Building, Fundraising, Three Rivers

Double your Huss Project brick donation!

(Cross-posted from the Huss Project web site.)

Yes, you read that correctly: right now, you can double your donation dollars to the Huss Project!  We are thrilled to announce that an anonymous donor has offered to match donations between now and May 15 up to $4,500.  If we reach our goal, that’s a whopping $9,000 toward our ambitious Brick Campaign goal!

If your employer also matches gifts, your gift will be matched twice! If you have already made a gift to the Huss Project, we thank-thank-thank you and hope you will please consider an additional gift to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

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Building, Event, Fundraising, Three Rivers

Spring Break 2013: Service and storytelling

Spring has come to Three Rivers (as indicated by the calendar, if not by the weather), and with spring came a group of students on their spring break! Last week, six students came from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, to spend a week with *culture is not optional through Calvin’s Service-Learning Center (which was just recognized for their good work!). As in past years, we followed a basic rule of life, which included a work period in the morning and community exploration in the afternoons, with an hour of silence before communal dinner. Throughout the week, we focused on the rhythm of work and rest, being active and being contemplative, contained within a particular place. Staying outside of town at the Hermitage and at St. Gregory’s Abbey provided a nice change of pace for all of us.

The group made great contributions at the Huss Project, putting their muscles to work by removing drop ceiling in the old kindergarten room, pulling up carpeting in two classrooms, prepping the community garden for planting, and hauling away metal for recycling. We also helped out a friend of *cino’s at his downtown building renovation.

Afternoons found us on field trips around the Three Rivers community, meeting local business owners, artists, farmers, journalists, historians, and church leaders. More informal conversations took place across the dinner table, in the car, and on the sidewalk. The stories that were shared this past week will continue to intrigue and inspire us, whether we heard them for the first or the fiftieth time. Here at *cino, we love storytelling, and when we listen well to the people around us, we all can learn just a little more about how to tell good, true stories.

For more photos of the week, visit our Spring Break 2013 – Calvin College photo set on Flickr.

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Thank you for your votes!

Though voting goes through the end of the day, it’s clear that we won’t be getting enough votes to win the Fetzer grant contest.  The Innovation Empowerment Programme in Kenya has over 7,000 votes … congratulations to a great project! We want to sincerely thank all of our supporters who watched our video, read our application and/or voted for our project.  You can still support the Huss Project by buying a brick for our Brick Campaign or by telling your friends about our work. Thank you!

We’re still in the running for the $25,000 grant, which will be awarded in April. You’ll be the first to know if we win that one …

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Building, Fundraising, Three Rivers

Love the Huss Project: Give 5 minutes for $5,000!

Music, play, art, food, gardening, community fellowship, storytelling, kickball: what’s NOT to love about the Huss Project?  You can love us back right now by taking just 5 minutes to …

  1. Watch the cool 3-minute video we put together featuring Huss Project footage and the song “This House” by kindlewood (above).
  2. Vote to help us win $5,000 in a contest sponsored by the Fetzer Institute.
  3. Share this with everyone you know via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc. (just click one of the icons below this post)!

This contest is part of a grant we applied for through the Fetzer Institute.  Friends of the Huss Project can vote for us to win $5,000 and a separate panel is making a selection for a grand prize of $25,000.  That could go a long way toward things like, I don’t know, running water, don’t you think?  The Huss Project has housed so much goodness already without basic infrastructure — just imagine what we can do when we’re up and running year round!  In addition to voting, you can support the Huss Project by buying a brick.

Thank you so much for your consideration and support … and keep up your own good work!

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Building, Fundraising, Online

Culture Make Sale poetry stones travel the world!

Poetry stone
Remember the Culture Make Sale, *cino’s online sale of handmade items and personalized services? Last fall, supporters of *culture is not optional from near and far connected with each other by creating and purchasing goods and services. We made over $1500, which will help to renovate the Huss School property in Three Rivers into a community center focused on agriculture and the arts.
This “joy” stone was given as a gift to a relative of mine in the the Netherlands! It crossed the ocean and found a new home in her garden. If you would like to share any pictures or stories from the Culture Make Sale of your own, let us know.

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Building, Fundraising, Online, Organization

Report from the Culture Make Sale

An enormous “Thank you!” to all who participated in the Culture Make Sale, whether by contributing goods and offering services, purchasing others’ donations, or simply perusing the website and sharing in the event.
*culture is not optional’s network stretches across the globe, and thanks to the success of the Culture Make Sale, that web of connections is growing! Over the past two months, friends of *cino new and old, from all over, have given and received gifts of time, energy, and resources, to benefit the renovation and development of the former Huss School building into a community center in Three Rivers, Michigan. Handmade ceramics, customized love letters and website design, brilliant books and poetry, yard work, artwork, apple pies, and so much more – these are little bits of human culture that enrich our lives, and all the more so when they are shared.
Thanks to all for helping raise over $1500 for the Imagining Space at Huss School! Your continued support ensures that Huss School is on its way to becoming a place of peace, hope, and justice.
Additionally, the sale will continue soon in Three Rivers: World Fare, a fair trade store downtown, has partnered with *cino as an outlet to sell goods that give life to projects and endeavors in the local community. Be sure to stop by 37 N. Main St. in the near future and check out the many wonderful items still on sale!

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Building, Event, Fundraising, People

Report from the Future (Festival)

Huss Future Festival took place last Saturday, as 300 visitors from near and far filled the hallways with music, laughter, participation and creativity. We had a good ol’ time and raised over $600 for the Imagining Space Project at Huss, in addition to raising funds for Triple Ripple Community Gardens and the annual Back to School Celebration. See the Imagining Space blog for a full report from the festival, as well as our photos of the event. CAUTION: if you missed it, you’re going to wish you hadn’t!

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Event, Fundraising, Organization, People

Future Festival 2011 + Three Rivers camping

Join us on July 30 for the Second Annual Huss Future Festival! This year’s event will include live music, food from the Triple Ripple Community Garden and the Three Rivers Area Faith Community, an art and art supply sale sponsored by the Three Rivers Artist Guild, a used clothing sale … and more! We invite you to drop by to get a glimpse of the vision for the Imagining Space at Huss School.
On July 28-30, we’re also partnering with Maple Tree Meadows to host a ^camping is not optional event in Three Rivers. This beautiful farm is only ten minutes from Huss School, making it an ideal place to stay if you’re coming into town for the Future Festival. Our camping events are very informal, but provide plenty of opportunities for sharing good food, stories, farm chores, songs and more. If you’d like, you could also volunteer for the Festival while you’re here; just send us a note to let us know you’re interested. We have limited space available, so register early!

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Building, Fundraising, Organization

You can help *cino win $50,000!

*culture is not optional has applied for a $50,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. We’ll be using the money to renovate one room in Huss School, the 27,000 square foot building we purchased for our Imagining Space project. To receive the grant, though, we need to solicit votes from our supporters; the 10 projects with the most votes in each grant amount will win!
Voting for our project starts Wednesday and you can vote on the Refresh Everything site, via text message or through a Facebook application. You can vote once a day and we’ll need you to vote every day in December if we stand a chance of winning. We will post the links and numbers to vote as soon as possible.
If you’d like to receive a daily e-mail reminder, sign up for our daily asterisk e-mail list. We send out a provocative quote every day and, during the month of December, we’ll be including a reason to vote for *cino’s project.
Thanks! And more soon …

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Building, Event, Fundraising, People, Video

Video update: Huss Future Festival

The first annual Huss Future Festival was a great success! Check out the video below, then read Kirstin’s overview of the event on the Imagining Space blog (with links to photos and news stories).

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