Art is for everyone!

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Art by Christine Debrosky

This article was written by Cara Corbin.

Art, like wine, can be intimidating, but it need not be. It is a matter of allowing yourself to like whatever you like, without worrying about what is proper or considered to be better by other people. Look at art that your friends and family have to see what you gravitate toward. Do you like photography? Do you like wild, bold color or something that feels more quiet and calm? Some people like very representational work that is easily identifiable – “It is a landscape.” Others lean more toward the “I have no idea what it is, but I like it!” vibe. Go for what you like. What makes you happy? What kind of images do you like to be around?

There’s something for everyone

There is something for every taste and every budget. Buying original art, even very affordable or small pieces, will enable you to build a collection that represents your personal taste over time. You may no longer love the first piece you bought back in college by the time you retire, but it will have nostalgic value at that point. Instead of buying a shot glass or commemorative spoon from the places you visit, it can be more meaningful to connect with art from particular places and times in your life.

There are paintings, drawings, ceramic pieces, and photographs for you to select from. You may get a chance to meet the artist or see them in action. Or a piece can remind you of a special person you were with when you bought it. We are lucky that these days you do not need to be near a high end gallery to find beautiful art. Many coffee shops now feature local artists on a rotating basis. Even restaurants often change the art each month, allowing you to be exposed to many different styles while you dine. Be open to something catching your eye somewhere unexpected.

You do not have to go to New York City or San Francisco to find art that is beautiful or moving. I was lucky enough to come across the art of local Clarkdale artist, Christine Debrosky. Her day and night landscape scenes captured my imagination. Christine was gracious enough to allow me to buy the mesmerizing Clarkdale Nocture over a period of months. Now, each time I look at it, I am filled with satisfaction because of its incredible beauty and also because I am familiar with the place depicted.

Tips to consider when looking to buy art

Clarkdale artist Christine Debrosky offered some important art buying tips. “Don’t be afraid to inquire about the work,” she said, “we welcome the interest!” She went on to say it is ok to ask about prices and to share your budget.  But if you do inquire, and get a response, be sure to reply even to say that the piece is out of your range.  Otherwise, the  artist may believe that you just were not really interested. “I am always willing to point you in a direction that will be more along the lines of what you are looking for and what your budget can afford.

Most selling artists work in a range with varied sizing and price points. If a piece that you like is too expensive right now, there may be a smaller work, or a similar work on paper available, for example. Trying to get a lower price is not favored, however many artists will offer a discount if several pieces are purchased at the same time. I have made it a practice to never pressure an interested party, however if someone does love the piece, I will work with the individual to come up with a payment plan that is within budget. After all, art is meant to be shared.

Most importantly, have fun! You are the only one who is an expert on what you like. Whether it is small sculptures, large photos, or any combination of oils, pastels, or acrylics in between, art adds beauty to our days. Indulge!

Get your local arts fix: check out our online directory for Arts & Crafts, Artists & Sculptors, Fine Art & Reproduction, and Museums and Galleries.

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Milagro Arts Center Receives Governor’s Heritage Preservation Award for Restoration and Renovation

milagro arts center building

Since 1982, the Arizona Preservation Foundation and Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (a division of Arizona State Parks) have partnered to present the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Awards. These awards recognize people, organizations, and projects that represent outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s prehistoric and historic resources.

This year, the Milagro Arts Center in Prescott, Arizona, made the short list of awardees. It was the only building restoration project recognized in northern Arizona. Kristen Densmore and Ty Fitzmorris, co-founders of the Center, Bill Otwell, Architect, and Dave Pothast, Contractor, renovated and rehabilitated the former LDS Church building in historic downtown Prescott at 126 North Marina Street.  

Once remodeled in the 1980’s as the Marina Executive Center, the team went through a demolition phase, tearing out small framed business offices throughout, creating more open spaces, and revealing long halls, high ceilings and clean, broad walls throughout the three story space. With demolition also came the need for additional support systems in both the floors and the ceilings. Steel and glulam beams were added to stabilize and maintain the structural integrity of the historic poured concrete building.  The original proscenium was uncovered, skylights were added to bring in natural light and expose the 90 year old trusses, and the original windows were treated with an energy-efficient window film similar to double glazing.

