Being a vagabond is great and all, but I also believe in community and sustainability! How could I accomplish all parts of my equation at once? I mean, isn’t community and sustainability accomplished by living in one location with a group of people, following models of communal or group living, farming, and running co-ops? And isn’t tramping around comprised of moving from one place to another quite often, rarely being somewhere long enough to build community or become part of an already-established one, coupled with spending way too much time in cars, buses, trains or airplanes, and chain supermarkets?
Luckily, I’m also an artist, which gives me motive to challenge what is commonly practiced. And, hell, in this global-citizen, virtual-citizen, ever-evolving revolutionary world, there are actually no rules, so we can do anything we dream of! Truth is, as happy as I am living the way I do, I’ve also been looking for a way to make everything I am passionate about be easier to practice together. This encompasses becoming more actively involved in the transition to clean energy. I have lived in a yurt equipped with solar and have ridden in a “green” bus and I read a lot! But how am I actually contributing?
So, there I was, screen printing at the New Orleans Community Print Shop, and I overheard Leah of Rising Appalachia stating that she is looking to sell the musical project’s touring mobile, a veggie-oil bus that has been stenciled, decorated, and decked out in gold and red on the inside – like a good ol’ gypsy mobile or pirate wagon!!!
Needless to say, I got super excited and ideas started forming immediately! It would be the perfect solution to my conundrum! I could travel the continent in a sustainable fashion, while making art, making friends, becoming part of communities everywhere I stopped while starting a global one, acting as an example of what one measly human can do to be part of the solution, while simultaneously living out her dreams, maybe even teaching people art and how to take care of a dual-tank veggie oil bus & run solar on it.…But, when I asked how much her asking price was, I quickly recognized I couldn’t afford it and said I would mention this opportunity to a few friends…. Secretly, I was very sad. It was a fair price, but not one I could pay.
I couldn’t shut up about how much I wished I could be the proud new owner of this bus. A friend suggested I start a campaign to raise the money necessary to: get the bus, hire a mechanic to train me in all of the ins-and-outs, buy solar panels, and learn how to install them – and then install them myself.
So, here we are: one girl’s attempt to live her dream and make a difference.
I have arranged the Anna and the Bus project like a recipe:
Ingredients: dual-tank veggie oil bus currently owned by Leah of the amazing musical act Rising Appalachia, a specialized mechanic to train me, solar panels & installation, artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, poets, dreams.
Recipe & Prep: I want to learn the ins-and-outs of running a vegetable-oil-converted bus, install solar panels for power when not driving, and, in the first year, I want to reach at least half of the 27 states I am yet to spend time in, eventually hoping to reach the whole continent.
Result: Traveling alternative energy art (side)show: rotating members; creating, performing, presenting, and donating artwork in each community visited with a minimum stop of 8 weeks. The bus: alternative energy & lifestyle live/work/travel space which will reach & inspire countless people.
Transforming the world by recycling waste oil from restaurants, making art everywhere I go, giving to each community I meet! This is as much about learning and creating as it is about being an active part of the transformation into the alternative energy and alternative economy landscape.
There are a myriad of ways I want to GIVE BACK for your support and belief in this DREAM of mine! Check out the campaign and join in!