8 Years of Community Partnership

How can Festival Partnerships Build Community Through Food?

Lucidity and the Isla Vista Food Co-op 2019

Lucidity and the Isla Vista Food Co-op have partnered each and every year since Lucidity was birthed 8 sun cycles ago. Our relationship focuses on building community by supporting local food systems and promoting access to nutritious, and predominantly organic foods.

Each year, Lucidity chooses to spend over $20,000 in food purchases at the Co-op to support the production of our Mindful Feeding Kitchen, preparing organic, locally-sourced meals for the festival production staff and a small number of paying participants.

By spending with the community-owned Co-op and directly with local farmers, rather than with a large scale grocery corporation, we are putting our values into action, and empowering people over profits! Now that’s something to celebrate.

The partnership is about so much more than just food!

Both organizations have aligned values and priorities, hold similar roles as community pillars of inclusion, equality, justice, and support of local economic systems, and rally around the concepts of collaboration and cooperation.

Lucidity sees the Isla Vista Food Co-op as a pillar collaborator in creating a healthy, widely inclusive, community of activists, farmers, students and artists. Dive a little deeper and learn more how this activated network is here to support you!

Photo by @FishMakesPhotos

Alignment of Values and Priorities

We have been able to create strong relationships between Lucidity and the Isla Vista Food Co-op with our aligning core values and strategic priorities. You can see the Core Values of Lucidity and the Strategic Priorities of the Co-op outlined below. These priorities help guide our missions to engage within boundaries of community.

Lucidity’s Core Values

  • Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process
  • Personal Growth and Global Healing
  • Awake and Aware Consciousness
  • Environmental and Social Responsibility
  • Communal Reciprocity
  • Transparency and Discernment

Isla Vista Food Co-op’s Strategic Priorities:

  • Community Engagement – Create opportunities for the greater community to participate in the cooperative, and for our co-op to participate in the greater community.
  • Community Advocacy – Nourish and sustain a culture of inclusion for our diverse community
  • Local Food System Support – Be a leading resource to support farmers and other producers in our local food shed.
  • Economic Resilience – Strengthen our cooperative by ensuring fiscal security for the IVFC’s future.
  • Fair & Equitable Work Place – Foster a culture of diversity and empowerment.  Be a model of excellence in all employment practices.
  • Healthy Food for All – Increase the accessibility of nutritious, high-quality, affordable and culturally appropriate food for our community.
  • Environmental Stewardship – Model environmental sustainability in our products and practices.
  • Grow the Visibility of our Social Impact and Values – Tell our story.
Photo by Kris Kish / The Sights and Sounds

As you can see, a quick comparison of Lucidity’s values and the Isla Vista Food Co-op’s strategic priorities reveal a large degree of overlap and synergy.

No doubt we were meant to work together!

The embodiment of Community Reciprocity is illustrated in Lucidity’s sourcing food through the Isla Vista Food Co-op, spending dollars within our local food system at a cooperatively owned establishment that also serves as a vibrant hub for a youthful town rooted in community.  

Isla Vista Food Co-op sponsoring Lucidity with in-kind exchanges of grocery credits nourishes Lucidity crew and staff during meetings, build outs, and smaller events, contributing to their strategic priorities of advocacy and providing healthy food for all.

This blog article serves as an example of the importance of reflexive storytelling & marketing that Lucidity provides, contributing to growing the Isla Vista Food Co-op’s visibility of Social Impacts and Values, while simultaneously demonstrating Lucidity’s values of Awake and Aware Consciousness and Social Responsibility, as we Transparently explore the WHY behind our choice to support and partner with a cooperative entity.  

Our relationship with the Isla Vista Food Co-op expands beyond just food… we actively work towards community building, incorporating social justice, and creating spaces for people to feel comfortable expressing their most authentic selves. As a timely example, we look forward to co-producing a second Open Mic Night in Isla Vista!

Making Spaces for Diverse Community Voices

At the intersection of the Co-op’s Community Advocacy and Lucidity’s value of social responsibility, we see that both organizations have a shared interest in being a space for people from all walks of life to meet, be seen, and most of all to be heard.

