Category Archives: Blog

The Social Pitch 2019 Presenters

The Social Pitch is BACK!

 

In this edition of The Social Pitch, we have six incredibly talented social entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds tackling an array of issues in innovative and creative ways.  We’re really excited to have these folks in our TSP program, and we can’t wait to see them pitch on Sunday, September 8th!

Please purchase a $15 ticket HERE (all ticket proceeds go to funding the cash prizes!) and join us at 2pm, on Sunday, September 8th!!.

Make Awear – Ophir El-Boher

An apparel designer who explores ways to create ethical-sustainable models for fashion, based on circularity. Committed to helping get rid of the world’s trash, she uses only accessible materials, saved from the waste streams and made into new creations.

 

As a designer-educator, Ophir promotes cultural and behavioral shifts around fashion consumption, providing knowledge, tools, and methods for creative alternatives to satisfy materialistic desires. She is a passionate world-traveler, originally from Israel, who brings diverse cultural experiences to her practice- telling stories through clothes. Ophir holds a B.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Design and Secondary Education from Kibbutzim College, Tel-Aviv, and an MFA in Collaborative Design from the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

 

Come support Make Awear at The Social Pitch!

 

 

Creative Repurposing Center – David Legg

An entrepreneur with extensive experience in salvaging, building, and business development, David Legg is passionate about giving wood and people discarded by society a second life. He is launching the Creative Repurposing Center (CRC), a place where marginalized individuals are given the opportunity to put their untapped creativity to work repurposing themselves while removing good wood from the waste stream.

David often says, “I’ve never met a piece of wood I didn’t like.” He thinks the same about people and dreams of bringing the two together at the CRC, giving new life to both.

 

Come Support the Creative Repurposing Center at The Social Pitch!

Gather Community Kitchen + Co-Packing – Jeannine Mills

Gather Community Kitchen + Co-Packing is a multi-stage incubator kitchen concept that addresses the lack of commercial kitchen space and small scale (2,000 unit or fewer) co-packing solutions for food and beverage companies outgrowing their own manufacturing capabilities.

The funds/awards will be used to purchase the necessary food processing equipment to complete the build out and to continue serving our community by providing free standing pantries filled with shelf stable, non-perishable foods for our most vulnerable neighborhoods. We also will teach community based classes that focus on sustainability and self sufficiency.

Instagram: @gathercommunitykitchen

Facebook: facebook.com/gathercommunitykitchen

 

Come Support Gather Community Kitchen + Co-Packing at The Social Pitch!

 

 

 

The Human Trust – Andrew Martz

Established in 2017, The Human Trust is a fiduciary trust that stewards resources to help support humans who are most in need to meet their basic needs of food, shelter and water.It does this through managing resources, leveraging technology, and investing in profitable businesses that help meet these basic human needs.

We seek to further develop and establish The Human Trust as an organization and community of people who support and contribute to
its Purpose of helping meet basic human needs, investing in profitable businesses that help achieve this, and developing block-chain
technology to help manage and distribute and resources.

 

Come support The Human Trust at The Social Pitch!

 

All Experience Training & Consulting – Claressa Tracy-Manning

All Experience is is good experience. All Experience is a platform website where people who have marketable skills, training services, workforce expertise and industry experts can market their specialty knowledge online opening up possibilities to share their skills with the world. This applies to every type of career field from tradesmen, service industry, business professionals, environmentalists, teachers, public services, human services and so much more.

The All Experience platform was created to market skills from professionals and help them find connections including classes, jobs and other services while combating commonplace prejudices in the hiring process by displaying only relevant skill-based information. I will use the funds to further develop our programming and website and start our membership process. Come support All Experience at The Social Pitch!

 

Come support All Experience at The Social Pitch!

Lyfe. Tech – Alexis Figueroa-Gutierrez  & William Luckett

Here at Lyfe.Tech we aim to provide schools and/or the public with protection against gun violence . Our objective is to protect and
service the public in the case of an emergency or leisure choice in a convenient modern organized fashion that can save lives.

