California Studies Association

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JAS A Festival of Grassroots Economics, Sept. 26

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INVITATION TO PROSPECTIVE PARTICIPANTS

Please accept our invitation to participate in a festival of the alternative, grassroots, and do-it-yourself economy. We call it the Just, Alternative, Sustainable Economy or JASeconomy Festival.

The festival date is Saturday, September 26th 2009 at the Humanist Hall in Oakland, on 27th St. near Broadway – a landmark venue. Both indoor and outdoor exhibition space will be available at very affordable rates. The festival will be a free event for the public to attend between 10 am and 4 pm.

Individuals associated with SF Bay Area cooperatives and collectives, non-profit organizations, volunteer associations, community-based financial institutions, and more, are organizing this festival. The aim to demonstrate to the local community the rich diversity of projects that function as “another economy.”

We envision displays from worker cooperatives, and other democratically managed enterprises, alternative energy information, a Farmers’ Market outside in the grassy area, a bike maintenance clinic, natural healing demonstrations, creative arts play for adults and children and … well what else? Suggest other activities.

Informative workshops will be organized. These will link the participants to various areas of expertise and to the larger social context. In this way we hope to maintain and enrich our alternative economy.

The JASeconomy Festival is planned as a celebration of our achievements.

We are living in scary times. The dominant economy has never served our interests, but now it literally threatens our lives. The creativity that exists within our communities to meet our real, daily needs in very practical ways must be stepped-up. The times call for solidarity, for innovation and for expansion of all our efforts to build a better way of organizing our lives. We must do this ourselves. And with the JASeconomy Festival we believe we can demonstrate what’s possible by showing what has already been accomplished.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

Besides an unprecedented opportunity for exposure to an interested public the festival offers participants the chance to meet others involved in a variety of projects in other economic sectors. A summing up at the closing available for all the participants will enhance the possibility of networking to create alliances, to coordinate economic benefits or to gain additional expertise.

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?

In recognition of the values of the economy highlighted by this festival, all financial arrangements will be transparent to all participants. Costs of the festival will be based on a sliding scale. All volunteer groups for instance will be requested to donate $40 and those enterprises that are expected to benefit immediately from their presence, either through sales of goods or services will be requested to donate a minimum of $100. All other participants can self select their donation based on expected benefits from the festival. Participants can also trade display space for in-kind donations of services.

The participant donations will provide for one 2.5’ x 6’ table and 2 chairs or approximately 25sq feet of space for a display. Morning bakery treats and a modest lunch are included for one person per table. For the summing up at the end of the day we hope to include a dinner. (Extra persons participating with organizations can donate $5 to $10 depending on final cost assessments for food and availability.)

Sponsorships are encouraged in exchange for placement in adverts and signage at the festival. Both 1,000’s of event cards and 100’s of posters will be printed to promote the festival throughout the Bay Area.

There will be several literature/info tables for those groups who want to be represented but who cannot directly participate in the festival.

Both print and electronic media will be kept aware of the progress of the festival throughout the summer leading to a build up of publicity in August and September. Several journalists who have been made aware of our plans to do the festival expressed great interest in learning more.

Given the continuing meltdown of the economy we believe that the festival will intrigue the media. If the public is adequately informed of the festival, we expect a popular turnout. Unlike all other fairs and festivals the JASeconomy Festival will be FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

Lastly, space is limited. The uppermost limit to participation is 50 projects. Also because we want to show the diversity of the “other economy” we may have to limit participation of certain sectors.

If your group wants to participate please contact us early. We expect to fill the venue by June.

AIMS OF THE JASeconomy FESTIVAL

  • Participants will have an opportunity to present their projects/enterprises to a motivated public.
  • The festival will provide a venue for the public to witness the diversity and vitality of a people-oriented economy. The aim is to demonstrate to the public an alternative perspective and a practical “economic” way of organizing a sustainable economy.
  • Participants will benefit from networking with the other participants, including those invited with specific expertise in financing, marketing, legal issues and other areas.

For more information please email: info@jasecon.org

Visit our website: www.jasecon.org.

To leave a phone message: NoBAWC @ (510) 835-0254

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