Tag: fundraiser

Well May the World Go PART III

traverse city pete seeger community concert well may the world go

By Gretchen Eichberger of the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center

Editor’s Note: Gretchen, along with Tim Joseph of the Spirit of the Woods Music Association, organized the 3-part concert series “Well May the World Go” to honor the legacy of folk music icon and social activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Gretchen and Tim graciously offered to donate the proceeds of these events to FLOW, and we are honored to be a part of the great community that has come together to celebrate Seeger’s legacy. Read Gretchen’s blog on her site here. All photos credit Gretchen Eichberger.



The INSIDE OUT GALLERY was the site for the final concert of the WELL MAY THE WORLD GO  concert series.  We sincerely hope there are more, as all around the nation and world, people continue to gather and pay tribute to Pete Seeger.  Sponsored by Spirit of the Woods Music Association, Northwest Michigan Folklife Center, and Institute for Sustainable Living Art and Natural Design, these concerts celebrated the life and legacy of Pete Seeger, a champion for civil rights and environmental protection.

FLOW for Water was our beneficiary, and we are proud to say that through these concerts,  generous financial support was raised for their mission of protecting our Great Lakes.

traverse city pete seeger community concert well may the world go

Regional folk music artists Robin Lee Berry, Ingemar and Lisa Johannsen, Tim Joseph, Byron Joseph, Patrick Niemisto, Norm Wheeler, Luan Lechler, Sonja Shoup, Glenn Wolf, John Storms Rohm,  Tim Burke, Marley Demers, Peacemeal, Bob Downs, Frank Youngman, Michael Hughes, and Victor McManemy along with many others, turned out to lead the Traverse City community in a high energy afternoon of singing and activisim.  The singing built more emotional ties and harmonies- literally and figuratively.  It appears we as a people in this little pocket of Michigan are a strong unit  – proud and strong of our homeland and the waters that give us life.

At the halfway mark, Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW for Water and it’s Founder, Jim Olson, spoke to us about their work.  They are truly folk heros, working for our common good, educating the PEOPLE about the PUBLIC TRUST.

A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who came to sing out , contribute their hard earned money, build community and advocate for our most precious natural resource – WATER.

lake michigan

I recently  stumbled upon the most recent issue of The Sun, and I wish to include this interview excerpt by Howard Jay Rubin with Pete Seeger in 1981 for The Sun magazine. The interview was reprinted in the 2014. April/May issue

HR: Do you think we’re really making progress in this fight against pollution?

PS:  To a certain extent we kid ourselves by thinking we are having successes.  Perhaps we are only slowing down inevitable disaster.  It’s perfectly possible. T.S. Elliot says  “This is the way the world ends/  Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Maybe we’ll just poison ourselves to death.  On the other hand who knows?  We have made progress.  The middle Hudson is swimmable now, where it was not swimmable ten years ago.  And now CLEARWATER is trying to organize a petition campaign in New Jersey and New York State to demand that the cleanup be continued, no slowed down simply because President Reagan wants to balance the budget a little better. There are lots of ways to balance the budget. It’s going to take about 1 billion more to complete the sewage plants along the Hudson, and that’s a lot of money.  It’s five dollars for every man, woman, and child  in the USA.  But we spend a couple of billion dollars on sking; we spend a couple of billlion on T-Bone steaks and fancy foods; we spend more than a couple of billion on vacation homes for our well-to-do people, and several billion dollars on pleasure and boating and trips.  Don’t let anybody tell you that America cannot afford $1 billion to make the water that flows past the Statue of Liberty swimable again.



traverse city well may the world go pete seeger community concert

Well May the World Go: Mills Community House, Benzonia

By Gretchen Eichberger of the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center

Editor’s Note: Gretchen, along with Tim Joseph of the Spirit of the Woods Music Association, organized the 3-part concert series “Well May the World Go” to honor the legacy of folk music icon and social activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Gretchen and Tim graciously offered to donate the proceeds of these events to FLOW, and we are honored to be a part of the great community that has come together to celebrate Seeger’s legacy. Read Gretchen’s blog on her site here. All photos credit Gretchen Eichberger.

Throughout the nation and around the world, people are gathering to celebrate the life and legacy of Pete Seeger.  A revered folk musician and activist, Mr. Seeger championed for many environmental causes and social justice. He believed in the power of song and the power of community.   Here in northwest lower Michigan, we are rallying together to keep Pete’s spirit and cause alive, as there is so much to work for in THIS PLACE. The spirit of community  filled the century old Mills Community House with the songs, stories and poetry honoring legendary folk music musician and activist, Pete Seeger.   Approximately 120 people filled in the late afternoon.   As the concert ended,  the light of the setting sun poured in through the windows.

Singing out at the Mills

Singing out at the Mills

This series of concerts could not come at a more timely fashion.  Along with celebrating the life of this American icon,  the concert series is taking donations at the door, with proceeds benefiting FLOW for Water.    Flow’s mission is to advance Great Lakes policies that protect our common waters.  Flow educates decision makers and communities about the public trust doctrine and the commons as a ways to protect the priceless Great Lakes.  We were fortunate to have both Liz Kirkwood and Jim Olson, of FLOW to share the organization’s important work. Jim spoke of the work of late Joseph Sax, a University of Colorado law professor.

Sax asked:  “How come there’s no public dimension to natural resource law, and the public who uses these areas and actually owns most of them doesn’t have a say in what goes on? His answer, in 1970, was “The Public Trust Doctrine in Natural Resource Law:  Effective Judicial Intervention,” in the Michigan Law Review — a piece that went on to become one of the most influential law review articles ever.   To read a about Joseph Sax’s quest, click here.

The final concet of this series (although we hope there will be more) is slated for 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 13 at the INSIDE OUT GALLERY in the Warehouse District, Downtown Traverse City.  We welcome all singers, poets, and storytellers to sign up to lead and inspire and build community. Please visit this page to be part of this project.

FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood and FLOW Founder and President Jim Olson speak to the group about the public trust doctrine and the commons as a way to protect our great lakes

FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood and FLOW Founder and President Jim Olson speak to the group about the public trust doctrine and the commons as a way to protect our great lakes



oil cleanup

beautiful coast

tales of pete

Luan shares her encounters with Pete Seeger

A captivated audience for John

A captivated audience for John

the group

A heart-felt thank you to all the musicians, storytellers, poets who shared their voices with us. Tim Joseph, Marlene Woods, Victor MacManemy, Luan Lechler, Renee Herman, Carol Voights, Ingemar and Lisa Johansson, Sue and Gary Wood, Marley Jablonski-Demers, John Storms-Rohm, Fred Kraimer, Patrick Niemsto, Tim Burke, Barbara Stowe, and Michael Hughes.

A trio of powerful women before the show

A trio of powerful women before the show

Carol on accordion and John on mandolin

Carol on accordion and John on mandolin


Jacob Wheeler of the Betsie Current inquiries with Jim Olson, Founder of FLOW

Jacob Wheeler of the Betsie Current inquiries with Jim Olson, Founder of FLOW

Celebrating Pete Seeger’s Legacy at Brown Town Hall

By Gretchen Eichberger of the Northwest Michigan Folklife Center

Editor’s Note: Gretchen, along with Tim Joseph of the Spirit of the Woods Music Association, organized the 3-part concert series “Well May the World Go” to honor the legacy of folk music icon and social activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Gretchen and Tim graciously offered to donate the proceeds of these events to FLOW, and we are honored to be a part of the great community that has come together to celebrate Seeger’s legacy. Read Gretchen’s blog on her site here. All photos credit Gretchen Eichberger.

This simple white building, perched atop a hill in northern rural Manistee county is the humble home of some of the sweetest community gatherings I’ve yet to witness. Within these four walls, ideas are discussed, music is made and strong community connection are formed. This past Saturday night, citizens gathered to sing out together honoring the legacy of Pete Seeger.


Brown Town Hall in Manistee, MI

Every chair in the hall was occupied. People stood in the kitchen lulling babies to sleep, sipping tea, and clearing platters from the potluck. The Nephews- Tim and Bryon Joseph along Marlene Zylstra opened the evening with a rousing rendition of WELL MAY THE WORLD GO. And the people sang out with them. The singing was spirited and soulful, sincere and peaceful. It filled our hearts and brought smiles upon each face.

The jubilant crowd

The jubilant crowd

Well may the world go,
The world go, the world go,
Well may the world go,
When I’m far away.

Well may the skiers turn,
The swimmers churn, the lovers burn
Peace, may the generals learn
When I’m far away.

Sweet may the fiddle sound
The banjo play the old hoe down
Dancers swing round and round
When I’m far away.

Fresh may the breezes blow
Clear may the streams flow
Blue above, green below
When I’m far away

The songs continued, led by veteran song leaders along with presentations by young and flourishing musicians Jaimie Herbert, Galen Grabowski and Marley Jablonski. Jaime sang her original songs that inspired authenticity and celebration. Galen introduced the Beehive Design Collective, an artistic group that creates graphics, share stories, tours, connects with local to global efforts, and shapes our collective experience together. Marley led the group in a joyous singing of our second National Anthem by Woody Guthrie, THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND.