Our safety mechanism is inside of class rooms connected to the schools pre-existing alarm system which then unlocks the case containing our prototypes. School shootings should not be a fear of our students pursuing an education nor civilians enjoying an event or just a regular day. We will continue to invest in our business until we have a finished prototype that can save the lives of many.

 

Come support Lyfe. Tech at The Social Pitch!

 

The post The Social Pitch 2019 Presenters appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

Why Rural Towns Get Left Behind, and What We Can (Should) Do About It

If it doesn’t make a lot of money, is it not worth doing?

That’s the general response to just about everything in the business world, from helping a company raise money, to offering legal services, to brokering business buy-outs when someone needs to retire. There are many important middlemen who grease the wheels of an economy, helping provide unique expertise. When a place is small, and business isn’t always brisk, this expertise is often missing. These services are as essential in rural towns as urban ones, so what (and who) picks up the slack when a service would make all the difference to success but simply doesn’t exist?

RedTire gets it.

YES! Magazine just put out its April 2017 issue, and it contains an interesting article about a service headquartered in Kansas, called RedTire. It helps ensure that businesses in need of a new owner don’t go out of business, by assisting with finding and settling in a new owner. Their tagline is great: “Retiring and aspiring business owners can apply today.

Photo cred: Jay Lowell, Concordia Blade-Empire, via KU School of Business

In Concordia, Kansas, population 5,000, they made sure the local pharmacy stayed open, a huge boon to a tiny town that has relied on that business for the last 40 years.

“RedTire has nothing to do with tires; instead, the name is short for the phrase “Redefine Your Retirement.” The staff do everything from appraising the business to vetting the buyer, and even offer counsel after the deal is done.”

So, how do they do it when other for-profit businesses can’t or won’t? As always in rural towns, it takes a village, or, a creative partnership where people wear a variety of hats.

Turns out the University of Kansas hosts (and essentially underwrites) the RedTire program. The program’s success is built around the involvement of business students who staff the service. They get paid as they learn in a real world setting, while making a real difference in their community. Brilliant!

The kicker? The program does not charge for its services. This has caused folks interested in replication to turn away. I say, phooey on them. They don’t get it.

Our experience in rural Oregon.

Photo cred: Baker County Tourism

I run a nonprofit program called Hatch Oregon that helps entrepreneurs raise money using a new “crowd-investing” law in Oregon. It’s a new model of raising capital from your community, and has the power to transform the inequitable financial system. Turns out that many of our clients are in rural communities, outside urban Portland. Frankly, most of Oregon is rural. And guess what, they haven’t got much money.

The USDA provided us with a grant a few years back, to offer our program in rural Joseph (pop. 5,000) and Baker City (pop. 10,000) in rural NE Oregon. We did train the regional economic development district staff (funded by state, federal, and foundation dollars), but no one else in town was beating down our doors to learn how to provide the same service as a business. When servicing small business and rural communities, there’s just not much money in it.

What are rural town leaders supposed to do?

For the most part, they do without. Right now (early April), I happen to be working in a small town in Scotland (pop. barely 3,000). Yesterday, I picked up the local paper in the cafe/craft/bakery shop. The leading cover article was about the Royal Bank of Scotland pulling the plug on over 20 banks in small towns all over Scotland. This coastal area of Fife alone will lose six of their branches on high streets up and down the coast. Town leaders and citizens are “angry and dismayed.” While the reason sounds plausible (400% increase in online and mobile banking) there’s an entire generation of folks who don’t trust the internet with their money, and local tourism depends on a local bank. What will these folks do? Who cares?

Decision-making based on how much money an entity can make is an increasingly dangerous one. Whether it’s fiduciary duty to shareholders (which has been called into question recently) or just a regional firm with their heads in the numbers and their hearts in the freezer, it’s a slippery slope to reduce every decision to a quantitative data point. It also implies the decision-makers won’t feel the effects. These days, it’s harder and harder to avoid the fallout. What we do to others we do to ourselves, in very important ways. Taken together, this profit-over-people mindset of making decisions, especially effecting people in small places, feels like a social and economic catastrophe waiting to happen.

