Time to make a plan.
For years my desire to become more involved with causes near and dear to my heart has grown. That said, a few donations to organizations per year, donating some art to silent auctions, and electing officials that fight to protect the environment has seemed like enough. Back to Netflix and complacency right?
Like many of you, I have watched policies go the wrong direction, our waters come under assault, and/or our lands and critters suffer from pollution and disregard. It has started to boil over for me. Maybe it’s a function of turning 40 in January, maybe it’s having a son who loves the outdoors, maybe it’s just the right thing to do; doesn’t matter. I’m making a plan to start fighting for what I believe in.
I’m sure this plan will get revised, revisited, and re-committed along the way but at least it’s a plan. I’m keeping it pretty simple in principle, as I’m committed to be held accountable to it.
Part 1 – Leverage my position as an artist
As an artist, I have a unique vehicle to express myself, connect to others, empower causes/initiatives and use my creativity and output for good. I’ve donated work to TU events, collaborated on projects and generally have inserted myself as an artist into the world of fly fishing and by some smaller extent conservation.
But I can do more.
I’ll be launching an Etsy page with original works (more on that by early December). Through the site I’ll be able to sell original works to people around the world who dig what I make, and what I’m about. I’ll also be working on selling my art through exhibitions, fly shops and other venues.
For every sale, I’m going to commit to donating at least 30% of the revenue made to the following organizations. My art can help fund their actions, and my patrons’ money goes to more than just my wallet.
- Twin Cities Trouts Unlimited
- Friends of the Mississippi River
- Wild Salmon Center
- Sierra Club
- NRDC – National Resources Defense Council
Part 2 – Get Involved
For the past 7 or so years, I have served on the Governing Committee of the American Homebrewers Association. For a while I even chaired this committee. I’ve also spent the last 3 years on the Brewers Association Board of Directors. Through these organizations I have spoken on behalf of homebrewers and craft brewers both at local and federal government levels, and have donated a good deal of time, energy and resources working for the betterment of homebrewers, the homebrewing industry, craft brewers and the beer industry.
My tenure with these organizations is coming to an end, as I have made the decision to take that time, energy and those resources and apply them to organizations and causes dealing with protecting our waters, lands and other environmental issues.
This could be as small as donating more of my paycheck, participating in stream clean-ups with TU, joining boards and advisory councils…who knows. One way or another, I’m jumping into the ring and getting involved.
Part 3 – Be Accountable
Parts 1 & 2 only make a difference if I hold myself accountable to them, and make a commitment to show results. I’ll be tasking my wife, family, and friends to make sure I’m staying the course. I’ll also find ways to share what I’m doing to help raise awareness. Lastly, I may suggest actions for others to take – I’m not going to shove anything done anyone’s throat, but I’ll do what I can to help others contribute it they are so inclined.
So that’s my plan.
There is a lot I can do. Its time to get to work.