It was Mamie Till, Emett Till’s mother years ago who made this profound statement:”Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job. I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, ‘That’s their business, not mine.’ Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all!!!”
Learning from Will Allen, about the fish systems at Growing Power
It’s no secret that my cousin is the amazing Will Allen of Growing Power. If you don’t know who he is…visit Growingpower.org and buy the book The Good Food Revolution. Life changing…world changing are all understatements. Recently, I’ve been checking out designer Ron Finley’s approach. Now if we could only multiply these men by thousands.
There’s a whole bunch of tilapia in there, and I’m holding the net like I know what I’m doing! I did nothing BUT hold the net.
This fall I had the opportunity to visit Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI. The greenhouses, the fish systems, the bees, the goats, the chickens — it was all unreal (being that in the tri state area…I don’t see this often). Having attended my cousins lectures in the past, it’s still like it’s brand new each time. Learning about composting for soil, for heat, for power…and about the importance of worms, eeeew!
picking peppers, in one of Growing Power’s hoop houses in an abandoned schoolyard!
GP builds these hoop houses which enables them to grow farms just about ANYWHERE! I’m talking abandoned schoolyards, abandoned fire houses, you name it!
Another one of the many great things Growing Power does, is hire ex-offenders. They train (paid) for 12 months and after completing training, are guaranteed a job with the organization. What an incredible way to start anew! Building gardens on street corners where drugs & violence are prevalent has discouraged violence! Oh what a difference some flowers can make 🙂
picking veggies in another abandoned schoolyard parking lot
As a musician, I run into people of all walks of life and the one constant among them all is sustainability. Self sustainability. How can we be in control of what we are putting into our bodies? What we are disposing and putting into our environment? Living in NY where space is a challenge, there are community gardens, rooftop gardens and plenty of efforts to help each and every one of us take control of our future.
Ever seen a harp on Hay? After playing at the 2013 Urban & Small Farm Conference.
Learn how you can help Growing Power, and also learn how you can contribute to the building of the world’s first 5 story vertical farm!
Don’t you? You go to work every day hopefully, in order to be fulfilled spiritually and satisfied financially. This way, you can have a place to live, eat the food you like and enjoy your time off, right?
I’ve been an artist just about my entire adult life and still can’t understand why there are so many people around that believe we are doing what we love, just because we love it and because it is fun. If a full time artist every tells you that, they’re lying.
Just like a teacher goes to work everyday to teach our youth, or the way a cop spends the day fighting crime, I bet you these jobs are fulfilling for many of them, but I’m not sure that many cops & teachers go to work and agree to not be paid for a couple of their work days. Do you?
So why are people constantly asking musicians to play for free or as the people say, ‘for exposure’? Why are so many writers asked to contribute to publications for resume building? Photographers, dancers, stylists, publicists…the list goes on. Maybe that’s cool at 18, 19, 20…as a student or just starting out, but where & when is the line drawn? When will ARTISTS VALUE THEMSELVES so that the PEOPLE VALUE THE ARTISTS?
After college, artists have bills just like the next 9-5er. They want to have a place to live, support a family, have good food to eat and enjoy their time off, too. General public: don’t gawk when you’re quoted a price for a service. Consider all the time, sweat & money that went into being able to provide it.
I’ll admit this blog started out of 50% frustration and 50% in response to constant questions, needs & concerns from artists.
The frustration? The notion that all artists are starving, broke, unhealthy. The idea that it’s okay for artists to work for free or as they put “exposure”. General public will learn to value artists.
The rest is all about being a resource available for artists of all disciplines (though as a musician, I’m sure these posts will be very musician-friendly and slightly biased) on eating and staying healthy (and #green), finding a few great fashion deals and living & loving happily.
Nobody ever said it was easy, but the struggle doesn’t have to show.