Let’s reach across silos.

Photo cred: Baker County Tourism

I believe we’ve got to do what Kansas did, and reach across silos to create mutually beneficial partnerships with all kinds of unusual suspects. Universities, community colleges, nonprofits, hospitals, libraries, corporations, tourist organizations, and government agencies should begin to look at themselves as community catalysts in new ways.

Perhaps every town needs a “Community Collaboration Coordinator” who is paid by a bit from each entity (now there’s an idea). This person is given the time and authority to identify, troubleshoot, and suggest solutions with the aim of creative collaborations and mutual benefit. Rather like a regional solution “ombudsman.”

What do you think? What else should we be doing in rural communities?

The post Why Rural Towns Get Left Behind, and What We Can (Should) Do About It appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

It’s Small Business Week!

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs

It’s small business week and we’ve got one thing on our mind…

You can’t tend a garden without water and you can’t tend a business without capital.

Up until recently, only the wealthiest among us were allowed to invest in businesses. Imagine a law that said “only 2% are responsible enough to water their own garden. Everyone else has to go through a gardening broker.

That’s basically where we’ve been since 1933. This has had a HUGE impact on the types of businesses that get funded.

Ever wonder why so many VC-backed businesses are run by rich white men? Its because they’re already in the room where deals happen.

If you’re a business seeking capital, consider raising money from your community. And if you’re an Oregonian looking to support a vibrant and diverse local economy, invest in your neighbors.

Let’s. Make. It. RAIN.

hatchoregon.com/smallbiz

The post It’s Small Business Week! appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

Recap: The Social Pitch VII

The following five presenters pitched their ideas at The Social Pitch VII on April 30, 2017. The community came together at HatchLab PDX to eat soup, hear the presenters’ ideas, and vote for their favorite. Scroll further to see how you might be able to help each of these budding entrepreneurs.

Neighborhood Nanny (1st place)

Neighborhood Nanny was created during a frantic few days during a frantic few days in July. Amber was desperate for childcare so that she could attend a business workshop she had been invited to. The cost of two full days of childcare was equal to three weeks of groceries for her and her son. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that had been offered and as a full-time student, single parent, and entrepreneur she had to weigh the options. Amber decided to go for it, because it would benefit her son’s future. From this experience, Amber found a deep need in the community and now wants to make sure other parents never have to decide between groceries or their future.

Amber has over twenty years of childcare experience and almost a decade of working with low-income families. She has served on the Board of Directors at Street Roots and Advisory Board at Heroes for the Homeless, in Seattle. Amber spends her time playing with her three-year-old son, Michael, studying, and thinking up activities for the other amazing kids in her life.

Change Mail (2nd place)

Change Mail provides kits that help people find their voice and make critical community connections through handwritten mail to friends, family, civic leaders and community organizations.

Kate is a lifelong snail mail lover. She believes we can influence social change movements and strengthen communities by giving voice to our values in letter writing campaigns and notes of love to those in need. Kate’s vision is to help people send snail mail more often, developing a practice of engagement, positivity and mindfulness for themselves, while their acts of kindness and advocacy benefit their community.

In addition to crafting and sending cards (follow her crafting life on Instagram @snailmailcreations) and working on Change Mail, Kate is passionate about her day job as the Community Engagement Officer for Beneficial State Foundation. She loves talking about the movement for values-driven banking and how Beneficial State Bank’s triple-bottom-line model can drive positive social and environmental outcomes.

Grandma’s Pop-Up Café

Grandma’s Pop-Up Café will appear in neighborhood restaurants, other food-focused businesses, and community organizations with food preparation facilities. The café events will be organized by a neighborhood group which include seniors, chefs, gardeners, and others interested in volunteering their time. Seniors will be encouraged to share their recipes and if they choose to demonstrate the recipes for the chefs and others interested in learning them. The cafe’ events will be well publicized and outreach actively done to ensure that seniors are motivated to and supported to attend. Meal charges will be “Pay As You Feel”.

