This year we launched Perennial Firefly, a series of sliding scale workshops offered around the Asheville area. Born from the dream to make the cyclical sharing of skills offered at our Annual Gathering accessible to more people, we stepped into this year-round work unsure of what to expect. The Annual Gathering brings people from all over to share in an experience of community and hands-on learning, and has been THE centerpiece of our organization for almost 15 years. Our vision to expand our offerings throughout the year felt exciting- if a little daunting. We made the leap with high hopes that this Perennial work might further build capacity in the Southeast for living well with Earth and one another.
Between August and November, we offered a total of eleven Perennial workshops throughout Buncombe county. From Mead Making and the Bike Clinic Series to Wild Basketry and Acorn Processing, both new and long-time instructors came together to share their expertise with the community. To our delight, over 80 eager learners participated and walked away with hand made crafts, knowledge, and tools for practicing their newly acquired skills. Many of the folks who came out to the workshops had never even heard of The Firefly Gathering – affirming our hopes to expand our reach of skill sharing opportunities. You can see some of the finished crafts and products made in the workshops in the photo gallery below!
We offer all Perennial Firefly workshops at a sliding scale in an effort to increase accessibility and strengthen our community as a whole. This year, roughly 15% of attendees signed up at the Sponsor Price, contributing towards the cost of attendance for another community member. One of the ways we distribute these funds is through our Equity Discount. This discount is available for interested community members that are owed amends for generations of harm based on marginalization, such as institutional racism. About 10% of attendees signed up through the Equity Discount this year. We hope to keep expanding our capacity for access and equity in the years to come, and are very encouraged by how this sliding scale model functioned this year.
“[Luke] is a gifted wisdom teacher & storyteller! I came away with a deeper appreciation of the forest & inspired by the presence of each person & the glorious trees!”
As Perennial Firefly falls quiet for the winter in anticipation of a lively spring, we’d love to hear about your experience this season or hopes for what comes next to nurture our Perennial growth. Did you attend a workshop? We’d love to hear about your favorite learning moment. Did you miss out on Perennial workshops this year? We’d love to hear what kind of skills you’d be excited to learn in the comments below!
Want to learn more about our Perennial Instructors from 2021? Stay connected:
Luke Cannon – Meet our Magnificent Trees Workshop
Check out his website Astounding Earth.
Matty Semkowich – Bike Clinic Series
Follow the Asheville Recyclery on Facebook for news and upcoming events.
Osker Brown – Acorn Processing Workshop
Nancy Basket: Wild Basketry Workshop
Tod Kershaw: Neo pre/post apocalyptic Blacksmithing Series:
Follow Tod’s Ironworks Instagram to stay connected.
Tyler Charles de Sanfrancisco: Bringing Home the Bacon:
Marissa Percoco: Mead Making
Check out her website & blog here or find her scampering in a forest near you!