Tuesday, December 11, 2007

News

One-of-a-Kind VISTAs Complete Their Service with Rural Action
By Kelsey McCoy, Media and Communications Development VISTA

As things go in the AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) program, we said goodbye to volunteers Jeff Hardin and Matt Presutti last week as they ended their year-long commitment to serving Appalachian Ohio.

Jeff Hardin (pictured left) worked with the Sustainable Forestry program. He helped organize the 2007 Landowners’ Conference and several trainings, including an Invasive Plant Management training last October. His knowledge of plant biology was a wonderful asset for Rural Action (he knows every plant by Latin name!), and his fun-loving sense of humor will be greatly missed around the office. Jeff hopes to continue working with forests and wildlife in the local area.

Matt Presutti (pictured right) worked with the Development and Communication Team as Graphic Designer. His artwork, graphics, and photographs were featured on countless Rural Action newsletters, brochures, presentations, and posters. Matt even hand-drew the background for this blog! He also served as our Benefit Concert Organizer and Resident Astronomer, and his clever chuckle always brightened the day. Matt hopes to pursue a graduate degree in printmaking in the near future. In the meantime, you can catch him playing in one of his many bands, including local favorites The Snails and The Makebelieves.

Good luck Jeff and Matt!


Six New VISTAs Join Rural Action

Rural Action is excited to welcome six new AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service to America (VISTA) members:

(Pictured back row, front row, left to right)
Amber Leasure Earnhardt, Huff Run
Heather Sheets, Sustainable Forestry
Jordan Vincent, Development
Christine Far, Youth Act
Sara Warda, Graphic Design
Cat Fincun, Events and Volunteer Management

Look for pictures and biographies in the next edition of the Rambler!



Learning Circle Update
By Katie Durham, Rural Renewal Strategy Liaison VISTA

Our Cultural Heritage Learning Circle met on the night of Tuesday, December 11, and a very thorough and engaged discussion was had. Representatives from the Arts Council, the Dairy Barn, ArtsWest, and the Union Hall Theatre in Chesterhill were present, all thanks to Ivars Baltkis—the leader of our Circle.

Many issue areas were covered, for example: the often trying emergence process of rising artists in the region. Ideally, our arts community would like to see a more formal and systemized “adoption” outfit that aided budding artists towards building a more solid career.

Another topic discussed was upping the perceived and monetary value of art in the area. Often due to our large arts community and small populace in the city of Athens, arts tend to be somewhat undervalued and often lower their own ticket prices just to see more seats sell. Through educational programs, we can help Athens begin to really value artistic opportunities once more. Additionally, we can spread the word about arts more towards the schools outside of the city of Athens.

Finally, the possible creation of a cooperative marketing entity being established was thrashed out. A cohesive marketing team would cut costs for all venues and artists, facilitate a spirit of shared resources and relationships, and would more than likely get the word out to a broader audience.

A super-large and comprehensive potluck has been scheduled! All seven of our Learning Circles will come together on Tuesday, January 15th, from 6:00-8:30 in Athens (Baker Road) to discuss what we’ve all learned throughout the fall, provide each other with feedback, and present our ideas to the Steering Committee of Rural Action. From there, Rural Action will really flesh out all of the ideas that have emerged and plan for our next ten years. All are welcome—just bring an appetizing dish and your own ideas and aspirations for our future!


Join Us to Welcome Rural Action’s New Executive Director

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Welcoming Reception for our new Executive Director, Michelle Decker. The reception is scheduled for Thursday, January 10 from 4-6 pm at the Trimble Office. It will include refreshments and plenty of time to meet board members, new and current VISTAs, and staff members. For more information, or directions, please call 740-767-4938.


A Gift for Someone Special, A Gift to Rural Action

The Rural Action Marketplace is full of locally made gift ideas ranging from CDs for your bluegrass-loving brother to handmade sun-catchers for your mother’s garden or home. Below is a list of our marketplace items, with descriptions and prices. Every gift you buy supports Rural Action's work in southeast Ohio. If something strikes your fancy, contact Tori or Kelsey at 740-767-4938.

Fine Times at Our House: Music and Musical Traditions of Southern Ohio, $15 each

Rural Action's Arts & Cultural Heritage Program compiled this CD in collaboration with 10 area musicians/performing groups:

John Hollback
J.D. Hutchison and Realbilly Jive
Kendra Ward and Bob Bence
The Back Porch Swing Band
Bob Fox
Jerry Rockwell
Patrick McGee and Sean O’Malley
Home Remedy
Hilarie Burhans/Hotpoint String Band
Nikos Pappas

The music ranges from voice to mountain dulcimer, from blues, bluegrass, and fiddle tunes to swing, slow Celtic airs and traditional hymns.


'Sang, the Future of Farming, $20 each

30-minute VHS format video by Ed Fletcher, Andy Hankins, and Bob Beyfuss, 2002. Leading ginseng experts describe the three methods used to cultivate ginseng: shade-grown, woods-cultivated, and wild-simulated, and explain why wild-simulated cultivation is the way to go.



Rural Action Blue Glass Suncatcher
, $10 each

Our suncatcher is a cast glass circle with the Rural Action name and our "Weave" logo in high relief. It has a hanger of natural cord. The Suncatchers were made by The Glass reFactory in Georgetown, Ohio, a nonprofit business that helps Adams Brown Recycling support a variety of recycling services in western Appalachian Ohio. Made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled bottle glass. Variations are part of the craft. Diameter: approximately 3.5 inches


Men's/Women's Grow Ginseng T-shirt, $15 each

Short sleeved, 100% cotton T-shirt with the Grow It, Don't Poach It message screenprinted back and front in dark green to brown. Ginseng graphic and calligraphy by local artist Kelly Lincoln. Sizes: S, M, L, XXL



Front:
Ginseng
sun and shade plus rain
sow seeds under leaf litter
soil, sprout, one year, two years and more
Grow It

Back:
Protect Appalachian Heritage seven to fifteen years until harvest..sow more seed... Don't Poach It


Monday Creek Restoration Project Mug, $10 each
These white mugs and multicolor decals were printed by Uptown Dog, Athens, Ohio.
The Monday Creek Restoration Project logo appears in two colors, black and green.
Color: Natural


Landowners Conference Mugs, $10 each
These white mugs and multicolor decals were made by Pioneer Pottery and Pioneer Decals of East Liverpool, Ohio and printed by Industrial Ceramics students at Hocking College, Nelsonville, Ohio. The Landowners Conference graphic has Rural Action Appalachian Forest Resource Center above it and the tag line Income Opportunities from Field and Forest below.

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