To this end, on February 23rd, we’ll be co-creating a free open mic night on the Isla Vista Food Co-op’s parking lot along with KCSB 91.9FM, a Santa Barbara based non-commercial, educational radio station broadcasting for the public interest. This will be the second time that Lucidity has been involved in helping contribute to the event.

The first, held on the Co-op’s patio in the fall, was a great success. Lucidity brought some ambiance: lounge chairs, pillows, a puzzle matt floor covered with fur throw rugs, chai tea, and mood lighting. KCSB contributed their sound equipment, marketing skills, and MCed the entire event, facilitating the 5 minute open mic acts, while the Isla Vista Food Co-op provided their comfortable space, thriving community, and free nourishments.

The event was packed from the outset, you could see a purple glow among bodies, smell the spicy steam of chai tea, and hear the buzzing tunes showcased by amazing talents across the genres of spoken word, singer-songwriters, instrumental jam bands, and stand-up comedians.

Photo by Brie’Ana Breeze

It was refreshing to witness how the event attracted a diverse participation. Bringing together a multi-generational and multi-ethnic audience, while creatively exploring themes of race, gender, and economic struggles.

These conversations, artistic expressions, narratives of feeling, learning, self-discovery, and being seen… these stories of identity in a bizarre world of division that a place like Isla Vista brings together…these are the conversations that Lucidity must be engaged with if it wishes to continue to stay relevant, serve, and bridge relationships amongst a youthful population.

Even in the last 8 years we see an evolution of language spoken by youth, and their array of shifting concerns and challenges. Lucidity values the “finger on the pulse” that the Isla Vista Food Co-op maintains through its relentless support of youthful voices, and we are grateful for the opportunity to participate, observe, listen, and be of service.

RSVP for the next Open Mic at the event page HERE!

A Cooperative Approach for Mobilizing Communities

The essence of inclusion and collaboration is codified and implemented in highly effective ways through the cooperative model. The Isla Vista Food Co-op has been operating under such a model since the 1970s and Lucidity is inspired by the organizational philosophy that it shares amount many national and international frameworks.

Indeed Lucidity’s organizational structure and ethos have benefited since its inception by navigating informal, sometimes difficult discussions between the Lucidity founders, and the Isla Vista Food Co-op’s General Manager, Melissa Cohen.

Which makes us pleased to announce that Melissa and Chuy Valle, Outreach Manager of the Isla Vista Food Co-op, will be co-hosting a discussion titled, A Cooperative Approach for Mobilizing Communities” at Lucidity Festival in April. We encourage all  to come dive deeper into what a cooperative model can look like for many people and participate with your own thoughts in this important conversation:

Photo by Miles Najera

Addressing solutions for food security isn’t just about providing access to healthy foods… for us it’s about healthy populations, economic class, labor rights, immigration, climate justice, housing, gendered violence, ableism, queer liberation, racial justice, and much more. The Cooperative Movement is a local, national, and hugely international movement that is bridging the complex gap between diverse communities of workers, consumers, producers, and their own self-determination through economic democracy. The Isla Vista Food Co-op is an incubator grocery store. We are a strong example of a cooperative space that helps fill and fuel a socio-political gap through the intentional strategic priorities that steer our work in the community, in our case using the grocery cart as the vehicle for social change. This discussion will offer a perspective on what an accessible, inclusive, integrative and equitable food system can look like, and how every day decisions can feed the future, seed the next generation, and mobilize contributions to a healthier local community and beyond.

Look for the location and time of this offering when our complete schedule is announced, which will be released closer to the event, stay tuned!

A Giveback to YOU!

While it’s true that we make these relationships to generate mutual value at an organizational level, ultimately they wouldn’t be successful if they didn’t provide value to YOU, lucid dreamer. We want to thank you for reading this far by extending a 10% off coupon for your next purchase at the Isla Vista Food Co-op. Simply show this coupon to your cashier. Go get that goodness!

While it’s true that we make these relationships to generate mutual value at an organizational level, ultimately they wouldn’t be successful if they didn’t provide value to YOU, lucid dreamer. We want to thank you for reading this far by extending a 10% off coupon for your next purchase at the Isla Vista Food Co-op. Simply show this coupon to your cashier. Go get that goodness!

Get your tickets to Lucidity here.

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