Seasoned folk musicians Victor McManemy and Carol Voights led in HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING, SOMOS EL BARCO, RAINBOW RACE, and  I CAN SEE A NEW DAY.  Stories and poems were sprinkled between the songs with Victor sharing his encounters with Pete, as well as his song experience as a song leader with Green Peace. Carol read her original poetry honoring Nelson Mandela and Pete Seeger, and Byron Joseph read excerpts from a Pete Seeger biography.

Carol Voights sings out

Carol Voights sings out



John Storms-Rohm sang the lyrical OLD DEVIL TIME.

John Storms-Rohm

John Storms-Rohm

The evening concluded with the Nephews and Marlene returning to the stage for a emotional TURN TURN TURN AND WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? We all bookended the evening with WELL MAY THE WORLD GO. Trevor Hobbs and John Storms Rohm accompanied the ensemble on keyboard.

Marlene with The Nephews

Marlene with The Nephews

The people stood together applauding one another. Chairs were quickly stacked and stored, dishes were gathered, and we all departed energized and happy. Donations were accepted at the door, with proceeds benefitting FLOW for Water. And so… the legacy of Pete Seeger lives on. We are spreading the word of social justice, and speaking and singing out against pollution which is crucifying our noble and beautiful Great Lakes. It is through this gentle force of goodness and our courageous acts of citizenship that we strive to make our world better for our future generations. You can join in the singing on March 23 at the Mills Community House in Benzonia, and on Sunday, April 13 at the Inside Out Gallery in Traverse City.

Let’s Get Together

The Great Lakes Society was formed to sustain the work of FLOW. Now the Great Lakes Society wants to encourage others to join and participate with comments, suggestions for how the Society can foster FLOW’s work to find and apply solutions to address the systemic threats to the Great Lakes. You can join the Great Lakes Society here.

I like working in groups and working with people because of the team dynamic, the camaraderie, the exchange of ideas; all these intangible benefits are valuable aspects of being a member of a group. The French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the key to the United States’ successful democracy was the variety and volume of associations in civil society. (In 1835) Tocqueville said that “knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.” That is to say, our groups, societies, clubs, and teams facilitate the broader democratic process simply through the exchange of ideas that occurs when we collaborate.

These benefits are why belonging to associations can improve the quality of our lives, and it’s why I joined FLOW’s Great Lakes Society this year as a Manitou Member. The Great Lakes Society is a group that does so much more than support FLOW’s work financially. It is a group that is chock full of passionate and motivated people committed to protecting the Great Lakes with great laws, and FLOW brings them all together to create a sum greater than its parts.

room full of guests - Copy

Great Lakes Society members at our Annual Celebration came from across Michigan, Illinois, New York, and Ontario, Canada.

The Great Lakes Society is building a collaborative network of individuals who care about the Great Lakes. Memberships come from across the Great Lakes Basin in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as from Colorado, Washington DC, Kentucky, Washington. We are also growing our Great Lakes Society in Canada, starting in Ontario.

Our members represent many areas of expertise, from high-caliber natural resources policy experts such as Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians and Wenonah Hauter from Food & Water Watch, to renowned poets such as Michael Delp and James Lenfestey, to professionals in government, professors, leaders in business, experts in the renewable energy industry, to doctors and lawyers and filmmakers, teachers and farmers, grassroots activist and students. The list goes on.

I had the great pleasure of organizing (along with an excellent contingency of generous volunteers and Society members) the inaugural Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society this past August. My fellow Society members are so different, yet alike in their passion for and engagement in the preservation of the Great Lakes’ common waters. I was delighted by the day’s art, music, and culinary indulgences (including great beer) and even more delighted by the conversations I had with fellow Society members. I was engrossed in discussions of inspiring, various topics, such as how to go about commissioning a Great Lakes Symphony (think Holst’s Planets, but with five Great Lakes instead) and use music as a catalyst for promoting Great Lakes education. Or how to connect the idea of “virtual” and “embedded” water consumption to use of everyday consumer items, perhaps expanding on our Beans4Blue coffee to include things like beer, or clothes. Of course there was plenty of discussion about how climate change has affected our Great Lakes.

