Workshops

Workshops

The Children’s Activity and Art Creation area will be open in the Sun Tent throughout the weekend

Saturday, August 17

10:00 – 11:30

Anti-colonial Earth Defense Part 1 with Amanda Lickers (Arena) Using anticolonial & antioppressive frameworks, this workshop seeks to further engage with common tactics & strategies mobilized throughout the environmental justice movement. This session hopes to build our mutual understandings of how and why particular tactics and/or strategies are effective, and in what ways they are effective, by using common on-the-ground direct action examples. By incorporating allyship and solidarity as pillars of practice within liberation movements, thisworkshop seeks to deepen participants understandings of anticolonial struggle and the context of environmental justice on Turtle Island.

Joseph Gainza – Non-Violent Direct Action Part 1  (ends at 12:30) (Moon) This two-part interactive workshop will engage participants in discussion and exercises to deepen our understanding of the theory and practice of non-violence. Participants will have the opportunity to role play conflict situations and analyze them. We will discuss affinity groups, how they work and their role in NVDA (non-violent direct action). The group will discuss civil disobedience and their responses to various CD actions. If we have time we will talk about arrest, jail solidarity and how NVDA fits into the larger movement for a more just, kind, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Growing your Own Mushroom Garden for Health with Sue Van Hook (Spirit) Sue Van Hook is the chief mycologist at Ecovative Design, a company working to make packaging from fungi.  In this workshop she’ll introduce the basics of home mushroom cultivation.

Industrial Wind Development in Vermont: A Community Perspective with Noreen Hession and other community leaders from towns affected by industrial wind (Wind) Heard about the Industrial Wind debate in Vermont and wondering what the fuss is about?  Has your town been targeted by developers and want to know what your rights and responsibilities are?  Concerned that the ridgelines in your community might be targeted by developers and wondering if you can do anything to protect them? Please join us for an overview of 3 aspects of Industrial Wind in Vermont: (1) State Law, (2) Municipal and Regional Governance and (3) Grass Roots activism.

  • Vermont State Law: ACT 250, Sections 246 & 248, PSB, DPS, ANR and the Governors Siting Commission.
  • Local and Regional Roles and Responsibilities: Municipal Plans, Regional Plans
  • Citizen Activism: What has happened in some Vermont towns and suggestions for steps you can take at a local level.

Cantastoria Workshop with Bread and Puppet (Earth) Bread and Puppet Theater will conduct a street performing workshop to anyone interested in creatively blocking industrialization to the Northeast Kingdom and beyond.

The workshop will teach a cantastoria entitled “The Sitter,” that will be performed later in the evening (and protests thereafter). This form of street storytelling uses text, music, large painted pictures and chorus movement to analyze the plight of civilization, destruction of the earth, and ask the question, “what is the brand new shirt for humanity?” Perhaps after the giant fabric shirt dances, the question will be answered.

Embodying Resilience with Amanda Franz (Fire) Our body is our first home, our internal environment from which we build healthy homes, communities and cultures.  By cultivating our relationship to self through reconnecting with our animal bodies, we begin to engage a whole body awareness, redefine communication and develop resiliency within our relationship to self and others.  This workshop will explore embodying resilience through experiential movement, somatic awareness practices, play, discussion and contemplative exercises.

1:00 – 2:30

Anti-colonial Earth Defense Part 2 with Amanda Lickers (Arena)

Joseph Gainza – Non-Violent Direct Action Part 2 (Moon)

Paths to Renewable Energy with Brian Tokar of the Institute for Social Ecology (Fire) Resistance to utility-scale wind power in Vermont has raised many questions about renewable energy in general, and what kind of transition may be feasible in Vermont.  Are there better ways to move quickly toward a renewable path? We will review some current analyses of renewable energy potentials, evaluate the opportunities and obstacles, and consider ways we might move forward and address the full magnitude of the climate crisis, even while realizing that there may be more questions than answers.

Wild Mushroom Identification with Sue Van Hook (Spirit) Sue Van Hook is the chief mycologist at Ecovative Design, a company working to make packaging from fungi.  In this workshop she’ll teach how to find and identify wild mushrooms.

Vermont’s New Economy with Gwendolyn Hallsmith of Vermonters for a New Economy  (Wind) Vermonters for a New Economy is a coalition of organizations, businesses, and individuals that has formed to promote new ways to make exchanges, finance capital needs, own and manage enterprises, and measure well-being.  In this presentation members will answer the questions: What is the new economy?  How is it different from our current system?  Where are there opportunities for change?  You’ll also learn about a upcoming Town Meeting resolution supporting a State Bank, and exciting plans for national New Economy Week.

