Pictures from the Share Faire on May 15. Thanks to everyone who attended!
On Saturday, May 15, hundreds of people gathered in Bloomfield’s Friendship Park for the city’s first Share Faire, a Really, Really Free Market. Organized by East End Mutual Aid (EMA), the event created a physical space where community members could gather to share goods and services. In the month leading up to the event, EMA members spent hours going door to door in the community to invite folks and put up flyers.
It was a resounding success, thanks to the 300 people who cycled through and everyone who brought and took items! The group is currently discussing when to hold subsequent Share Faires and will update www.eastendmutualaid.org as soon as we decide.
Following the event we bagged up unclaimed items for distribution at the next Share Faire. We also stayed to clean up the park, ensuring it would be in just as good shape as we found it.
Some highlights of what was brought and shared!
The equivalent of 15 bags of clothing were brought, about half were taken.
A variety of new jewelry, shoes, tools, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, lamps and lampshades, etc.
Around a hundred books, most of which were taken.
A kitten found a new loving home.
Two trained masseuses provided 3 hours of free massages. There was rune reading, and a free advice booth.
5 Gallons of free ice cream were served, complete with chocolate sauce and sprinkles. Some folks brought ice cream sandwiches and freeze pops, along with juice and hugs drinks.
Kids enjoyed bubbles and drew with sidewalk chalk.
Some of what we’ve talked about improving for next time:
A greater variety of kids’ activities.
A better planned seed exchange.
More ice cream!
More extensive door-to-door outreach before the event.
More on the thinking behind why we organized the Share Faire: Too much of our lives revolve around selling our labor and sacrificing our time to acquire more material things. We see on a daily basis how some go hungry while food goes to waste. We grow tired of and discard a possession that could be used or valued by another. We are taught that everything is scarce and this breeds competition rather than cooperation. Yet we live in a world of abundance. Within our own communities, our own neighborhoods, the skills and items that we all need already exist, and much of those are not in use. By coming together and sharing all of our excesses, we can help provide for each other.
The flyer advertising the event: