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$1,714 pledged of $6,000 goal
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By Village Alchemy
$1,714 pledged of $6,000 goal
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About this project

Village Alchemy: A "how-to" movie about creating Places from Spaces, based on the work of Mark Lakeman and City Repair:

"No matter what city, town, or village you live in, you will gain inspiration from this film."

  • Making a Place

Making places is an age-old practice so simple and natural we almost forgot what it was until there was Google Places. We have forgotten the importance of gathering places for neighbors and strangers to come together and become friends and families.

Village Alchemy is a a documentary film that both guides and inspires people to transform space into place. By sharing the story of Portland's Village Building Convergence, filmmakers Hannah Apricot Eckberg and Joseph La Sac are creating a resource for other communities to discover ways to strengthen neighborhoods and have a good time doing so. We invite you to share in our passion for creating human-scale places, to hear stories, and to awaken the community spirit within you.

  • Why this Movie matters.  

Today many people don’t know their neighbor’s names, know nothing about growing their own food, or how to make a structure out of natural materials. While these are all important aspects if a community faces devastation, they are also important ingredients for a healthy community at any time.Village Alchemy is a tool kit designed to provide information and inspiration for people to help develop these and other skills for resiliency and strength in their neighborhood. By showing a step-by-step path that other communities can follow, this movie takes a behind the scene look at the Village Building Convergence held every year in Portland, Oregon.

  • About this Film 

For the last 11 years, people from around the world have gathered in Portland, Oregon for a ten-day event called the Village Building Convergence. They come together to learn about natural building, creative art projects, sustainable living, and how to strengthen the bonds within a community. In essence, they learn how to create a modern-day village and take these lessons back to their community. Village Alchemy takes a narrative-style documentary look at this event, and offers a list of ingredients for other communities to be inspired and empowered to create their own such gatherings. 

  • Who is in it?

This film will feature a number of environmental leaders including VBC founder and community architect Mark Lakeman, author and activist Starhawk, and Medicine for the People. City planners and Commissioners, students, community organizers, and organization leaders also contributed their piece of the puzzle to this film. Using more of a narrative style, rather then talking-head interviews, Village Alchemy follows the adventures of environmental journalists Hannah Apricot, as she discovers what it would take to create a modern-day village in her community. Through her eyes, the audience will whiteness what it takes to put on the Village Building Convergence, and why people would want to.

  • Why Kickstarter

The City Repair Project, an all volunteer non-profit, organizes the Village Building Convergence each year. All of its efforts, as well as the ones behind this film, are designed to keep costs low, but impacts high. The grass-roots opportunity for fund-raising that Kickstarter offers is a fabulous way to invite the “village” from around the world to contribute what they can in order to get this movie finished and help share the important messages of this film with everyone.With the convince and variable contributions of Kickstarter, we hope to be able to access the support of many more people then would other wise be able to participate. It is also a great way to offer the film to our supporters directly. For $20, you will get a copy of the film, and be able to share it with your friends and family in your village. Contributions, both large and small, will greatly help to get this project produced in a timely manner, and available to the world. After all “It takes a village to make a movie!”

  • Our background

Joseph La Sac is a filmmaker and educator with K’nected Media where he produces made-for-web impact videos with internet startups and small businesses. He has created short films and made-for-television series with subMedia, Free Speech TV, and collectively worked with the Seattle-based national television show Indymedia Presents. His film Democracy is a Spectacle (2008) was an audience-chosen winner at the Cinemocracy Film Festival in Denver, and with the presentation of Commune (2010) in Olympia, Washington he and others from The Free Space Project experimented using street interviews as the medium to draw out and illuminate community desires and possibilities. This year he was a core volunteer with the Village Building Convergence and is excited to create a comprehensive, user-friendly tool-kit for Village Alchemy.

Hannah Apricot Eckberg has used environmental media for over two decades to help inspire and educate others about ways they can be part of the solutions to environmental threats. She has served on the board of directors of several organizations, including as President and then Executive Director of Get Oil Out!  As founder of RipplePonics, she hosts workshops on the sustainable method of food production called AquaPonics. Through her company, Spreading Solutions, Hannah uses media and other forms of eduction to empower people to make a difference. She moved to Portland to work with Mark Lakeman and to be involved with the Village Building Convergence and the production of the movie Village Alchemy.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Our thanks for your contribution to this project!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A copy of Village Alchemy, a mention in credits and the website.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    a copy of the film, and a guide to the Village Building Convergence sites in Portland, Or.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A copy of Village Alchemy, and a screen-printed bins T-shirt from the Village Building Convergence + honorable mentions!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A copy of Village Alchemy and City Repair's "Placemaking Guidebook".

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A personal phone call from the film makers or Mark Lakeman, your choice! And a copy of the movie and the Placemaking Guidebook.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A tour of the sites in the film around Portland, and copy of the film and mention in the film credits.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll get a private tour of placemaking neighborhoods, schools and community centers in Portland, OR with Mark Lakeman, a mention in all the credits, your screen-printed VBC T-shirt, copy of Village Alchemy, City Repair's "Placemaking Guidebook," and our eternal thanks.

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Funding period

- (55 days)