Ultimately, the team was able to repurpose and salvage original wood for usable studio furniture and equipment. They restored the original hard wood maple floors in the north and south entries, community space, and in both main staircases. With a focus on the timeless beauty of natural materials they uncovered and highlighted elements such as wood, steel, stone, and glass – emphasizing the history of the space while giving the building a light contemporary feel.

Other energy efficient treatments included a 22 kw photovoltaic array, LED high-efficiency lighting throughout the building, spray foam insulation was added to seal the exterior envelope at the roof, an Energy Recovery Ventilation system was installed, and a new metal roof was added to allow for 95% catchment of rainwater for use in landscaping, clay mixing, and toilet flushing.

Densmore, Fitzmorris, and the team spent approximately 2 years executing a master plan incorporating regenerative ecological design principals to bring the historic building back to life, and into the grand art space it is today. The Center now houses shared art studios for ceramics, analog photography, digital media, painting and drawing (limited space), books and paper, and letterpress and printmaking.

Also housed in the Milagro Arts Center is a professional recording studio, Raven Sound Studios, available for use/rent to the general public. Raven Sound offers quality recordings of music, voice over, podcast, and commercial/radio opportunities. The studio will also be available for post-production work such as audio mixing, soundtrack and film score.

Milagro will also offer unique and innovative workshops, host lectures, discussions, and special events, and is working to build an Artist in Residence program for national and internationally known artists to create and showcase their work. According to Densmore, this incredible revolving educational resource has “become a vibrant community hub and creative educational space open to the public. We believe that everyone is an artist and are excited to facilitate and inspire artistic opportunities in Prescott and our extended community.”

This is such an incredible honor and recognition for the Center, and the visionary work, passion, and energy of the Milagro team. Congratulations on this important work, creating a sense of place for communities, raising the bar for Arizona and the arts, and furthering Prescott as a destination.

For more information on the Center, their programs, events, workshops, and opportunities for art making, visit milagroartscenter.org.

Thanks to Kristen Densmore for contributing to this post.

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Local First Arizona Founder Shows That the Future of Health is Local

This post guest written by LFA Economic Development Intern Adonis Trujillo

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Local First Arizona Founder and Executive Director, Kimber Lanning

Today in America, 20% of all dollars spent go to health care. Those numbers are rising. Local First Arizona Founder and Executive Director, Kimber Lanning, participated in a roundtable webinar about how localism holds the keys to better health outcomes.  The discussion was hosted by BALLE, an organization focused on building local economies by connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and attracting investment.  This discussion brought  key experts together to discuss the future of health including Michelle Long the Executive Director of BALLE, Yanique Redwood the President & CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation and Tyler Norris the VP of the Total Health Partnerships for Kaiser Permanente.

Lanning discussed the importance of a healthy economy structured around local businesses. Comparing local businesses to national chain businesses shows the benefits of local.  Positive effects of local businesses include more workers with healthcare benefits, job creation, and more charitable contributions to local communities.  “When anchor institutions choose the cheapest bid from an out of state business, it is actually more expensive in the long run because of economic leakage,” says Lanning.

placemattershealthStudies across the country that are mapping health show the best outcomes in communities with healthy economies. Local First Arizona has recently partnered with the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities. The Partnership has stated that “your zip code is more important to your health than your genetic code,” recognizing the correlation between good health and strong local communities.  Lanning sees that there are unique opportunities for healthcare players to help foster successful local communities and encourage better health outcome. “Instead of using pharmaceuticals to treat patients with conditions caused by an un-healthy lifestyle, why not help create healthy lifestyles?” asks Lanning.

Yanique Redwood commented that due to changing environments in healthcare and new regulations, institutions are looking to update their strategies.  Says Redwood, “institutions are being encouraged to prevent patients from coming back for the same reasons.” Hospitals are now looking to treat the root cause of health issues instead just patients as they arrive.  Redwood encourages healthcare facilities to look at their own non-clinical assets to facilitate positive change for creating healthy communities. Items such as; raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, increasing retirement contribution, bring more employees in-house. These changes grow a healthier world for families.   Other recommendations are localized procurement decisions and impact investing.

Tyler Norris commented, “We are not investing in what creates health in the first place.  What we know is that the social determinants of health are the same as the social determinants of a strong, equitable, local economy.”