Liz, Roger, and the rest of Grandma Pop-Up Crew are strategically designed to align the multi-industry skills needed to execute food service by a guest Grandma Chef Lead in partner restaurants in the Portland Metro area. The multi-industry skills are partnership building, volunteer resource management and food service.

VR4U America

VR4U America uses donated cell phones from 2014 onward, along with a low cost and durable virtual reality (VR) headset to allow inner city students the chance to experience things that budget cuts have denied them. We take one person’s trash and transform it into a treasured tool for learning. Reviving what would otherwise be waste to inspire youth to aim higher and dream bigger. Give young students the chance to experience the world outside of what they see every day and they will want to see it. This could become the driving force to bring whole communities out of poverty.

Lucas Gudman is currently a Bachelors in Electrical Engineer student at PSU. He has built a new headset for this project that allows older phones to run virtual reality programs for longer. He is inspired to provide alternative learning experiences to students because of his own experience being involved with the Evergreen Air & Space Museum growing up.

Being There Café

Being There Café is the rushing of the river. It is clean air, the glowing of green and the rolling of the wave. Nature deficit has created a an acceptance of the status quo borne of a feeling of powerlessness and overwhelm at the complexity of environmental issues. Nature immersion provided by Being There Café will inspire action by using awe and innovative technology to empower – all over your morning cup of sustainably grown coffee. Being There Café is coffee café with a conscience.

An aspiring entrepreneur endeavoring to blaze alternative paths to environmental awareness, Holly is working full time, going to school part time and organizing a green team as an Agent of Change for the Center for Earth Leadership. Merging her passion for the environment and her love of artistic creation she has concentrated the use of recycled materials in her art work and encourage others to do the same—including organizing a Recycled Art Fair as a fundraiser for Work for Art. Holly has engaged in environmental efforts in Utah, New York and New Jersey.

Interested in helping out these budding entrepreneurs? Check out their list of needs below and contact them with resources, ideas, and connections you may have.

The post Recap: The Social Pitch VII appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

9 No-Budget Communication Tips from FEAST Greece

Even the greatest project idea can be a failure, if not properly communicated. Working with startups, young entrepreneurs and local NGOs at FEAST Greece, we have come up with a bunch of conclusions and tips about communicating your project more efficiently and creating an audience.

#1 The No. 1 goal is to make the project idea known to the biggest audience possible that will be inspired and support it at any given chance.

#2 Good storytelling is key to a successful project. Find your angle, decide on the story you want to tell to your audience. Find a creative and convincing response to this question: “What can your project idea do for me?”

#3 Create digital content, like a video, photo material, a poster etc. Digital content can substantially contribute to your project’s promotion, plus you will look very professional.

#4 Ask your friends to support you. That’s always one of the easiest ways to maximize your audience. Talk to them about your project, write an email, explaining your project idea, and ask you’re them to forward it to their contacts.

#5 Use the social media as much as you can. Ideally, create a page on Facebook and invite everyone to like it. Ask your friends to share it.

#6 People tend to be more supportive of an idea, when they have a personal connection with the people behind it. Be sociable, and pitch your project to everyone you meet. A good idea is to look for and attend relevant networking events in town, where your “fans” may hang out and pitch, pitch, pitch!

#7 Make your project accessible to your colleagues, coworkers, business associates. Make it easier for them to find out about it. Add links to your email signature, and to your social media profiles.

#8 Reach out to the press and to bloggers that would be interested in writing about your project, and ask them to support it. Send a press release or a media kit with all the essential info about your project.

#9 Keep in mind that you should always look for ways to spread your message. The first step is to communicate it as much as you can through your personal circle of friends and professional acquaintances. The greater audience will follow.


