A Masters of Arts in Cultural Sustainability?

Yup.

Wow. Think about that for a minute. Cultural sustainability.

It includes identifying ways to protect, enhance and support the cultural traditions of local communities, wherever and whatever they are. Critically important work in a country where day by day, minute by minute, our communities are looking more and more the same, our neighborhoods and lifestyles are looking more and more the same, kids are doing the same stuff from sea to shining sea and our entire country is one big, Bed Bath and Beyond – Ruby Tuesday landscape.  But through this distance-learning program at Goucher College in Baltimore, there are forty-some people working around the country to shift that view.

Talk about an interesting group of people!

Two weeks ago, a great evening was had in which a number of cool things converged. First – a group of these Masters students from Goucher College in Baltimore visited our area on a bus as part of their MA in Cultural Sustainability program, working to – among other things, evaluate the “Waterman’s Heritage Tourism Training” program. This program, a collaboration of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, the Coastal Heritage Alliance, and The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – aims to equip watermen with tools to enhance their businesses with tourism-based activities. Supported by the federal Blue Crab Fishery Disaster Fund, the program develops sustainable, community-based tourism experiences that protect and enhance the values and resources of our local communities. Teresa and Michael Vlahovich of the Coastal Heritage Alliance hosted their visit, and planned a supper at Pot Pie Farm mid-way through their work in our area.

Second cool thing – as participants in the Waterman’s Heritage Tourism Training earlier this year, Carol Bean and Mark Connolly built a plan for “Farm To Table” Suppers at Pot Pie Farm. I’ve personally heard Carol talk about hosting Farm to Table Suppers for years, and was eager to help out with their first official supper. It was to be a crab feast, with crabs caught by Mark and his brother Kurt, and served with fresh foods from Pot Pie, prepared and managed by Carol. (And, sorry Carol, but I’ve gotta say, Martha Stewart herself would have appreciated the chilled watermelon and cucumber-lemon-verbena filled mason jars tucked into tubs of ice. They were so darn cute, that I had to do the same thing with gazpacho the next day – a great way to carry individual drinks in a cooler without using plastic.)

Here’s Carol welcoming the 40 guests from Goucher College (gulp…..40 guests! That’s a lot of people for a first run……)

And as you might imagine, these students wasted no time in exploring Pot Pie Farm, the chickens, the dock, the gardens, etc. A relaxing break from a full week of work, they cooled off and hung out at the Farm while the crabs were cooking.

I met students from all over – Virginia, California, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania – all doing fascinating things associated with cultural sustainability – from neighborhood housing corporations to community organizing and public art, writers, folklorists, researchers and videographers. Two short hours later, they packed themselves back into their bus and headed out. And once the crab mess was shipped out to the chickens, and the mason jars schlepped up to the kitchen, all Carol had left was one trash can of mostly newspaper.

Whoa. Forty people and only one can of trash? Now that’s a sustainable supper!

Did I mention that this is the first of many Farm to Table suppers to be held at Pot Pie Farm? Yeah. You’ll want to do this. For more information and to get on a waiting list for a Farm To Table supper – email Carol Bean at tilghmangirl@hotmail.com.

For more information about the Masters in Arts in Cultural Sustainability, look here – http://www.goucher.edu/x33261.xml and contact Rory Turner, Director. Charming and passionate about the program, he’ll want to talk with you.

And if you’re interested in the Coastal Heritage Alliance – go here – http://www.coastalheritage.org/ Talk with either Teresa or Mike – they have many projects in process, all designed to support and protect our Chesapeake cultural heritage.

~ by kbosin on August 18, 2011.

7 Responses to “A Masters of Arts in Cultural Sustainability?”

  1. Wow! I love tihs post, the MA program, the farm to table dinner, all of it … how wonderful!

    • And the chilled watermelon juice might even cool your off in your un-air-conditioned office today! You would have loved this one, Cynthia. Thanks!

  2. It was such a fabulous dinner, and you are so right about the mason jars being the most adorable (and refreshing) thing ever. Everyone should head over to Pot Pie Farms, it was such a great experience!
    -Stephanie

  3. […] Yup. Wow. Think about that for a minute. Cultural sustainability. It includes identifying ways to protect, enhance and support the cultural traditions of local communities, wherever and whatever they are. Critically important work in a country where day by day, minute by minute, our communities are looking more and more the same, our neighborhoods and lifestyles are looking more and more the same, kids are doing the same stuff from sea to shining … Read More […]

  4. As a MACS student, I was so deeply grateful for this beautiful dinner so rooted in the breathtaking place from which it came. Thanks to everyone who made it possible! I hope to return!

    (Also, the minute I stepped off the bus all I could say was “um… this is exactly the kind of life I imagine myself having in ten years…”)

  5. This was, indeed, a wonderful evening. Thank you for hosting us–I’m a student–and thank you for showing us the sustainable life you lead.

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