A sign of good beer

A good sign at The Workshop Brewing Company where we hosted the inaugural Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society

I was not surprised by the level of intelligence and awareness of my fellow Society members, rather I became even more inspired to help FLOW take our work to the next level and find workable solutions to the systematic threats facing the Great Lakes we all so deeply care for.

The Great Lakes Diaspora

This time of year I’ve been working (again with our dedicated volunteers and Society members) to expand our Great Lakes Society through our holiday membership drive. From organizing the databases to dreaming up the letters and emails to nursing the inevitable paper cuts that come with stuffing envelopes, it’s been quite a journey. One of our volunteers even said he had a dream (or was it a nightmare?) about licking envelopes after one long night of work.
Throughout this process I’ve become familiar with our members and our followers, and I noticed that so many of our followers are spread out far beyond the Great Lakes Basin. Our care for and love of the Great Lakes follows us wherever we live, these lakes are truly that valuable and magnificent. We are growing our membership and as it continues to spread out geographically we are also working on new ways to bring our Great Lakes Society members together virtually. This is to promote members’ engagement and collaboration with FLOW on our policy work, as well as with each other.

In the spirit of Tocqueville, in the spirit of cooperation, and in the spirit of collaboration, I’m asking you to leave a comment and let us know, what are some ideas you have for creating a more inclusive Great Lakes Society community that promotes the exchange of ideas and improves interpersonal connections among members? We’re open to your feedback, and of course, we hope you join us and become a member of the Great Lakes Society today.

Annual Celebration of the Great Lakes Society

Click here to view and download the full press release PDF


Contact: Liz Kirkwoood, Executive Director
231 944 1568 or liz@flowforwater.org

Celebrating the Great Lakes Society: Common Waters, Common Purpose

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – FLOW (“For Love Of Water”), the Great Lakes Basin’s only public trust policy and education center, is hosting its first Great Lakes Society Annual Celebration at The Workshop Brewing Company in Traverse City, MI from 12-3pm, on Saturday, August 17, 2013. FLOW welcomes community members and guests of all ages to join in the celebration and learn about FLOW’s programs and the Great Lakes Society. Great Lakes Society members share a common purpose: to protect the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin. The Society’s members provide vital funding to FLOW with a four-year pledge of support. FLOW will present two Beacon Awards to acknowledge those members who have shown tremendous passion for and dedication to protecting the Great Lakes. This free program includes performances by several talented local musicians, including pianist Jimmy Olson and vintage swing duo The True Falsettos. FLOW would like to thank our generous co-sponsors Oryana Natural Foods Market and Food for Thought for their support.

FLOW’s Founder and Chair, Jim Olson notes that “FLOW’s cutting edge work—on water, energy and food, climate change, water levels, invasive species, diversions and exports, nutrient loading and the public trust doctrine—would not be possible without our Great Lakes Society. These dedicated supporters make our work here at FLOW possible and allows us to apply our critical research and work to protect waters of the Great Lakes.”

FLOW invites water lovers to join the Great Lakes Society in its founding year. New members pledging and making their first year contribution before December 31, 2013 will be recognized as Founding Members. Members pledge a four-year commitment to donate at one of three levels.

  • Isle Royale Member: $500 or more per year for four years
  • Mackinaw Member: $250 per year for four years
  • Manitou Member: $125 per year for four years

Great Lakes Society Founding Member and Director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, Melissa Scanlan, says that joining the organization is important for maintaining the integrity of these shared waters, which contain 20% of the world’s freshwater supply. “I support FLOW by joining the Great Lakes Society because the Great Lakes are a public treasure to be protected today for future generations,” says Scanlan.

GLS INVITE POSTERFLOW is fortunate to host the party at a brand new venue, The Workshop Brewing Company, located at 221 Garland Street in the Warehouse District. The Workshop’s mission is to sustain nature, build community, and honor the craft of brewing beer. They do this by creating honest, traditional beers and wholesome, delicious food using ingredients sourced as locally/organically as possible, served with genuine warmth and enthusiasm, in a setting that is welcoming and fun.

FLOW is delighted to celebrate with performers pianist Jimmy Olson and vintage swing duoThe True Falsettos. Born and raised in Northern Michigan, pianist Jimmy Olson graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy with a major in percussion and continued his studies at the L.A. Musicians Institute in California. Olson formerly played with bands including Egon and Medicinal Groove, and now plays with G Snacks. Olson plays throughout Northern Michigan on a regular basis with his band and as a solo musician.

The True Falsettos are a vintage swing duo featuring Joe Wilson (Steel Guitar, Guitar, Vocals) and Kevin Gills (Bass, Vocals). Embracing the hot jazz and swing styles of the 30’s and 40’s, Joe and Kevin play some of the liveliest, most danceable music around. In addition to original tunes, Joe and Kevin play the songs of the Nat King Cole trio, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Fat Waller, Jimmie Lunceford, and Louis Jordan.

FLOW greatly appreciates the help of our event co-sponsors, Oryana Natural Foods Marketand Food for Thought. Oryana has been supporting good food, sustainable agriculture and cooperative economics since 1973. The co-op offers high quality food produced in ecologically sound ways at fair value to member-owners and the community at large. Local, Fair Trade and organic foods are emphasized. Oryana was Michigan’s first Certified Organic Retailer. Today, Oryana generates $14 million sales annually from their 8,800-square-foot facility located in Traverse City.

Food For Thought produces more than gourmet, organic canned preserved goods; their goal is to produce gifts that matter. When you give a gift from Food For Thought, you can be assured that they have done their best to bring you products that make a difference in the quality of life on this planet. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Food For Thought strives to be a model of corporate responsibility that is expressed, in part, through an unwavering commitment to organic foods. Such a commitment has a direct and positive impact on the quality of land and water. Not only does Food For Thought make products that help sustain and preserve our natural world, but they are also of the best quality available anywhere.

We look forward to spending the afternoon with our current and future Great Lakes Society members.

July 20 – Summertime Soiree: Frankfort Fundraiser Event at Betsie Bay Furniture

Date: Saturday, July 20
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Location: Betsie Bay Furniture Store
311 Main Street, Frankfort, MI 49635 MAP
Tickets: The event is FREE and we are asking for donations to raise money for FLOW programs and operations

We invite you to join us for an evening of music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a brief presentation about our work at FLOW. Admission is free; this even is a fundraiser to support FLOW’s work for the Great Lakes. We look forward to seeing you there.

Including musical performances by Cris Campbell and Jimmy Olson, Mike Delp, and Becky Somsel.

Many thanks to our generous event hosts at Betsie Bay Furniture.

betsie bay invite front

You’re invited! Join FLOW at Betsie Bay Furniture on July 20 from 6 to 8 pm for free drinks and hors d’oeuvres and musical performances by Cris Campbell and Jimmy Olson, and Becky Somsel. This is a free event but donations are accepted to contribute to FLOW’s programs and operations.

November 9 – Landmark Books Grand Opening – FLOW Fundraiser

Grand OpeningDate: Saturday, November 9
Time: 5 – 8 pm
Location: Landmark Books Building 50, Grand Traverse Commons, 1200 West 11th St. Suite 116 Traverse City, MI 49684 map
Tickets: FREE Admission.
The event will feature poet Michael Delp who will be signing copies of his books. A special broadside featuring Mr. Delp’s poem The Mad Angler’s Manifesto published by Chad Pastotnik at Deep Wood Press.
Proceeds of sales and the silent auction to benefit FLOW.
For more information, call Landmark Books at 231-922-7225
Read the press release for more details.

January 3 – Fundraiser: Yoga for Health Education “Almost FREE Classes”

Click here to visit Yoga for Health Education’s site for more info

Date: January 3, 2014
Time: Classes vary starting at 9:00 am with the last class starting at 6:30 pm
Location: Yoga for Health Education at the Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City, MI
Tickets: Classes are “Almost FREE” at the cost of $5 per class. 100% of the proceeds to benefit FLOW.

Please visit yogaforhealthtc.com for more info

9-10 am – Beginning & Beyond… Sunrise Flow…To the Core Yoga
10:30-11:30 am – Chair Yoga… Yin Yoga… Beginning & Beyond
12:45-1:45 pm – Intro to Feldenkrais
2:30-3:30 pm – Yoga Stretching for Athletic Bodies
4-5 pm – Yin Yoga… Beginning & Beyond… Continuing Yoga
5:15-6:15 pm – Yin/Yang Flow… Beginning & Beyond… Led Ashtanga Yoga
6:30-7:30 pm – Beginning Yoga… Family Yoga… Kundalini Yoga

March 15 – Pete Seeger Community Concert FLOW Benefit Manistee

Date: March 15

Time: Potluck at 6:00 pm, concert at 8:00 pm

Location: Brown Town Hall, 8233 Coates Highway Manistee, MI 49660 (map)

Tickets: Suggested donation: $10

Visit the Spirit of the Woods Music Association’s site for details.

Hosted by Spirit of the Woods Music Association and Northwest Michigan Folklife Center

web poster image

Click here to view and download the poster as a PDF.