This page, for the time being, is written by myself (Ben Browner). After this inaugural year, we’ll be rewriting this from much more of a “WE” space!
Hello. My name is Ben Browner… I’m a facilitator, activist, event producer, & community catalyzer living out of my converted step van on Vashon Island, WA. I started the Revival Project a couple years back as a response to the societal ills I witnessed growing up in St. Louis MO and living with other cultures around the world. It was obvious to me that exploitive capitalism, racism, and ecocide called for deep systemic responses, and the need for what is referred to by many today as a “New Story.”
With all the feedback I’d gotten after years of curating workshop presenters at local conferences & music festivals, with the immense transformation I’d witnessed in people at dynamically-orchestrated in-person gatherings, and with all the event infrastructure & experience I’d acquired, it was obvious that I needed to put my privilege & Life force energy toward producing events in service of deep cultural evolution. (i.e. building trust relationships, personal/collective narrative work, anti-oppression work, embodying a living systems worldview, etc)
So last year, Iranian-American musician Lydia Harutoonian & I created the “Salish Sea Revival Tour;” and together with 4 other women (mostly POC & queer), we hit the road for 2 weeks teaching Joanna Macy’s “Work That ReConnects,” hosting generative dialogue over community potlucks, and offering a powerful mashup of social/racial/environmental justice-oriented poetry and music. During those 2 weeks circling the bioregion, we learned with, broke bread with, and made a beautiful impact on hundreds of people! Shortly afterward we received a (very gracious) grant from a radical philanthropic organization to produce something similar in 2018.
Instead of planning 10 tour stops for next summer (which is a lot harder than one would think ; ), we’re gathering in one central location and asking all of you amazing bioregional activists & artists to come play & learn with us for a long weekend in late June 2018!!! This model affords us the ability to focus our efforts on creating a rich, connective, extended experience with people, instead of having to pull up anchor and leave the morning after every tour stop.
What we noticed was most effective in last year’s tour was the spaces in-between: the inter-generationality, the weaving of diverse cultures, the co-creative moments, and the meal times. So this is what we’re focusing on this year! The grant we received allows for financial accessibility to those of lower income. Our networks are composed of many elders & youngers. Our facilitative processes focus on participatory engagement. And all of our meals will be eaten together!
Please Contact Us with any further curiosities or concerns. We’re a totally open book and open to feedback & questions!