Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alchemy Initiative

One of the greatest aspects of being a part of Storey is watching our titles spark a particular activism in our communities. Our authors, employees, and readers all contribute in so many ways – and it was so wonderful, last night, to see this happening in our own backyard. Crispina ffrench, author of our upcoming book The Sweater Chop Shop, bought a church (and a rectory) a few years ago in Pittsfield, Massachusetts – just a few minutes south of our offices here in North Adams. Today, that church is the home of Alchemy Initiative.

I snagged this off their website – it’s a brief explanation of what they’re doing with the space:
Alchemy Initiative is an urban model of sustainability and community. As an intentional community and meeting space for our neighbors, we work to promote the principles of holistic living, including health and healing, art-making, and sustainability.
The Alchemy Initiative is a project that uses food, art, and music as a catalyst for social change; that fosters individual learning and collective reflection; that acts as a meeting space for motivated minds and bodies; that inspires new ideas, partnerships and action; that builds and unites community; that cultivates alchemy by empowering people to transform the common into something special.

When Crispina told me what she was doing, I immediately knew there was going to be a great link between Alchemy and Storey. Our mission involves creating harmonious relationships with the environment, and that’s exactly what’s going on at the former Notre Dame church in Pittsfield!
So last night was their kickoff event – to celebrate both Earth Day and the birth of Alchemy Initiative.
To help spread the word of the exciting happenings, Storey designed this:

Carleen Madigan, one of our very talented acquisition editors and editor of The Backyard Homestead, was there sowing seeds and signing books:

Here’s a great shot of Crispina, smiling ear to ear as the space fills up with people who’ve come out to celebrate and be a part of the magic:

Not only were they selling copies of The Backyard Homestead to raise money for Alchemy, but they also had this great idea for using Mason jars. Each jar was a suggested donation of $10 – that got you unlimited beer for the evening (donated by a local brewery, Pittsfield Brew Works) as well as a free coffee coupon from a great local coffee shop, Dottie’s. They applied these awesome vinyl (dishwasher safe) stickers to the jars saying “Alchemy Initiative”. Brilliant!

Alchemy isn’t stopping with The Backyard Homestead. They’re keeping bees, raising chickens, and building raised beds to grow their vegetables and they’re going to rely on Storey’s titles to do all of this. Congratulations, Alchemy Initiative, you’re off to a great start!

That's so inspiring to all of us here at Storey. I hope our titles are helping make a difference in your community, too—and if they are, we'd love to hear about it. How are you using Storey books to make the world a better place?
Jayme Hummer, Publicist
(p.s. Special thanks to Kristy MacWilliams for the photos! See more photos from the event.)

No comments: