A live event unrehearsed and without edit
Last Thursday was an exceptional evening at Seattle’s Town Hall. We hosted Ampersand Goes Totally Live. Nineteen artists, writers, poets, mountain guides and political columnists were given free reign; from rapper Prometheus Brown to BirdNote’s Adam Sedgley talking about everything from the Denny, an astounding new urban bike, to the owls of Washington State, to setting up a drum kit in the woods. Each had five minutes in front of 400 supercharged guests. None rehearsed and none were edited – at least not with or by us.
What connected this diversity of talent? Why did each of these wonderful individuals contribute their time? Us and here. Because of a deep love for the people and place that makes the Northwest what it is, and an abiding commitment to keep it so.
Why did we host the event? (And, why are we planning to host one every year?) We have plenty on our plate after all. Well, first because it’s fun. But if that was it, I would have a lot to answer for to our board. So the real reason, the one I presented to our board, is that sustainability needs all of us engaged. Fully engaged. Thinking about it and talking about it from the prism of our own lives, talents and experience. And that’s what each of the contributors last Thursday night accomplished in their own way and through their own gifts. The audience was correspondingly as diverse and engaged as the contributors. So a success.
But also just a start. We are redesigning our website to be a hub for an ongoing conversation about what we need to do to sustain our region, our families, our landscapes. That platform will go live in the spring of 2015. The conversation will be far-ranging, challenging. And whatever other good things it accomplishes, I know it will stretch our thinking at Forterra about our work and how to make this region the best it can be for all our people and each of our places. So a lot was begun last Thursday night. It was way fun too. And I don’t care if our board knows it.