Insects: Amazing and Delicious with Entomophogy Expert David Gracer (Earth)
We know that insects come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and we know how much they do for us as part of nature.  But not everyone knows how much fun it is to eat them!  We will talk about types of insects and where and why they’re eaten.  Then we’ll go out and get some of our own…and then comes the tasting part!  Learn about this highly sustainable food you’ve been missing at this kid-friendly workshop.

 

2:45 – 4:15

Binary Decision Making: Choosing to Align with Earth Energy with Sue Van Hook (Arena) A discussion of how Darwin’s ecological world view of Competition as the primary driving force has affected our culture, and an introduction to using Symbiosis as a replacement paradigm.

A Reading of Winds of Change – A Play by Leslie Becker (Moon) Director Susan-Lynn Johns  will be joined by seven actors and actresses for a reading of Lesley Becker’s  thought-provoking play about a family fighting a utility-scale wind project.  Seven Days describes Winds of Change like this: “Feuding neighbors. Life-altering decisions. High tempers and even higher stakes. If Vermont’s pitched debate about ridgeline wind power doesn’t have the makings of a drama, I don’t know what does.”  The reading will be followed by a Q & A session.

The Vermont Sail Freight Project  with Erik Andrus (Fire) Imagine a zero emissions food trading network that builds community.  Erik Andrus is building one right now, with the recent launch of his sail-powered trading barge Ceres.  This 40’ barge was constructed in only a few months with the help of a community of volunteers.  In September, she’ll make her first journey from Lake Champlain to New York City, carrying a cargo of Vermont farm products.  Learn more about the project, the prospects for more carbon-free trading, and making the shift away from our expansive and expensive lifestyles.

Extreme Energy – Real Solutions with Andy Simon of 350VT, and Avery Pittman and Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont (Wind) A look at the proposed VT Gas pipeline and the Portland Montreal Pipeline, the struggles against these projects and a discussion of what our energy future looks like without extreme energy.

Stopping the East-West Corridor with Chris Buchanan and Christine Maya (Earth) Not sure what the East-West Corridor is?  Heard of it, but don’t know how it will affect New England? Learn about this giant highway project which threatens to bisect Maine and important ecological areas, what Maine activists have been doing to stop it, and how you can help.  The successes of Stop the East – West Corridor are also a good lessons for activists in other parts of the region.

Shared Sufficiency with Michael Cerulli Billingsley (Spirit) Climate-warming models forecast strong, devastating storms, and more of them.  In addition, NASA, FEMA & DHS predict severe space weather (a major Solar CME) in the near future.  Such an event in the U.S. & Canada could collapse the electric grid; totally disrupt supply chains; and cause a loss of communication & coordination on the national & regional level.  We can deal well with such difficulties as resilient New England towns & villages.  Shared-Sufficiency prepares a networked community of local providers & workers to go “grid-free” using scalable technologies & locally-sourced healthcare, products, foods, services & energy… together.

Sunday, August 18

10:00 – 11:30

What Is a Sustainable Population Size for Vermont? With George Plumb of Vermonters for a Sustainable Population (Moon) All of our environmental problems and most of our social problems have one underlying cause: unsustainable population growth. Yet, this has been the elephant in the room that many environmentalists have refused to discuss. In this presentation, George will discuss the results of a study (to be released in September) on what is an optimal/sustainable population size for Vermont. The study uses twelve different indicators ranging from biodiversity to greenhouse gas emissions to democracy to determine what is a sustainable population size. Vermont is the first state in the nation to determine this figure and to offer recommendations on how to stabilize our population.

Creating Common Ground with Heidi Krantz (Spirit) Diversity in nature is viewed as a strength- in this session we’ll explore diversity through play and group initiatives, exploring ways to celebrate our diversity and use it to build foundations for communication and collaboration.

The Vermont Renewable Energy Sham with Kevin Jones, Senior Fellow for Energy Technology and Policy at Vermont Law School (Wind) Learn why Vermont’s policymakers are raising our electric rates to burn more fossil fuels and how we can stop this harmful charade and promote climate friendly community energy.

Building Blockades for Direct Action with Erok and Pika from EarthFirst! (Fire) In this hands-on workshop, learn blockading techniques, their history, applications, and how to site and build them; along with resources to go further.

Organizing 101 with Avery Pittman and Keith Brunner of Rising Tide Vermont (Earth) This workshop will explore how organizing differs from charity and advocacy, and is a skills-based workshop designed to give participants experience having organizing conversations and a strong tactical/strategic grounding in making appropriate asks, basebuilding strategies and trouble-shooting difficult conversations.  As we build frameworks of our vision of the world we want to live in we also need to equip ourselves with the skills to move forward together. Understanding why and how we organize our neighbors and communities is a critical piece of making our vision a reality.

Bug Hunt with David Gracer at the Children’s Activity Tent (Sun) Finding and identifying insects is fun!  And some of them can even be used as pizza toppings at lunch!