As you may or may not be aware, the promotion and distribution of PolyCultures has thus far been executed with virtually no budget. The modest success we've experienced thus far has been largely affected through the use of social media (and of course the serious and virtually unpaid efforts of Tom and myself, Brad, and countless others). Specifically, we've employed: this blog, our LocalFoodCleveland group, our Facebook group, our email mailing list (are you on it? Contact Us if not), several trailers and clips on YouTube, LinkedIn profiles (as you'll see littered - er, linked throughout this post) and of course Tom's Twitter feed.
This process has sparked in me a serious interest in the use of social media to advance sustainability and civic efforts - reaching far beyond just our little local food movie. It also led to me having some very interesting conversations with Mike Gesing, an internet consultant and founder of the Northeast Ohio Citizens League. The mission of the NEOCL is to create a new regional civic space, empowering citizens to reinvent Northeast Ohio by educating and engaging them in the community decision-making process. A big piece of that is creating original video to share ideas on what is happening in NEO and what could be.
Bioneers Cleveland / River's Edge / Levin College Forum present PolyCultures v1.2
So I thought I'd unite a bunch of interests and opportunities by assembling a panel at a screening who can connect PolyCultures, social media, and the NEOCL through a conversation I can help lead.
Bioneers Cleveland will present the screening (official flyer), which will take place in Dively Auditorium at CSU's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs (1717 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH, 44115) this Friday, October 23rd at 5pm. It will be co-sponsored by the Levin College Forum and River's Edge. It's FREE. (Donations to Bioneers will be happily accepted.) We'll be premiering a 56-minute cut of PolyCultures (v1.2.0) that we recently assembled for PBS audiences (see post directly below for more info). Except I'll be showing that cut in two parts....
v1.2.2 plus George Nemeth & Marianne Eppig
The first ~27-minute screening is about the problems with conventional agriculture, ecological agriculture as an alternative to that, and a look at how that alternative is being brought to scale. Following this screening I'll lead a discussion between:
George and Marianne are both professional experts in the use of social media to communicate about civic and sustainability issues. I think they'll help the audience get a solid grounding in what we mean by the term "social media," and that can help us get into how it can be used for the betterment of urban NEO - both in terms of scaling sustainability in general as well as PolyCultures in specific.
v1.2.1 plus David DuBois & Marc Canter
Then we'll watch the other ~27-minute cut, which is about food access issues in low-income areas and solutions to that, such as City Fresh and urban gardening. Following this screening I'll lead a discussion between:
Marc and David are both in the process of applying their vast skillsets to the design of social programs that aim to improve the lives of low-income, underprivileged individuals through job creation/training. I'd like to get their thoughts on how PolyCultures, online social networks, and other social media can be used to help achieve that end.
The Team on the Fringes
NEOCL will be on hand to document the event with video - and hopefully we'll hear a bit from the Executive Director Mike about his role in the pending launch of NEOhio.org as a "virtual commons" for the region.
We'll be honored to have the Executive Producer of PolyCultures, Brad Masi - inarguably a pioneer in the use of social media to communicate messages of sustainability and civic participation - on hand to help introduce the movie and the discussion.
Plus, the Director Tom Kondilas and I have hatched/hashed plans for me to pre-record a discussion between him and Jody Lathwell, the manager of the Tremont Farmers Market who is bringing a simultaneous PolyCultures premiere of v1.2 to Pilgrim Church. If this happens and I/we have time to edit it into a good piece, we'll have to figure out where in the program to fit it... by default let's say at the start. So that could be a pretty sweet component as well.
Connecting two faith-sponsored screenings of this new version in a Mollison/Holmgren-like way that incorporates live media with social networking - and taking a new stab at good food education in the process. In the words of Benny in Basquiat, "What more you want?"
I really think you should join us if you can - did I mention it's FREE?! And please come prepared to participate....
After all, this whole thing ultimately comes down to the citizens.