Archive for February, 2011

The Wigg Party featured on 350.org

February 22nd, 2011

This is a post a wrote at the request of our friends at 350.org, one of the world’s leading Climate Change-focused organizations, and the instigators of the tremendous 10/10/10 Global Day of Work for which we produced our Urban Farm Bike Tour (check the video below to learn more). The piece is part Wigg Party overview, part how-to for sustainable community organizing, and part argument for why local organizing is the single most important thing any of us can be doing right now. Enjoy!



In late 2009, a few friends and I got together and decided we needed to do something. Each of us were well aware of the various planetary crises – the onset of the sixth mass extinction, dwindling access to fresh water, incredibly unsustainable industrial agriculture practices, and, yes, the mounting dangers of global climate change, to name just a few. Each of us felt these global challenges demanded not only our awareness but some sort of action that could help win the possibility of a decent quality of life for future generations of humans. There was just one problem: these challenges were global in nature, and we were just a few friends sitting in a living room in San Francisco. How could we reasonably expect to make a dent in these planetary issues? It was then that we made an important and fateful decision that we hope will be echoed around the globe: we decided we didn’t really have a chance of changing the workings of a global society or affecting the direction of our nation, our state, or even the metropolis we call San Francisco. But we knew we were up to the task of one very important and worthy mission – we set out to make our neighborhood more sustainable and resilient. Over a year later, we’ve crafted out of that original intention an influential organization called the Wigg Party. We’ve produced a number of successful initatives and events, made a few mistakes, and have come to one very important conclusion: the future » Read more: The Wigg Party featured on 350.org

Urban Eating League – The Afterglow

February 17th, 2011

One of life’s most pleasant and rare experiences is to have your already fairly lofty expectations of an event completely blown away by reality. We knew our Urban Eating League was going to be a lot of fun – locally sourced food, being invited into our friends’ homes, costumes, friendly competition, AND a talent-show?!? However, no amount of words or pictures can truly do the evening 40 or so people enjoyed this past Sunday justice. Perhaps it’s best to simply report that by the time everyone got to their second host-site and were guessing the secret ingredient, we all knew that we had stumbled upon an event that would not only bring all of us a lot of joy on this night and future nights, but that this format was going to get picked up by many communities around the world as a way to bring people together around local food. It was simply that good.

Can you feel the excitement of the Urban Eating League?

I’m not going to try to recount a play-by-play of who cooked what or which teams wore what or who got which awards (although everyone’s effort certainly warrants such a treatment) – it was the type of event that you simply had to be there to experience. But I think it’s worth taking a birds-eye view of some of the lessons the experience taught us.

Eaters listening intently as Alex explains the menu at Le Chateau du Breux

We’ve always said local food was the lynchpin issue of the sustainability movement and the Urban Eating League certainly confirmed that, although not in the “everybody eats three meals a day, so if you get them to choose the right food when they make that choice, then things really start happening” way that we usually mean it. Instead, the Urban Eating League was a great lesson in the subtle yet transformative power of » Read more: Urban Eating League – The Afterglow

Wigg Party One Year Anniversary Party on Friday

February 8th, 2011

Come out to the Sunshine Castle for a very special Wigg Party One-Year Anniversary Party featuring Bikes & Beats!

Over the past year, the Wigg Party has grown from an idea a few friends had into one of the nation’s leading urban sustainable community organizations. To celebrate our amazing year of moving the community that lives around the bike route the Wiggle toward sustainability and resilience, we’re teaming up with Bikes & Beats to throw our biggest Wigg Party Party yet!

Legendary

The evening kicks off at 8 pm with the Wigg Party meeting. This is where you come learn about everything that we’re up to – this month we’re going to feature our local currency we’re developing, our series of locally sourced progressive dinners we’re calling the Urban Eating League, and all of the exciting developments on tap for the Wiggle this year.

The evening also marks the inaugural event for Bikes & Beats. Bikes & Beats marries bicycle culture with the thriving underground music scene. While these events will typically feature a bicycle ride -> a guerilla dance party, they’ve decided to kick it all off with the Wigg Party at the Sunshine Castle. We all have Bikes & Beats to thank for this amazing musical lineup!

We’re also for the first time going to be using this Wigg Party Party as a fundraiser, so that we can grow and become even stronger in year two! $10 suggested donation, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. If you come for the meeting at 8 you get in free.

BYOB

LINE-UP
MC Zulu (Dancehall MC Inna Dubstep and Electro-Reggae Stylee, Panama via Chicago)
http://mczulu.com/

Future Simple Project LIVE w/ aka Mikey Fisher and Raja (Dubstep, Lazer Crunk – Family Moons, Boulder and SF)

http://futuresimpleproject.com/

Porkchop (Dubstep and Bass Music – SF)
Cyclyst (Slappers and Funksteppers – Bikes and Beats, SF)

Matt Haze (Bashment, Funky Tribal, Tropical, etc – Bikes and Beats, Slayers Club, SF)
http://soundcloud.com/matthaze

http://theslayersclub.com/

Brettronics ((Dubstep, Electro, Crunkstep – Akashic Records, SF)

DubVirus ((Dubstep, Electro, Crunkstep – Akashic Records, SF)

Announcing the Urban Eating League

February 3rd, 2011

Wigglers, get ready for the inaugural edition of our newest local food program – the Urban Eating League!

Starting February 13th, we will host a monthly progressive dinner called the Urban Eating League. Each month, we will organize a dinner that will feature delicious, locally sourced meals hosted by multiple neighborhood homes. Enjoying these meals will be teams of eaters. The Eaters will both judge the different meals/host-sites and themselves be judged as guests, on anything from manners to costume creativity. It’s all in the service of eating local food and having fun!

No, not that kind of eating competition...

The inaugural event will unfold as follows. People interested in participating as eaters must organize a team consisting of three eaters and a team name and come find Morgan at the Divisadero Farmers’ Market Community Table on Sunday February 6th to register (he’ll have “the wig” on). Registration will be open to the first five teams plus the first three individuals (who together will comprise the “Randos” team) for a total of 18 eaters (we have three host-sites which can host two teams, or six eaters, at a time). The cost of registration is $10-$20 sliding scale for each eater, so for a team to successfully register they must present at least $30 along with the names of the eaters and a team name (all the money will go to pay for the food).

Those six teams lucky enough to register in time will meet at the Sunshine Castle (1571 Fulton) at 6 pm on the 13th to start the evening. Initial instructions and participating materials will be given out, and the teams will start off on their culinary odyssey at » Read more: Announcing the Urban Eating League