A Love Note from Executive Director, Marissa Percoco:
What an amazing evening! After two years without an event, I am reminded of the many reasons I do this work. Yes, I enjoy the rush of creating magic under pressure; of organizing endless moving pieces into a congruent whole and then offering it to the universe as a prayer and a gift; of gathering my many talented friends into one cohesive moment to shine brightly and to watch ALL the people dancing- the smiles, the hugs, the joy…
But the biggest payoff, I think, is the people like Tom.
He came to offer a donation because he is a kind soul. He has never been involved with The Firefly Gathering, and wasn’t aware of what we are all about. So, he bought a ticket, donated some great things, and came to the show. Halfway through the evening he found me and had that look in his eyes–you know the one. He was in– he drank the metaphorical kool aid, and was amazed! He quietly said to me, while gesturing out over the crowd, “I didn’t know there were people like this..!”
In moments like this, it re-occurs to me that Firefly isn’t about the staff or performers. It’s not even really about the classes, the skills, or the annual gathering itself. All of these pieces are important; but the glue that holds us together is…YOU.
This community, gathering and growing together for over a decade now here in these hills, shows up to celebrate and share in the skills and ideologies that help us to live abundantly and harmoniously with each other and Earth. Witnessing and feeding the beauty, adaptability and love of this community is really what feeds my soul. So, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who made the both the Gala and this beautiful reminder possible.
We want to give a special thank you to all our performers-
Especially Leah, David, Chloe and Biko for surprising us with a stage full of so much of Rising Appalachia! We are also so honored to have enjoyed the Resonant Rogues, hip-hop artists Isa Whitaker and Speed Waller, dancers Troupe Ballyhoo and the OMotion Collective, live painter Madison Moore, and of course, our beloved friend and wisdom keeper, Nancy Basket, on our first-ever Gala stage. We also want to thank our amazing staff, board, worktraders, volunteers and our sponsors for helping to make this event such a success.
The $10k+ raised at the gala will allow us to coordinate Perennial Firefly workshops for the spring, prepare for our Annual Firefly Gathering at Deerfields, June 7-12th, and continue to fund and expand upon our commitment to making opportunities to share and learn earth skills more accessible to everyone. In addition to offering sliding scale pricing, raising funds helps us to offer both the Equity Discount for our Perennial workshops, and our Equity Fund for our annual event. These funds exist to support communities who are racialized in this country and owed amends for generations of physical, cultural, spiritual and institutional harm.
We thank you deeply for supporting these efforts and growing with us to co-create a sustainable present and future, together. We love you, and can’t wait to keep learning and growing together in the years to come.
Marissa Percoco, and all of us here at The Firefly Gathering