIC community center- the IMC (independent media center). the post office rents space FROM them (what!?), they've got a great costume closet, computer labs with lots of media making ability, a bike co-op... so rad.}

{Governors award for Books to Prisoners? Woah.}

{Presenting at the IMC}

{From there, we headed to the Heartwood Reunion, outside of Bloomington Indiana. It's an annual gathering of folks working with Heartwood- a forest protection organization. It was hosted at The Lazy Black Bear. It is such a beautiful, funky place.}

{Meals, together.}

{We did a workshop about storytelling and intergenerationality. It was pretty cool, and it was nice to spend a weekend with (mostly) our elders.}

{Once heartwood was over, we stayed with some friends from there at their amazing old opera house, turned lovely apt in the back and wild and mostly unfinished project space in the rest.}

{Exploring the opera house... we could empathize with the project (ehem- the grange). it's a very cool building...}

The evening after heartwood we tabled at a showing of Low Coal and Coal County- a fundraiser. I've seen both films before, but I found myself being moved and inspired by my friends and allies I was seeing on this big screen. It provided a space for me to reflect back on my time in WV- and I found myself writing a love letter to a friend, about how amazing he is... and that i feel so damn lucky to know some of the best people on earth. i really do.

{Our presentation in Bloomington, was maybe our most magical presentation of the tour. Outside, backlight banner, plus a really engaged crowd sure does give us the energy to do it right.}


{After our magical presentation- our friends from Heartwood invited us to a community screen printing and art studio they run in Bloomington- called Paper Crane. It was the first time nikki and i did the full process of screen printing. clearly- the totally amazing levels of the space stressed nikki out (?)}

{Putting screens together to get ready to...}

Super cool- and now I feel totally inspired to make myself a little screen printing set up and print lots of cool things. be on the look out for it...}

{After two classroom visits at GRVU, we did an evening presentation. Bret, our super cool host, introduced us for an evening presentation by standing up and saying
"I'm going to start talking now"
Hahah- it was perfect.}

{Super packed presentation that night. Standing room only.}

After that- we went to Cincinnati, Hiram, Oberlin, Columbus, and Delaware for presentations. Plus- I got to be home for a few days and be at Kaylas birthday party. Of course, to spite this being MY FAVORITE part of tour--- i didn't take any photos.
dum dum.

{We were hosted by a lovely friend- who set up three presentations for us in her studio- Red Hydrant Press. It was a magical and lovely place- and all the events were really fun.}

{After, there was a dance party with a live band. Because... we have to celebrate, right?}

{For the second night at Red Hyrdrant, we did a collaborative image making workshop- where we did some serious mind mapping and metaphor pushups with a packed room- to figure what should go on the banner we decided to make for Occupy Grand Rapids... using a stencil.}

{what do you get when you mix group input, collaborative drawing, mosquito net and masking tape?
a great stencil! (duh)}


{we also made small stencils on the side while we waited}

{For our third show at Red Hydrant, we did a kids focused afternoon. I spent most the time coloring on a poster... which somehow became a scene of zombie Apocalypse- and the zombie disease spread quickly... before i knew it the whole poster was green and there wasn't an animal left that had not been zombie-fied.}

{group photo- take one!}

{And take two- outside on the roof.}

We stopped in at a really great collective space and visiting some friends- at Root Force- in Muskegon, MI- and then headed over to Ravenna HS to do some presentation in art classes- with a super rad 1st year teacher. We don't have any photos (idthink... do we?) but the teacher had sent us some reflections from the students after the presentations... including these gems:

{image a photo kids doing cool things}

“I think those guys had a strong message that has a strong purpose. I think that it’s cool that they used drawings to show us how mountain top removal is bad. It was awesome when they told us that each of these drawings has a story to tell. The thing that I liked the most is that they talked to us about it and they are people just about our age. It encourages any of us to stand up and use our voice no matter how old we are.”

“I just really appreciate how they worked together and put their time in to make it here to Ravenna High School.”

“I learned to use issues in real life to be displayed through my own artwork.”

“The BeeHive Collective’s presentation changed the way I look at things. I’m not saying I’m a tree hugger, but every time I turn on a light or use the stove, I will think of the people’s stories.”

Dang. this shit is totally worth it. (thats not a quote from the students... to be clear)

{After Ravenaa we headed into Canada- where we did a presentation at University of Waterloo, McMaster University, then headed to Toronto to hang with our bee friends who were there. We did a presentation and day of tabling at a farmers market- at a place called Brick Works.}

{Sponsors (of the space, generally, not our presentation specifically)... walmart.
my life is so weird.}

{We also did a presentation about austerity measures and Free Trade- with some HS students- which- i think was my first time heading lara present. which, rocked.}

{and we got to see brea! (and nate- to spite not having photo proof of such things)}

After Canada- we took another whirlwind to some favorite places- again without any photos (which- i have to say- isn't a lack of wanting or thinking of taking photos but due to the fact that i left my camera in canada... oops!) Including going to Skidmore to visit Becks (and do a presentation...) which was SOOO GREEATT! and a stop in Berea, Ohio.

The last time I made a post- we were in Ann Harbor. Due to a mix of mid-tour tired and being sick- i have no photos from being there, even though it was a GREAT stop. We went there to go to the NASCO conference- which- was totally amazing!

I got a chance to participate in two workshops by two organizations i had crushes on. The workshops have turned those crushed into full blown love attacks.

One was a facilitation workshop (my first ever?) by AORTA collective (check out their points of unity, by scrolling over About Us. It's SO DREAMY). It was so good, and has proven very helpful to me as I continue to learn and grow how to be a better facilitator. (ok- truth time- i have day dreams about working with them. like- lots of day dreams)

and I went to a training lead by Philly Stand Up- a group from philly dedicated to
'practicing transformative justice to confront sexual assault through community accountability.' they are mind blowingly great, and i'm so stoked to continue to think about the work they do and figure out how to learn from them in the future.

Plus- while in Ann Harbor- I got to stay with Elias. Who is great. Just look at this guy...
{photo stolen- without permission- from his blog}

{We presented at a co-op bar in Milwaukee, Public-House. It's one of only two in the country- and in addition to serving excellent beer (and coffee)- they also have community events. at the bar. it's super cool. Plus, I met some really great teachers- who were all kinda of fired up about unions, and life generally. It was awesome.}

{And tylers brother lives in Milwaukee and came to the presentation- plus we got to hang out with him- which- was great.}

{One of our bigger presentation of tour was in Appleton, WI. Folks were SO into it... bam! amazing post show conversations.}

Additioanlly- other photo free places Kalamazoo, Chicago, Beloit, Ripon, and back to Chicago- for the Teachers for Social Justice conference. It was SO great to be there, and be surrounded by really rad folks working in the public school system. so cool. I definitely walked away feeling super inspired to figure out ways to work more with students.

From Chicago- I got on a bus and was back in Ohio for thanksgiving. Of course, lots of stuff has happened between now and then, but... one thing at a time.

sneak peak of my life in Ohio?
{baby mania}