Friday, November 20, 2020

Columbia, Next Gen.


According to local photographer Charles Jackson, the well-known Poinstettia Tree is up and ready for your visits at the Mall in Columbia. The holidays may be wildly different this year, but at least this time-honored Columbia tradition lives on.

I have a confession to make: I don’t have a personal attachment to the Poinsettia Tree. Certainly it’s lovely, and festive, but it doesn’t hold the kind of mystical holiday appeal for me that it does for many long-time Columbia residents. After all, I’ve only lived here for 21 years. I didn’t spend my formative years here. I do appreciate it. A lot of work goes into that thing, and a lot of people enjoy it. 

I find myself more inspired by initiatives spearheaded by a newer generation in Columbia: Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods (Nina Basu), Columbia Community Care (Erika Strauss Chavarria), community Ecology Institute/Freetown Farm (Chiara D’Amore). All three women are building on the foundation of Rouse’s Columbia to enhance to quality of life in our community.

Today I want to turn your attention to the Silent Auction going on right now to support the new Maker Space at Freetown Farm. If you are like me, and won’t be making any trips to the Mall anytime soon, you may be searching for safe ways to do your holiday shopping. In addition, a lot of us are putting a concerted effort into shopping local. The Silent Auction has both of those areas covered.

If you want a full interior car cleaning, a virtual babysitter for date night, a vineyard vacation for two, garden sculptures, mugs/teas, jewelry, or wall art—you've come to the right place! We have over 120 auction, raffle, and fixed price items listed. This is a great time to connect with small businesses and local artists by getting a start on holiday shopping. All auction proceeds will go towards our vision of creating a community Maker Space where people of all backgrounds can learn the arts and trades that have become less accessible over the last few generations: pottery, woodworking, metalworking, repair and more!

The auction closes on November 22nd, so you only have a few more days to get your bids in. There are some lovely nature-inspired art pieces, as well as opportunities for trips or music lessons. How about a massage? You know I’m tempted to bid on the vintage 1972 Avion Camper and turn it into an HGTV-worthy retreat, but I’m more likely to go for some of the gorgeous artisanally crafted jewelry pieces, whose opening bids are more in my price range. 

More about the Maker Space:

The Community Ecology Institute is excited to be creating a Maker Space at Freetown Farm. We hope to support personal and community resilience by offering a place for people to learn about arts and skills that were commonly practiced several generations ago such as woodworking, pottery, fiber arts, and repairing things. The creative opportunities are exciting! 

So, visit the Poinsettia Tree if that’s your family tradition. But take a little time to try something new this year. Do some holiday shopping to support a local initiative that’s brimming with every bit as much Columbia spirit. 

The event:

The auction items:

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