*FEAST Greece is based in Thessaloniki. They organize micro granting dinners as FEAST Thessaloniki and FEAST Athens. So far they has funded 36 projects with a total of €9.000. They offer seminars and workshops, on donation based crowdfunding. Currently they are working on an online crowdfunding platform for local civic projects in their hometown, Thessaloniki.

FEAST’s website
Facebook: FEAST Thessaloniki and FEAST Athens

This article was written by Niki Vouimta, founder of FEAST Greece


If you are interested in attending a similar program in Portland, check out Hatch’s, The Social Pitch.

The post 9 No-Budget Communication Tips from FEAST Greece appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

9 No-Budget Communication Tips from FEAST Greece

Even the greatest project idea can be a failure, if not properly communicated. Working with startups, young entrepreneurs and local NGOs at FEAST Greece, we have come up with a bunch of conclusions and tips about communicating your project more efficiently and creating an audience.

#1 The No. 1 goal is to make the project idea known to the biggest audience possible that will be inspired and support it at any given chance.

#2 Good storytelling is key to a successful project. Find your angle, decide on the story you want to tell to your audience. Find a creative and convincing response to this question: “What can your project idea do for me?”

#3 Create digital content, like a video, photo material, a poster etc. Digital content can substantially contribute to your project’s promotion, plus you will look very professional.

#4 Ask your friends to support you. That’s always one of the easiest ways to maximize your audience. Talk to them about your project, write an email, explaining your project idea, and ask you’re them to forward it to their contacts.

#5 Use the social media as much as you can. Ideally, create a page on Facebook and invite everyone to like it. Ask your friends to share it.

#6 People tend to be more supportive of an idea, when they have a personal connection with the people behind it. Be sociable, and pitch your project to everyone you meet. A good idea is to look for and attend relevant networking events in town, where your “fans” may hang out and pitch, pitch, pitch!

#7 Make your project accessible to your colleagues, coworkers, business associates. Make it easier for them to find out about it. Add links to your email signature, and to your social media profiles.

#8 Reach out to the press and to bloggers that would be interested in writing about your project, and ask them to support it. Send a press release or a media kit with all the essential info about your project.

#9 Keep in mind that you should always look for ways to spread your message. The first step is to communicate it as much as you can through your personal circle of friends and professional acquaintances. The greater audience will follow.


*FEAST Greece is based in Thessaloniki. They organize micro granting dinners as FEAST Thessaloniki and FEAST Athens. So far they has funded 36 projects with a total of €9.000. They offer seminars and workshops, on donation based crowdfunding. Currently they are working on an online crowdfunding platform for local civic projects in their hometown, Thessaloniki.

FEAST’s website
Facebook: FEAST Thessaloniki and FEAST Athens

This article was written by Niki Vouimta, founder of FEAST Greece


If you are interested in attending a similar program in Portland, check out Hatch’s, The Social Pitch.

The post 9 No-Budget Communication Tips from FEAST Greece appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

The Social Pitch Update: Ground Up PDX

As we get ready for our next round of The Social Pitch, we asked our winners from last August, Ground Up PDX, to give us an update. Ground Up is a social enterprise that trains disadvantaged women in the Greater Portland area in marketable skills through the production and sales of delicious nut butters!

From Julie of Ground Up:

We have been excited by the progress we have been making over the last couple months! We recently got our product into new retailers: Cherry Sprouts Produce Market and P’s and Q’s Market  We have a number of larger grocery stores that we have been developing relationships with and are hoping to get in over the next few months. We also just purchased our own  machinery, which is a huge step for us!  Now we are more motivated than ever to bring in the orders to pay off the machine!

Our current intern Ruth (referred through Outside In) has been a great fit for our team. She has been a huge help for us and has also been excited by all the learning opportunities.

“This job is so fun!  Working in the kitchen is therapeutic.  I love getting the opportunity to take ownership on certain tasks and that my bosses trust me to own it and do the job well!” —Ruth
Most recently in the press, we were featured in the Business Tribune after presenting in the Elevating Impact Pitch Fest.

