Dreamworld Report – Baltimore – DC, driving toward Tampa Bay

IMG_0744The next evening, Monday October 19, we met up with folks in Baltimore —IMG_0746 Michael Marks, former TBUSA Board cohort, wrote a PhD on timebanking, used to work with Youth Advocate Program and currently helps with the B-Note and more, Jeff Dicken and Julie Goeldener of the B-Note, Ian Shlakman of B-Note and timebank, Tam of the local timebank, plus Scott and me. We met at a cool bar/restaurant called Golden West. It was a really good time. Cursory notes are here. We learned about what everyone was doing, did some baltimore2013-10-21 21.50.18troubleshooting and brainstorming about how things might work better or develop further, I shared ideas about the MAN and we talked about software developments.

The next evening I went with Chris, Edgar and Doc (Bill Merritt, working with TimeBanks USA) to IMG_0761an event at Veterans on the Rise (VOTR) where they’re working to start a timebank. This was a really good time. I had a funny misunderstanding. A few days before Edgar had mentioned my ‘performance’ at VOTR and I’d just thought it was a slip of the tongue, a IMG_0772weird way to refer to my talking about timebanking. Then when I was IMG_0749talking with Edgar and Chris just before the event, planning out the flow of the evening, Chris also said ‘performance’. I jokingly said I had an accordion in the car and then it became clear that yes, they’d wanted me to play music, not talk about timebanking! As it turned out it made sense to do both, because there were a lot of folks there who would like to be part of the timebank who wouldn’t be able to attend the orientation the following weekend. So we played the yarn game which was really fun with this group. There were a lot of carpentry, plumbing, life coaching, IMG_0776editing, writing, communications skills. We also talked about the kinds of community projects they could do, I gave examples from Dane County as usual, and then I played some accordion. Democracy, I Need Sunflowers!, Down Down Down, Skin – my Veterans on the Rise accordion setlist.

I look forward to seeing how their project unfolds. There’s some really great current and potential leadership in VOTR plus the help of Chris, Doc and Edgar of TimeBanks USA who are committed to ‘bringing timebanking home’ and getting timebanks to flourish in Washington D.C.. Lots of potential.

IMG_0780 IMG_0789And there are some other great DC efforts to connect with, which we learned on Thursday night at the potluck for DC TimeBank, hosted by Allison Basile. DC TImeBank has about 500 members and is looking to kickstart more activity. The potluck was a great step forward! There were about 50-60 people there, with a lot of enthusiasm, expertise and ideas. We did the IMG_0790 IMG_0791visioning game where we identified a quick ‘mission statement’ based on community goals people yelled out in the room. Then a brainstorm on who would need to be involved and a quick and dirty sketch of what we would do and how, paying IMG_0796out timebank hours from a project account and speculating on what participants would need and how to recruit those resources. We closed out giving people the opportunity to make some real-life requests and see if people in the room could fill them. We found a lot of matches!

The next day I went with Deborah and Leonard to Bread for the City where we brainstormed about how to get timebanking flowing there, engaging participants and volunteers to co-produce some cool and useful projects. Somehow I don’t have pictures from this but I know some were taken so maybe later… We were also joined by William H Taft who helped out with his insights. Between Bread for the City, Veterans on the Rise and the DC TimeBank there are some cool synergies which can make some really exciting projects.

IMG_0813 IMG_0817That night (Friday Oct. 25) I played a show at Electric Maid. This was fun! A cool space, nice people. Chris Gray and my old friend Natalie Illum (great poet from DC) both came, plus a lot of people for the other bands. I really enjoyed playing for them and they seemed to enjoy the show, so it was good all around. And the venue owners are cool, and interested in timebank and sharing economy stuff.

Right after the show (about midnight) I hit the road toward Florida. I had a little over one day IMG_0823 IMG_0825to get there and it’s a 14.5 hour drive from DC to Tampa Bay. So I drove a couple hours to Ashland VA, got a cheap hotel and then found a nice vegan breakfast place in Richmond (which I was somehow really enamored of) before driving to Gainesville (another 10.5 hours) where I stayed with Marie Nelson’s (Tampa Bay TimeBank organizer) daughter before the final 2.5 hour jaunt to Tampa Bay for a 1pm potluck Oct. 27.

that’s up in the next post…