Art + Farming + You = Trouser House
If you were going to tackle "issues" in your community, what would they be? Clearly the GOOD community advocates solutions to a variety of challenges facing society - that's the reason I love it here, because it fosters connection with myriad good works underway around the nation and world!
But really - what would your issues be? I think my top ones would be equality and urban design... although I can get equally riled up about health, environment, poverty, and hunger! All of these challenges are connected (duh), and it's hard to know where to start when you want to build an ideal life for yourself and for those around you.
One answer that a friend of mine developed was to build Trouser House.
Trouser House? No, not like a place that sells Dockers - more like a place that allows everyone a chance to "wear the pants."
I thought the name was very funny when I first heard of this place, too, last December. Just goes to show my wonky sense of humor, because now I work here full-time (thanks to AmeriCorps*VISTA). Trouser House is a nonprofit initiative that just started in October 2009 - so we've only been around for about eight months. In that time, we've:
- redesigned a traditional shotgun-double house into an art gallery and urban farm
- built a chicken coop and raised five chickens
- hosted eight volunteer farmers through the WWOOF program
- hosted six gallery openings with an average of 200 attendees
- hosted three solo shows of emerging visual artists from our city
- hosted four school field trips
- hosted four volunteer Farm WorkDays
So we're directly tackling issues of nutrition- and art-education... No, not exactly in line with my two soapbox favorites, equality and urban design - but that's okay because we're developing this project to provide free access to all peoples - that's equality, right? We focus our building and education efforts around reuse, recycling, buying local, and limiting our consumption - that's related to urban design.
I'm sure you get the picture: even though we're trying to focus on just two small challenges, we're still affecting beneficial change in other areas. And we want people to know about it, because we want people to connect and to generate good - just like you.
Trouser House is also located in New Orleans - big news right now, eh? What with the five year anniversary of "the storm," BP's Gulf OIl Disaster, and GOOD's newest issue of their magazine!
Trouser House is pretty great - and I hope you agree with me. Please check out our website at http://trouserhouse.org, and if you're in New Orleans I hope you can make it to one of our openings on the Second Saturday of every month, from 6-10pm. Email me at email@example.com if you have questions.
If you're not in New Orleans, you can support our project by voting for us in the Refresh Everything Challenge - sponsored Pepsi and none other than GOOD: