DOVETAIL was a highlight for the year 2010. We had perfect weather that Sunday, August 29th, when ARAUNY premiered this new event called DOVETAIL ~ an acronym for *Daily Offering Vegan Ethics To All In our Lives*.
Nestled in a corner of shady pines, ARAUNY hosted DOVETAIL at Ellison Park, inside South Lodge (Blossom Rd, near Daisy Flour Mill), Rochester NY. Guests streamed in/out all day, from 12noon-7pm, and we’ve determined that ~120 people attended. Not knowing half of them, it appears we reached beyond the proverbial choir.
The goal of DOVETAIL was to bring together local, small grassroots groups, whose focus is the betterment of our world through love and nonviolence (animal rights, environment, health, the arts …). We wove these energies into activities which were interactive, serious, entertaining.
DOVETAIL was well-publicized and free, including a day-long Vegan picnic. RAVS co-leader, Carol Barnett coordinated the entire day’s Vegan menu ~ catered by many RAVS members, plus food donated from three area restaurants: Owl House, Golden Dynasty, and Natural Oasis. Jeaninne and Lyn Ottman also tabled, with goodies from their bakery, Eco Bella Bakery (www.ecobellabakery.com).
At 12-noon, we opened the door to the public, and the picnic began. 12:30pm sharp, I clanged the old school-bell, and in single file, entered our newly formed chorus of activists called DOVETAIL SINGERS: Karen Mason, Vicki Ryder, Ira Srole, Greg and Lois Baum. Now front-and-center, standing on a throw-rug from home, the five-of-us began singing a capella: “What a Wonderful World”, by Louis Armstrong, followed by “When I’m Gone”, by Phil Ochs – Greg accompanied on his guitar.
At the other end of the Lodge, local grassroots groups and artists set up tables for the day. Mic now in hand (immediately following our singing), I welcomed guests and invited our tablers to come forward and introduce themselves/their cause, and they were:
* Martha Sullivan introduced her new group “Veg Mondays” (www.VegMondays.com).
* Margie Campaigne, eco-consultant for office/home green makeovers, told us about “Green Irene”.
* David Daunce talked about an electric car he’s working on, and invited us to check out his electric bike (motorcycle) parked just outside the Lodge, an alternative to our reliance on gasoline.
* John and Steve Carbonaro, artists-for-animals, prints for sale at their table. This father/son team entered a NAVS contest this year, and 15-yr-old Steve won first place for youth (www.NAVS.org). John won 3rd place in the adult division.
Guests continued shopping and enjoying the Vegan picnic provided them throughout the day, while keeping an ear-n-eye to the other end of the Lodge, on the speakers, singers, entertainment.
Harold Brown was DOVETAIL’s first guest speaker, “A Life Connected” on the world’s common threads of oppression (www.farmkind.org). The Lodge now crowded, people were spellbound … his talk followed by Q&A. One newcomer wrote me: “I was very touched by Harold Brown’s talk, the way he connected the dots between violence humans inflict on animals and on other human beings. To my way of thinking, war is the greatest violence of all, and for that reason, I think we must continue to make the connection between animal rights, the rights of nature, and the rights of all humans to live free of the threat (and realities) of war and oppression. We have a lot of ground to cover if we’re going to make it through…”
2:30pm, I rang the schoolbell and in single file to the front, in came the DOVETAIL SINGERS again. Ira Srole provided rhythm for John Lennon’s “Imagine” (with Lois’ additional verse on oil-drilling, re the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this year). Our fourth/final piece, at full-volume on our CD player, was “Common Ground” by Paul Winter. Each DOVETAIL Singer held a percussion instrument: Vicki held a nut-shell-shaker, Karen a klave’, Ira a tambourine, Greg a rainstick, and I clapped my hands. We sang through the 1st chorus and then, with a lively step, lept and danced down the aisle between picnic tables to the far end – stopped, then danced back up front, inviting the audience to sing along, till we took our final bow. Many thanks to our DOVETAIL SINGERS ~ so much fun!
Anthony Marr arrived ~ our second guest speaker, on tour across the USA from Vancouver Canada (www.hope-care.org). In his talk entitled “the Methane Time Bomb”, he addressed global warming. This world-renowned environmentalist, geophysicist, animal rights activist and author mesmerized the audience. I couldn’t help but notice a number of local environmentalists had came solely to hear Anthony. There was much dialogue and Q&A after his talk, and folks continue to remark favorably on his talk since that day.
Next – Time for fun! After my zestful intro, enter *Dr.Veggie* (aka Dr. Ted Barnett of RAVS) … bounding in like a TV celebrity, donned in a long white lab coat (over his shorts), for a game of *Vegan Jeopardy* he’d created, via power-point-presentation. He called for a panel of players: Jeaninne Ottman, Ira Srole, Greg Baum, a gentleman I didn’t know, and Harold Brown (winner). Each press a hand-held button when they had the answer to Dr. Veggie’s questions … and of course, we all sang several rounds of the Jeopardy melody. Fun!
The last event for DOVETAIL that day was a Panel on Alternative Energy: Anthony Marr, Harold Brown, and Carol Manuel ~ a woman originally from Pennsylvania, well-versed on the process and damage caused by hydrofracking. The Panel led the audience in dialogue, seeking solutions to our reliance on such destructive measures … the talk took us out to the close of the day’s events, at ~7:00pm.
Thank you to so many, starting with my husband Greg whose support and encouragement, since my dream for DOVETAIL began several years ago, sustained me and helped this come to fruition … that, and ALL his help with the details of the day.
Thank you to Yetta Panitch and Irene Hart, greeting everyone who entered the Lodge, and for working our ARAUNY table. Yetta and Dave Daunce brought food to share, as well as garbage cans (not provided by Ellison Park, carry-in/carry-out) placed outside.
Thank you to all who assisted with set-up and tear-down: Leo Blair, Katey and Brianna Burke, David Daunce, Yetta Panitch, Greg Baum, Carol Barnett, Maryann Connolly, John and Steve Carbonaro, and the Ellison Park security guard who so generously helped move the very heavy picnic tables around for us.
ARAUNY plans to host another DOVETAIL event in 2011, to bring even more local grassroots folks together, so stay tuned.
Peace to All,
~Lois Baum, President
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY