Transition Asheville is presenting a community-wide event, Saturday, August 27, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm at Carrier Park on Amboy Rd. in West Asheville, to celebrate Asheville being officially named the 88th Transition Town in the U.S. As a family-friendly celebration, there will be a variety of activities for children and adults. This is a free event with ample on-site parking.
The celebration begins with opening ceremonies that include the rhythms of Billy Jonas, an invocation by Howard Hanger from Jubilee, as well as reflections about the journey to this new, national recognition for Asheville. City Council Member Cecil Bothwell will read the Mayor’s proclamation and share his insights about how Transition Asheville can work with the City and other community groups to achieve our common goal for a sustainable future in Western North Carolina. The celebration continues with a community supper (bring your own picnic), family fun and games, as well as a mini expo on sustainability practices. Music throughout the evening includes Billy Jonas’ percussion-based music using found objects, Geri Littlejohn’s Native American flutes, Tuned Earth’s acoustic banjo, and Déjà Fuze’s progressive electronic fusion.
As the 88th Transition Town in the U.S., Asheville has joined a growing number of towns and cities across the country striving to build resilience into their local economies and a sustainable future for their communities. Other U.S. Transition Communities in this effort include: Boulder CO, Madison WI, Tucson AZ, Pittsburgh PA, Austin TX, Portland OR, Santa Barbara CA, and many more.
The Transition Movement is all about bringing the head (our intellect), heart (our core values) and hands (our personal actions) together to re-localize--buying and producing local food, products and services—and helping our communities find ways to thrive in the face of rising fuel costs, economic uncertainty and climate change.
In effect this is really a pushback against old ways that no longer assure us a quality of life we want for ourselves and our children. The “business as usual” approach to national public policy formation is not moving fast enough to find creative solutions for our mounting problems. More and more people are asking the question, “What can I do?”
Re-localizing is an important part of the answer. For individual citizens it is easier to engage at the community level--in local towns and cities. This bottom-up approach is a hybrid of old and new ways. It’s about being involved at the local level producing and consuming local food, products and services (as our grandparents did) to build resilience into our local economies. It’s about combining old time-tested practices that still work, like home and community gardening and food preservation, with new technologies keenly suited for implementation at the local level, like social networking, green building, and solar energy.
This move toward re-localizing is really about defining what works today and what doesn’t. More importantly it’s about what will work better for us tomorrow, then finding ways to implement the answers where we live today.
The people of Western North Carolina who are putting action to the ideas of sustainability are truly cross generational and cultural, spanning various ages and backgrounds. Together they are combining their energy, creativity, wisdom and talent to strengthen neighborhoods and help communities thrive even in hard times.
For more information about the Transition Movement, go to www.transitionus.org