Thanks for the update Julie! We’ll see you all at the next Social Pitch on April 30th!

The post The Social Pitch Update: Ground Up PDX appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

What Does a Center for Entrepreneurship Look Like?

20160803_084323

It started with a vision for a community innovation lab.

We first dreamed up HatchLab over five years ago, it has been two years and nine months since we opened the doors of our community innovation lab in Portland. Our space and our community have gone through plenty of evolution in that time. We’ve added spaces, adjusted our program offerings, grown our network, and added new technology. We’ve learned what works well for entrepreneurs, and what doesn’t. We’ve learned how to use our space as a leverage to start conversations with the broader community about purpose, entrepreneurship, equity, and investing in one’s community.

 

It’s time to work with more communities in Oregon.

Although we are still learning everyday, we’ve grown our capacity enough to be able to open a new community innovation space, leveraging all the knowledge we’ve gathered over the past few years, and this time putting it to use in a rural community. Baker City is the home of our new community innovation lab in Northeast Oregon. We are very excited to see what it’s like to bring our programs and services to this new area, and to elevate the work that locals are doing in Baker to help small business.

 

A rural center for entrepreneurship: HatchLab Baker

We have kicked off our participation on Baker City’s entrepreneurial scene by gathering and working closely with about two dozen entrepreneurs and technical service providers in the area. We opened our doors on Halloween to welcome the 3000+ trick-or-treaters that visit downtown Baker City.

HatchLab Baker is located on 2019 A Main Street. Please, come visit us! If you have any questions, please contact the HatchLab Baker Manager, Bryan Tweit at bryan@hatchthefuture.org.

We expect to learn even more from this new endeavor—lessons that we will put to use in our new home in Baker City, and back at our first home in Portland.

 

The post What Does a Center for Entrepreneurship Look Like? appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

What Does a Center for Entrepreneurship Look Like?

20160803_084323

It started with a vision for a community innovation lab.

We first dreamed up HatchLab over five years ago, it has been two years and nine months since we opened the doors of our community innovation lab in Portland. Our space and our community have gone through plenty of evolution in that time. We’ve added spaces, adjusted our program offerings, grown our network, and added new technology. We’ve learned what works well for entrepreneurs, and what doesn’t. We’ve learned how to use our space as a leverage to start conversations with the broader community about purpose, entrepreneurship, equity, and investing in one’s community.

 

It’s time to work with more communities in Oregon.

Although we are still learning everyday, we’ve grown our capacity enough to be able to open a new community innovation space, leveraging all the knowledge we’ve gathered over the past few years, and this time putting it to use in a rural community. Baker City is the home of our new community innovation lab in Northeast Oregon. We are very excited to see what it’s like to bring our programs and services to this new area, and to elevate the work that locals are doing in Baker to help small business.

 

A rural center for entrepreneurship: HatchLab Baker

We have kicked off our participation on Baker City’s entrepreneurial scene by gathering and working closely with about two dozen entrepreneurs and technical service providers in the area. We opened our doors on Halloween to welcome the 3000+ trick-or-treaters that visit downtown Baker City.

HatchLab Baker is located on 2019 A Main Street. Please, come visit us! If you have any questions, please contact the HatchLab Baker Manager, Bryan Tweit at bryan@hatchthefuture.org.

We expect to learn even more from this new endeavor—lessons that we will put to use in our new home in Baker City, and back at our first home in Portland.

 

The post What Does a Center for Entrepreneurship Look Like? appeared first on Hatch Innovation.

Nuclear Weapons: Old News, Who Cares?

on-the-road-no-credit

HatchLab member Allison Cobb, a poet from Los Alamos, NM, where the first atomic bombs were built, blogs about her trip to tour the plutonium reactor in Hanford, Washington, with Yukiyo Kawano, an artist from Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb was used. They have launched a fundraising campaign for their collaboration, Suspended Moment.


