I just wanted to say hi and give a few updates on a few different fronts:
- For those that didnt know, last summer I traveled around the US interviewing incredible activist-farmers with my co-author Amy Franceschini and collaborating photographer Anne Hamersky. The result is the book “Farm Together Now: A portrait of people, places and ideas for a new food movement ” which is coming out Nov 15, 2010 on Chronicle Books. Look for it in your local bookshop at the holiday time. More info at http://farmtogethernow.org/
- I’ve been working on the publication and event series AREA Chicago for the last 5 years and am finally stepping down as editor/project organizer after this summer. We have hired 6 amazing COREdinators (who will be announced publicly in coming weeks) to run the show with our volunteer advisors and “Friends” and I am excited about where AREA is going and hope I can play some less involved supportive role (if you would like to join the “Friends of AREA” group to do occasional volunteer helping out with AREA stuff, email me). The experience running this thing has been great and totally life changing. I hope it can continue to serve Chicago for many years to come. Some AREA news is that we just won an “Creative Movement” award from Insight Arts and just launched a new web calendar to promote city-wide networking over at http://www.chicagoradicalendar.org/. The last issue I am working on is slowly being released online at http://www.areachicago.com/p/issues/10/ and will be released in print in September – look for it!
- A side project that I have done with AREA’s Dave Pabellon for several years is the Notes for a People’s Atlas project where we encourage folks to map their city, hidden history and contested territory. This project is touring the US and Canada still in the exhibition Experimental Geography and in the book of the same title http://www.mhpbooks.com/book.php?id=166 (along with another project that I organize called We Are Here http://mapsarchive.org/). We have been invited to do one more version of this and are heading out May 6th to go to Chisinau, Moldova (we got a grant for travel from CEC Artslink). We’ve set up a blog to document that at http://atlasofchisinau.wordpress.com/ and are hoping to develop a book out of this project in the next year or so..
- The other main thing I am putting energy into these days is working with the folks over at University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (http://www.ucira.ucsb.edu/) to develop a publication to try to increase communication and cooperation across the UC system in the arts. This has taken me out to CA several times this spring, meeting with over 50 faculty and staff across 9 campuses to try to get input about how this new tool could serve their work. Its been a great chance to test out some of my experiences in a different context. It should be launching sometime this summer! More on that here https://miscprojects.com/2010/04/23/new-collab-with-ucira/
- One way that I’ve come up with to make money (cause most of the stuff I am doing doesnt work that way) is roasting coffee in small batches on my grill and then delivering it to friends and neighbors. My roast is called BLVD Blend and you can find out more here http://misctreats.wordpress.com/. If you live on the Northwest side of Chicago and want my coffee, email me.The group I share resources with and who got me into this way of working, the Chicago Coffee Confederation was just named Best Microbrewery by Timeout Chicago Magazine! http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/restaurants-bars/84646/eat-out-awards-critics-picks/9.html .
- Finally, the only travel plans I’ve got this summer are to go to the US Social Forum in Detroit (http://www.ussf2010.org/) in late june. It should be a great experience (only happens every 3 years, with 20,000 amazing folks from all over the US) and I will get to share it this time with my companion Lauren (we’ve been married a year now!) and several friends. Come join us!
This seemed easier than sending you lots of emails all the time. Please let me know if you would like me to come present in your school or community center about any of these projects and please also give me an update about what is up with you.
happy May Day (on Saturday),