a literary festival at Wollam Gardens

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
11AM - 7PM
5167 Jeffersonton Rd, Jeffersonton, VA 22724

The third Saturday of October, when the weather starts to turn crisp in the valleys of the Shenandoah Mountains, we’ll be lighting a fire and hosting a literary-and-activism-inspired festival, Grace, Race & Renewing the Commons. With the help of talented speakers and workshop leaders, Wollam Gardens – a sustainable locavore farm and flower destination – will cultivate conversations, ideas, and strategies to think out loud about ways to answer some of the most pressing challenges facing all of us today.

What are some of the historic factors driving conversation in the public square about race, and how can we use those, as well as today’s developments, to create broader awareness and dialogue? In agriculture, what can we do to adapt to changing climate conditions? Can we devise new ways based on old practices to think about sharing common natural resources? What is the role of ordinary citizens in creating dialogue with policymakers about sustaining the oceans and slowing the extinction of species? How might we bring grace to our civic discourse about the opioid epidemic? What is the role of humor in countering alternative facts? Taking inspiration from our three themes of grace, race, and renewing the commons, these are just a few of the questions we’ll be exploring.

In addition, we want you to have a great time soaking up Virginia culture, including locally produced beer, wine, crafts, and art. We we will curate a selection of workshops to teach skills and concepts related to the day’s three major themes. You can learn how to get away from carbon-intensive plastic, or educate yourself about what you can do to create good soil, or how you can produce your own oral family history.

You can talk with local farmers about how they have diversified their businesses, and slip away to engage in a guided meditation to bring a bit more grace into your life. Of course, we’ll also have workshops organized around the seasonal, local flowers that dot the paths and fields of Wollam Gardens.

Our list of panelists and workshop hosts includes:
Clarence Lusane – Department of Political Science at Howard University; author, The Black History of the White House, Hitler’s Black Victims
Thomas Lovejoy – Professor, George Mason University; originator of the term “biodiversity”
David Guggenheim – President, Ocean Doctor
David Bollier – Director, Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a new economics; author, Think Like a Commoner, Free Fair & Alive.
Barry W. Lynn – Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ; former president, Americans United for Separation of Church & State; author, God & Government
Terry A. Miller – Author, African Americans in Culpeper, Orange, Madison and Rappahannock Counties
Gar Alperovitz – Historian, economist, political activist; author, The Next System, Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth
Grace Tiffany – Professor of Renaissance Studies, Western Michigan University; author, Love’s Pilgrimage: The Holy Journey in English Renaissance Literature
Ellen Polishuk – Farmer, teacher; author, Start Your Farm
Sanho Tree – Director, Institute for Policy Studies; co-author, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
Bonnie Monteleone – Executive Director, Plastic Oceans Project
Perry Cabot – Historian; co-Chair, Society for the Preservation of Culpeper History
Zach Lester – Grower; soil and landscape artist
Carl Stafford – Extension agent, Virginia Tech Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Florence Nash – Poet, Fish Music, Crossing Water

Our list of vendors and other collaborators includes:
Blue Quartz Winery – Newly opened provider of cider, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.
KramerBooks – Washington, DC-based bookstore that will be selling the books of authors listed above.
Berit Jarama Estabrook – Virginia-based painter whose work focuses on animal advocacy and wildlife conservation.

Stay tuned and watch this space for more information about tickets, volunteer opportunities, schedules, and workshops.