Last Friday, at 10:30 in the morning, Yukiyo Kawano and I boarded a bus to ride 45 minutes into the desert for a tour of the plutonium reactor at Hanford, Washington. I’m from Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bombs were made. Yuki is from Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb was used. Grandparents on both sides of Yuki’s family survived the atomic bombing—making her a third-generation hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor). Hanford manufactured the plutonium used in the bombs.

on-the-road-no-creditWe had to leave Portland before dawn to get to Hanford in time. We wanted to see this piece of history together. Of course it’s not just history for us—not for anyone, really. The U.S. and Russia keep thousands of nuclear weapons on high alert, ready to launch in 15 minutes or less. Submarines armed with multiple nuclear warheads silently circle the globe. At Hanford, Chernobyl, Fukishima, and elsewhere, deadly radiation seeps into ground, water and air. The historian Bo Jacobs calls this “slow motion nuclear warfare,” and it’s happening all around us, all the time.

reactor-b-credit-meshi-chavezThe bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened 71 years ago—a fading memory. Yuki and I hope to keep alive the reality of that devastation, so that it will never happen again. In the words of poet Carolyn Forché, we work against forgetting. We went to Hanford to perform our piece Suspended Moment. Yuki is an artist. She makes replicas of the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs out of her grandmother’s kimonos, sewn with strands of her hair. I’m a poet, and I wrestle in my work with the legacy of nuclear weapons from the town of my birth.

At Hanford, we met our friends and collaborators: Butoh choreographer and dancer Meshi Chavez, composer Lisa DeGrace, photographer and videographer Stephen A. Miller, and carpenter Chris Allegri. We all contribute to Suspended Moment, but Hanford was the first time we were bringing all the pieces together in one performance. We were excited, and a little nervous! This was our launch event. We’ve started a fundraising campaign to bring Suspended Moment to nuclear sites around the world.

yuki-allison-reactor-credit-stephen-a-millerBut first, our tour of the “B reactor”—the world’s first large-scale nuclear reactor, built in 1944 to produce plutonium for the atomic bombs. Our tour guides and the introductory film all spoke in dramatic positives—how the massive wartime undertaking at Hanford symbolized human ingenuity, how the atomic bombs brought an end to war. Never mentioned was the scale of devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the ongoing legacy of contamination at Hanford.

Hearing all this talk about the marvels of science and wartime victory, I felt acutely Yuki’s presence beside me. My mother’s father fought in the Pacific—the end of the war may have saved him, given me a grandfather to grow up with. I’m grateful for that. I carry his memory inside me.

But at that moment, I also sensed the memories that Yuki carries—how her own grandfather suffered radiation sickness and ill health for the rest of his life. How Yuki lost her beloved mother three years ago to pancreatic cancer, the same year her uncle died from thyroid cancer. Did her mother’s heritage as the daughter of an atomic bomb survivor contribute to her early death? Yuki will never have an answer.

meshi-credit-stephen-a-millerAll that Hanford’s tour guides said is, in its way, true—one view of history. We want to keep alive another view—the danger, devastation and heartbreak of nuclear weapons. That night, we performed Suspended Moment at The Reach Museum on the banks of the Columbia River, whose waters cooled Hanford’s nuclear reactors and then returned to flow west to the ocean.

Our performance was part of an ongoing exhibit called Particles on the Wall that engages the legacy of Hanford. We felt grateful to be part of this event and for others working to keep these memories alive.

We hope to bring Suspended Moment back to Hanford at a larger scale, and to Los Alamos, and Hiroshima, the Nevada nuclear weapons testing site, and elsewhere in the globe touched by this nuclear legacy. It’s about our bodies, and the stories we carry. Our work against forgetting. We hope you’ll consider supporting it.


Learn more about Yuki, Allison and fellow collaborator the dancer and choreographer Meshi Chavez on their Hatch the Future Podcast: Reflecting on a Nuclear Legacy.

The post Nuclear Weapons: Old News, Who Cares? appeared first on Hatch Innovation.