What a Journey

As the manager of the Zero Waste McMinnville Facebook page I see the issues that resonate with people.  I shared a story about a recycled arts festival about 18 months ago and there was some mild interest with maybe 20 likes. Four months later a similar story came to me and when I shared it again, the response was similar. Then a few months later I posted a third story and it went “viral” with over 100 likes.

So, after talking to a friend of mine who has been presenting her work at crafts and art fairs for years and hearing her response (“We should do this here!”) I popped over to a Facebook page for artists and artisans in the Northwest and posted a query. “We’re not planning this yet….I just want to know if any artists out there would participate if we did.”  Within a week I had the names of 60 artists.

So I decided my friend was right and together we got a small working committee together: Aundrea Harris, John “Sam” Houston, and my husband Graham and myself, Beth Rankin. We sat down the first time December 4th and started brainstorming ideas. We met almost weekly for at least 2 hours and each of us had lots of homework assignments.

One task that I took on was to identify more artists to issue direct invitations and not rely on posters and Facebook postings that we wanted artists to apply. In the course of a week, reading through numerous Facebook craft and art show pages and then on to Etsy searching for recycled arts and then on to Instagram, I identified another 90. We visited galleries in the area and got a lot of advice.

We set a response date and we formed a jury to review all the applications. The four of us on the planning committee were reading the applications as they came in, but the outside jury participant had no idea and came to the meeting with ideas of his own in case the work presented did not meet the quality we hoped for. He was blown away.

Participating as a jury member is interesting because you have to analyze  the work that it takes to produce something while suspending your own reaction to the art. That is one reason why there is a committee-to balance that “personal preference” factor.

The other reason the jury is made up of people from different artistic mediums is because the viewpoints of the general public has to be considered. However, as artists who sell to the public, we know there are  people who do not do that kind of work and thereby do not appreciate the effort to use creative ability and accumulated experience to produce the work. Many of us have heard “oh, I could make that” many times.  We also know few people actually take the time to learn and better that craft.  The artists who have built their craft into art are people whose work should be respected.

neckpiece Carla FoxMost people, we know, will be amazed at the offerings that the inaugural McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival will present. The concept of “trash to treasures” interests many, amuses some, but there are still people who are not convinced. For example, when I saw the neckpieces that Carla Fox will be offering, I knew the white one might appeal to a bride. I imagined a less expensive simple white sheath as a dress with this neckpiece as embellishment and believe some bride would feel gorgeous while keeping their dress budget more reasonable. So I contacted about eight wedding consultants. Seven never responded. One was offended I would think her clients would wear garbage. She obviously doesn’t understand and it was not worth the time to educate her with her anger so apparent. I had a festival to organize.

But you understand. You know that we can always increase our own personal sustainable practices. You appreciate learning of ways others reduce what goes to the landfill.

The community has responded in amazing ways. For example, I mentioned to one of the management at Recology that we wanted to put a street banner up over McMinnville’s NE 3rd Street, and he offered to pay for it. street banner bThat freed up money from our marketing budget and when I was contacted by That Oregon Life (in response to our press release) to see if they could help and I told them about Zero Waste McMinnville, they immediately reduced their fee for the services they would provide. Howie Harkema was happy to have us on his community access tv program, Speaking Frankly: and How We Doin?  . Then his camera person offered to come and take video. Other media have responded that they will come as well.

We can see the metrics of some of our advertising so we know we have reached a lot of people. We’re amused and excited by the number of people who have “purchased” free tickets on Eventbrite because we can see that Friday has a strong appeal to many.  When I started posting the artist spotlights on this blog and thereby on Facebook readership on both increased dramatically.  We know we have your attention. LOGO jpeg

My latest nightmare is that there was a traffic jam a la Field of Dreams……..bring it on!

Wanted: Photo Journalist

Zero Waste McMinnville now has an Instagram account and needs someone to manage it. If you don;t know what Instagram is, this opportunity might not be for you but that depends on your learning curve for a new app. Scan_20180419

Instagram is a way to communicate with others through photographs and short descriptive captions.

Knowing how to connect with people, especially here in McMinnville, who will enjoy learning about how to be a Zero Waster is important, so knowledge of how to use the software is important. farmers market as

In order to achieve our goal of diverting 90% of the trash away from the landfill by 2024 we MUST reach more people through our marketing efforts.

The ideal person would be someone who is interested in this project, willing to show up at events where Zero Waste is helping sort the trash, and has curiosity to add other photos of interest in this subject. Please contact Beth Rankin at sunbeamtn@yahoo.com or message back.

Summer Intern Wanted!!

by Cole Keener

Are you looking to get more involved in the community? Are you looking for a summer internship here in McMinnville? Do you want to help make McMinnville the first city in Oregon to reduce garbage 90% by 2024? Well, Zero Waste McMinnville is the right choice for you!logo

There is currently an opening as a summer intern at Zero Waste McMinnville that is looking for a dedicated volunteer that will take the non-profit organization to exciting new heights! This unpaid internship opportunity will enhance the student’s project management, administrative and communication skills, which can be utilized in future for-profit or non-profit work experiences. This internship may count for college credit as the university or college allows.

The internship runs from June 1st-August 15th.

The Responsibilities include:

  • Assisting with the marketing team
  • Working on improvements with the current website
  • Attending general meetings every 1st and 2nd Monday of the month
  • Volunteering at events throughout the summer

The Desired Qualifications and Skills include:

Freshmen through Senior undergraduate student, or a recent graduate, with an interest in non-profits.

  • Accuracy and attention to detail is a must!
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work within deadlines and in a professional manner.

Our marketing team has come up with some great ideas for the future of Zero Waste McMinnville and we want an individual that will help build on these ideas put in place.

Being more educated about the environment is so important and it is something we as people take for granted. We at Zero Waste McMinnville put the environment first and are always looking for ways to improve on waste consumption every single day.

As an intern, you will be able to build everlasting connections with dedicated volunteers currently with Zero Waste McMinnville. These volunteers dedicate their time and energy into something they care so deeply about.

Don’t worry about knowing the difference between a compostable and a recyclable…We will teach you more about it!IMG_2155

To apply for the summer intern position, please contact Beth Rankin at 304-654-5634 or email sunbeamtn@yahoo.com

We hope to work with you soon!