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You can view the full chart by downloading BALLE’s “The Future of Health is Local” field guide.

Norris reiterated that the opportunity to help change the healthcare systems is now. Community organizations and channels should reach out to healthcare systems and encourage relationships between local businesses and procurement officers. Healthcare systems have the ability and opportunity to create more grants, utilize local farmers, provide loans for affordable housing, and reduce their carbon footprint. “We have been doing wonderful things in the past, but we have not been producing a population level increase in health,” said Norris.  Now incentives are aligned. Local communities and healthcare partners can, and should, work together to build healthier living communities. Healthcare systems have collected extensive data and now is the time to use this data to implement effective strategies.  As part of the discussion, BALLE has presented their field guide connecting social detreminants of health to the eight localism strategies formed by BALLE and MIT.

  • Love of Place – Celebrate cultural and natural diversity and support local businesses
  • Community Capital – Shift investment to align with the organizational mission. Create opportunities for individuals to invest back into their communities and advances equity in society
  • Shared Ownership – Ownership rooted in the community and held broadly
  • Soil and Nature – Holistic land management practices
  • Collaboration for Good – Building ecosystems of support for entrepreneurs to provide more of what their community needs closer to home
  • Participative Governance – Leveling the playing field for locally owned businesses, historically oppressed populations, nature and future generations with policy
  • Unlock Human Potential – Provide economic opportunity for communities of color, people with disabilities and those with barriers to employment
  • Cultivate Well-Being – Interdependence; shift from “me” to “we” and the realignment of business and the economy with what actually makes us well

A replay of the full webinar can also be viewed here.

 

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Certified Local Fall Festival Finds New Home at Hance Park

Fall Fest 2015 heart local community small

The 12th annual Certified Local Fall Festival presented by Local First Arizona will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, November 5, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This marks the third location for this annual festival as the annual celebration of Arizona’s local businesses continues to grow in popularity.

The Certified Local Fall Festival began at the parking lot of the Duck and Decanter at 16th Street and Camelback in 2005. From there, it moved to Portland Parkway in downtown Phoenix in 2013 to accommodate larger attendance and increased vendors and activities. Just three years later, the festival is making a new home at Hance Park.

“While scouting for new locations, we wanted to keep the Certified Local Fall Festival in central Phoenix and close to the downtown core that has been a hotbed for local business development over the last decade,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Director of Local First Arizona. “Hance Park is a perfect new home for the Certified Local Fall Festival for its proximity to public transportation including the Light Rail, and is at the center of many community and business development initiatives.”

The Certified Local Fall Festival is a free family-friendly event for all ages and an annual celebration of all things local to Arizona. The Festival highlights everything that Arizona has to offer, from one-of-a-kind local shops, boutiques, and restaurants to Arizona-made wine, beer, and spirits. This year’s festival will feature more than 100 vendors with some of Arizona’s favorite local businesses; food samples from some of the best Arizona restaurants and food trucks; the Beverage Garden featuring Arizona-produced wine, beer, and spirits; live entertainment from some of Arizona’s most talented musicians at the Entertainment Stage; crafts and activities for kids and families; a raffle with gift cards and prizes from local businesses; an online silent auction featuring items and experiences, along with staycation packages across the state; and much more.

Event details:

What: 12th Annual Certified Local Fall Festival
When: Saturday, November 5, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix (Near Moreland Street between 1st and 3rd Streets).
Cost: Free to attend. Tickets for food sampling and activities will be available for purchase. Vendors will be selling products and services.

The 2016 Certified Local Fall Festival is made possible through support of Nextiva, Social Television Network, and Duck and Decanter.

More information can be found and will be posted at http://localfirstaz.com/fall-festival/. Guests can RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/107166869726702/. The official event hashtag is #LFAFallFest.

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Placemaking Phoenix: Habitat Metro & Local-Focused Development

When you build local projects like we do, you know that the drive to ‘go local’ is no fad. It’s a movement we, and others, have embraced for decades because it’s an extension of who we are.

I grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma, a small town in those days, roughly 30 or so thousand folks. It seemed wherever you went—the grocery, mechanic—you always knew somebody. Police officers, delivery persons, these were people you knew from your neighborhood, or people you knew from school. It was easy in a town of that size to feel a sense of place, a sense of belonging to a community rooted in local culture and traditions. My parents moved us to Oklahoma City from Lawton when I was in the eighth grade, but that sense of living locally that comes from growing up in a small town stayed with me. As I built my business, I always preferred working with people I knew and trusted.

It’s been nearly 40 years since my wife and I packed up and moved to the Valley from Dallas, Texas where we first settled after law school. In that time, our adopted home city has changed in remarkable ways. But even in the fall of ‘79, Phoenix was a metropolis compared to the town in which I grew up. It would seem at the time, as it does now, that the challenges around placemaking would multiply in a city of Phoenix’s size. And yet, the city still evoked—and continues to evoke—a unique sense of place. Phoenix is a big, small town with open doors to opportunity and folks that care about where they live.

The development company I started with John Hill more than 30 years ago—that continues today as Habitat Metro—takes the principles of local placemaking to heart. As my grandfather used to source produce and beef from local farmers and ranchers, we source our contractors almost exclusively from the local market. Custom cabinetry is fabricated locally and local artisans create gorgeous light fixtures now being installed at the FOUND:RE Hotel. Architects, chefs, lamp makers, contractors—everyone involved in our projects has a stake in the success of what we’re doing.

If you glance around the city, your gaze may not always land on what’s local. But look closer and you’ll find a local essence embedded in the DNA of Phoenix. Take Downtown for example. Every month, I meet with community leaders at the Downtown Voices Coalition meeting. Attendees include local stakeholders from the Garfield, Evans Churchill, FQ Story, and Roosevelt neighborhoods. Places where for generations, pockets of connected neighbors and business owners have bucked the trend of urban sprawl, building strong communities with an indelible character. And now, Downtown Phoenix is thriving more than ever before because the city, the art, the food, the music and the revival of our outdoor spaces tap into the energy of a connected culture that’s always existed.

As developers, the benefits of ‘going local’ are ever present. John and I pride ourselves on building more than just structures. We’re striving to build communities, engaging in a process of creative placemaking with people we know and respect. When you’re working alongside people with whom you’re familiar, it’s easier to get exciting things done and the energy behind a locally sourced project generates its own word-of-mouth advertising, because good news travels fast! People want to know, when they see the cranes rising up and the foundation going in the ground, that you’re driving the local economy, growing jobs, and giving back. And when you honestly try to build that trust within the community, you become fortunate to have a lot of people rooting for you.

That synergy is cumulative, compounding year after year, lending a vibrancy and vitality to our community. Coming from a small town, my whole idea of community was built upon the strength of relationships, getting to know those around me and planting the seeds of connectivity so important to constructing that sense of place one finds in close-knit communities. By developing these linkages across industries and socio-economic boundaries, and accessing the local market, we aspire to strengthen the local economy and help make our city more inclusive and more resilient. It’s just more fun when you get to do business with people you know and respect. Plus, it’s equally rewarding when you see them succeed along with you.

‘Mom n’ pops,’ start-ups—the coolest businesses are the local ones. Lola Coffee, MonOrchid, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Cibo, FEZ, Carly’s, Phoenix Public Market, Matt’s Big Breakfast, and so many others. These are places noted not only for what they serve but what they serve as—meeting places, thinking spaces, intersections where people and ideas can come together.

That’s the essence of community, the essence of local, and the basis behind authentic placemaking.

TimSpragueThis blog post was contributed by Wm. Timothy Sprague, co-principal of Habitat Metro, a developer of thoughtful mutlifamily and mixed-use developments across Arizona. Their latest projects, developed in tandem, are Portland on the Park, an infill condominium development located along Hance Park and the Roosevelt Historic District, and the adjacent FOUND:RE Hotel, an art-focused hotel and hospitality venue adaptive reuse.

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A Luving Pursuit

Beau is available for adoption! Image via Boxer Luv Rescue

Beau is available for adoption! Image via Boxer Luv Rescue.

Luv to Save is a thrift shop run by Boxer Luv which rescues homeless Boxers in need, and provides shelter & medical care while the little pups wait to be adopted. Founded in 1998, Boxer Luv Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is 100% managed by volunteers and rely primarily on private donations, grants and revenue from Boxer Luv’s ‘Luv-To-Save’ Thrift Shop. Volunteers – more than 400 strong – are dedicated individuals working together on a mission to give new life to homeless boxers in need.

Zuki is in search of her 'furever' family. Image via Boxer Luv Rescue

Zuki is in search of her ‘furever’ family. Image via Boxer Luv Rescue.

 

If you’re looking for a well-stocked thrift shop with a variety and changing inventory of clothes, household items, and treasures be sure to swing by Luv to Save. Did we mention, the prices are cheap, (like really cheap), and the inventory is vast and regularly changing? But what makes the trek to Luv to Save is the friendly staff who is there to provide you with a delightful shopping experience and to help propel the organization’s long term mission of providing a happy life to boxers in need. Each time you shop at Luv to Save you are helping to save a boxer’s life – all proceeds go to Boxer Luv Rescue.

Written by Somlynn Rorie

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artHAUS Merges Local and Attainable for New Midtown Phoenix Condos

Photo by Beau MacDonnell

In downtown Phoenix, development is looming at seemingly every corner (and at our offices on Roosevelt Row, it literally is). Apartments, condominiums, mixed-use, and entertainment venues all sprouting up simultaneous, one might wonder what could set a development apart?

Enter artHAUS.

“Great architecture in a great location at an attainable price,” says architect and developer Jason Boyer of his flagship development project.

With so many attempting to enter the market as “upscale,” artHAUS is aiming to cater to downtown’s growing middle class. Units of 560-1900 square feet come in at $160-$511K across 25 units, creating a wide range of new-build product in a concise site, walking distance from Arizona Opera, Phoenix Art Museum, Valley Metro light rail, Heard Museum, Hance Park, ASU, and much, much more.

It is that very local context the development is aiming to highlight most.

Just two weeks ago, Local First was able to attend the new modern condominium development’s grand opening celebration. More than just staged urban dwellings, the event was a feast for those seeking the present state of localism in and around central Phoenix.

Boyer rattled off the local partners engaged in the project: Modern Manor (model unit staging), Ocotillo, Mamma Toledo’s, The Velo, Press Coffee, Velocity Group Realty, Sutra Yoga, Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen, Symmetry Construction, Artemis Realty Capital, Café at the Phoenix Public Market, and his own architecture firm, creating a marquee example of local sourcing.

From providing the snacks, to marketing the project, to serving as real estate advisors, to design and construction, everything possible was kept in the state of Arizona, showcasing the capabilities of a locally-centered supply chain. From day one the project set out to build relationships with its neighbors that surround it. The developer chose to construct on a vacant lot at the crossroads of downtown and midtown Phoenix in a way that required zero variances, while maximizing the buildable footprint and complementing the adjacent Willo Historic District in walkability, scale, and community building.

Boyer says of his first project, “[artHAUS is] locally developed, designed, financed, marketed and built. There’s not too many of us sticking our neck out [to deliver what’s needed most in the urban core]…Attainable [for-sale, infill housing developments] are often the most difficult to deliver and yet they’re among what’s needed most for the Central Corridor to thrive as a sustainable place to live, work, and play.”

As many reach in to make a quick buck off of the central Phoenix resurgence, artHAUS is committed to delivering a architecturally unique property that contributes by strengthening the area’s “sense of place,” filling the void and connecting what exists among the midtown arts and culture district

artHAUS’ first residents will move in this July. The Velocity Group is marketing the project. The sales office is located on site at 1717 N 1st Avenue with office hours W-F 12-5pm and Sa/Sun 11-3pm or by appointment. For more information, or to book a tour, contact 480-235-4312 or visit VelocityGroupAZ.com.

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Pokémon Goes Local

LFA-PokeStop

Local First Arizona has made it easier for Pokémon Go players across Arizona to “catch ‘em all.” By making upgrades to the Local First Arizona online local business directory, users can search the directory to find which local businesses serve as or are located near PokeStops and Gyms in the game.

Pokémon Go, a mobile phone game that has taken the world by storm and is surpassing many established social media platforms in terms of engagement and usage, encourages people to explore areas around them to find and collect Pokémon. Users can visit PokéStops, which are real-world locations that house items in the game like PokéBalls used to capture Pokémon or eggs that may hatch into Pokémon. There are also Gyms where users can visit to battle with other Pokémon.

“We noticed many of our local business coalition members creating promotions and events around Pokémon Go, but there was no comprehensive list of local businesses that are interacting with the game,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Director of Local First Arizona. “By modifying our online directory of nearly 3,000 local businesses, we have made it easy for users of the game to identify PokeStops inside and nearby local businesses.”

According to multiple studies, up to four times more money stays and circulates in the local economy compared to the same amount of money spent at a national chain store. “Users can help Arizona’s economy ‘to be the very best’ by spending their dollars locally while hunting for Pokémon and refueling between Pokémon battles,” said Lanning. “By spending money with local businesses, Pokémon Go users can help support local jobs and services and keep their communities unique and vibrant.”

Lanning also asks users to be considerate when hunting Pokémon in the game. “Pokémon Go users should also remember to be courteous at the local businesses they visit. If you’re going to be spending time at a local business and using their wifi and facilities, you should plan to at least spend a few dollars at that business.”

Users can visit https://localfirstaz.com/pokestops/ to find which local businesses are participating in the game and offering special promotions. Users can also visit https://localfirstaz.com/directory and search the Local First Arizona business directory, where directory profiles will indicate if a business is close to a PokéStop. Local businesses that wish to be listed on the website can contact Local First Arizona at [email protected].

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SOF (Save Our Food)

RecycledCityJDWe know, you are feeling pretty darn good about your recycling etiquette – you take your plastic bags to Bashas’ to be recycled, you’ve got your cans, cardboard, paper and hard plastic sitting on the curb waiting for pickup and your hazardous waste is taken to your local e-waste recycler.  With all that diversion taking place, what could possibly be ending up in your trash can?  Its food, lots of nutritious food that could be getting a new life once you are done with it.

Let’s take a step back and think about how that food ended up in the garbage.  Maybe you made too much food for dinner and the leftovers got dumped in the can.  Those strawberries you couldn’t resist at the grocery store? Well they ended up at the back of the fridge and now they look more like gray marshmallows that you wouldn’t eat on a dare.  Same thing goes with the half of a Cobb salad you took home from your lunch outing with your BFF – it’s been chilling in the fridge waiting for the chance to cruise through your digestive system to no avail.

RCbinGuys, it doesn’t have to be this way.  Instead of junking your food waste and letting it rot in a landfill where it’s shooting methane gas into the atmosphere, you should be placing it in a clean, sanitized bin with a paper-bag liner and air-tight lid which will get picked up every week or two and given a new life. There’s a local business that does just that; Recycled City offers this excellent service for people living in homes, apartments and condos across metro Phoenix. They give you a bin, you fill it with your food scraps (basically any food item, including meat, bones, shells, pasta, bread, pastries and vegetables), then place it outside your door on your designated day to picked up. It then heads to Recycled City’s composting facility at the Orchard Learning Center in Phoenix where it is transformed into soil that (get this) grows new food. That’s a full circle system, friends.

Maybe you think composting is confusing or smelly?  We’re here to tell you it’s not. The Recycled City team are pros and provide you with step-by-step instructions and all the tools you need. They also offer a fourteen day free trial so you can give the system a test run. Plus they give you this magical stuff called bokashi that you sprinkle on top of your food waste to prevent odors.  We’re pretty sure you aren’t sprinkling anything on the trash sitting in your kitchen, so we’d like to make that case that composting is actually less smelly then what you currently have going on. RCcompost1

If helping reduce climate change isn’t enough of an incentive for you to start composting, Recycled City offers Farm Box, a CSA (community supported agriculture) program where you pay a subscription fee that goes to the farmer and in exchange you get a box full of seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs. The Farm Box is delivered to your door on the same day that your food scraps are picked up, making it easy to get your veggies and support Arizona’s food system. If you are a fan of growing your own food, you can also opt for having the finished compost returned to you.  For every 70 pounds of food scraps you send to Recycled City, you can earn one cubic foot of soil that is delivered to your door-step three times per year, at the beginning of the three growing seasons in Phoenix.

On a serious note, food waste is a huge problem in this country. Over 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted and ends up in the landfill.  If you think about the time and resources it takes to grow food, process it and transport it you can quickly surmise that there is need for all of us to be more responsible with our food scraps. Reducing the amount you buy and disposing of what you don’t eat in a thoughtful manner will help preserve the land for future generations. Find more information on the food waste dilemma at www.savethefood.com.RecycledCity4

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Social Entrepreneurship Summit Encourages Change for Good

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9 From printing companies that are employee owned, to restaurants that are striving toward zero waste, to bookstores that advocate for issues they believe in and law firms that have local purchasing commitment, there are countless ways that local businesses are solving problems in our state and are setting good examples for other business owners. The SOCENT Summit, organized by Local First Arizona and SUSTAINWE, will be a day to hear directly from Arizona entrepreneurs about how and why they decided to create change.

As more consumers seek out companies whose impact are transparent and aligned with their values, businesses that incorporate social responsibility into their operations have much to gain. They can increase credibility and trust in their brand, create an engaged workforce and attract employees, generate press, attract investors and funders and stand out as a role model in the community. Social responsibility is something that every business can incorporate, and small steps can make a big impact.

Local First Arizona sees the positive impact that Arizona businesses have been making in the state and we are excited to be able to highlight some of them at this event. Companies like O’Neil Printing that have been operating for over 100 years and are employee owned; Pizza People Pub, a restaurant that is striving towards zero waste; Fed by Threads, a clothing company that is sourcing from American, sustainable clothing companies and helping feed the hungry in the process; and the Dhaba, a restaurant/market/cultural center that operates with their community in mind. The SOCENT Summit will be an opportunity to hear their stories, and for business owners from all industries to be inspired to follow their lead and learn how to incorporate methods that attract employees, benefit their community and give them recognition,” says Helene Tack, Program Development Director of Local First Arizona.

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016.  8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Vintage 45, 45 W. Buchanan St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Cost: Early bird tickets $50, full price $60 after August 8
Link for ticket sales: https://localfirstaz.24fundraiser.com/e/site/store/252/event_tickets/492
More information: http://www.localfirstaz.com/socent/

stanleyphotoOpening keynote speaker Vincent Stanley will share the story of clothing company Patagonia whose dedication to being a responsible company has led to their international success. Stanley, co-author of The Responsible Company, has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. He helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership; and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management, and a visiting executive at INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

Adam head shotClosing keynote speaker Adam Goodman will share how Goodmans Interior Structures operates their Arizona company with attention to their community.  Goodman, president and CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures, is the third generation to lead the family business. Following the tradition of innovation established by his father and grandfather, Adam has used his leadership roles to help Goodmans adapt to changing markets and anticipate opportunities for growth. Under Adam’s leadership, Goodmans has developed many innovative programs to give back to the community including Office Chair Hockey, Goodmans Eye for the Good Guy, AIM to Make a Difference, Rooted in Good, GoodART, GoodTHREADS and more. In 2009, Goodmans won the first-ever ACE Award for Community Impact and in 2011 Goodmans became the third certified B Corporation in Arizona.

Panel discussions will focus on Operations and Employee Engagement, Supply Chain Impact, Advocacy, Environmental Sustainability and Marketing. Panelists will come from a wide range of Arizona businesses and will be announced on the Local First Arizona website in the coming weeks.

This one day Summit is geared towards the following attendees:

  • Business Owners & Staff: Businesses of all industries, large and small will find the content relevant. Whether a business has been incorporating elements of social responsibility for years, or it is just beginning to think about ways to operate with people, planet and profit in mind, attendees will leave the Summit with new ideas and inspirations from fellow entrepreneurs. Owners, HR professionals, managers and key staff are encouraged to attend.
  • Entrepreneurs: Individuals who are looking for ideas to solve complex social issues and environmental challenges will find plenty of inspiration at this event, and will be able to network with like-minded individuals.
  • Investors: Investing in socially responsible companies that produce value for stakeholders have the potential to result in strong financial returns. Meet Arizona companies that are doing great things in the state.
  • Economic Development professionals, City employees and elected officials: What does a community of socially responsible business owners look like for your city or town? Learn from our panelists how their businesses create a strong, positive presence in the regions they operate in.
  • Nonprofits: Nonprofits exist to solve problems in our communities and can further their impact by implementing new ideas into their operations and telling their stories.

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