Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Get Up Early for Some Free Swag!

There are many great reasons to come to Chicago VeganMania, but here's a great reason to come early. Our vegan elves have been collecting products from great vegan companies across the country, and assembling them into Free Vegan Swag Bags for the first 100 people (age 16 & older) to come through the door. This in addition to free admission, five free "Grub Stub" sample tickets, free music and entertainment, and so much much more. So set your alarm clock. Come early and stay all day. Years from now, you'll want to brag to your grandkids that you were at the very first Chicago VeganMania, so you need to hang around long enough to pick up some big memories.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And Now, On the Main Stage...

Yes, we've mentioned in previous posts that one of the big rooms housing Chicago VeganMania has a gorgeous stage (it's a huge, handsome thing, surrounded by this stunning mural of allegorical figures in various stages of undress being observed by a pious monk that was painted in 1920 by a guy named James G. Gilbert). From the beginning, we decided that we needed to make good use of this thing. So we'll be setting up all the food vendors in the back half of the room, and putting tables and chairs closer to the stage, so people can hang out and catch some great entertainment.

And we're really excited about the wonderful entertainment that will fill that stage. We're still working out deals with a couple of acts, but we're ready to announce several of them right now.

dreamlogicc is the nom de plume of the soulful synth artist, Justin James. dreamlogicc's earthy rhythms and ethereal melodies create a lush soundscape that will add an exclamation point to the already ebullient mood of Chicago VeganMania.

Bryan Harrell is a highly gifted and compassionate singer/songwriter with a rich contemporary songbook that offers healthy respect for roots folk music.

Deserae will transport you to another time and place with her beautifully nuanced and innovative style of modern Egyptian and Lebanese cabaret-style belly dance.

and the dynamic funk/rock band Darmata will bring down the house with a powerful groove that blends a tight staccato rhythm section with rapid-fire vocals and some of the fattest, fuzziest guitar licks ever.

Add ten restaurant stands full of great vegan food, and you might find it hard to ever leave this room. But there is so much more to see and do – incredible speakers, the latest in vegan fashion, a great juried art show, dozens of amazing vegan businesses, crafters, and non-profit groups, and so much more. Chicago VeganMania is definitely the event of the season, so don't miss out!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Two More Great Speakers!

While we are finalizing the entertainment on the main stage (we'll post about that as soon as we can – probably later this week), we are ready to announce that we have added two more amazing speakers to our already impressive lineup (see the post below about Nathan Runkle, Caryn Hartglass and Dr. Michael Greger). Rae Sikora and JC Corcoran are two much beloved and sought after speakers and pillars of the vegan community who have recently joined together to form a group and website called Plant Peace Daily (they've also recently joined together as life partners, so congratulate them when you see them). Here's a bit more about them.

Rae Sikora has been an activist for more than 25 years and has been teaching people to hone their critical thinking tools to help create a better planet. She cofounded of the Center for Compassionate Living and The International Institute for Humane Education, where she inspired and taught many people who have gone on to become some of the most powerful voices for compassionate change. I first met her there, way back in 1997, when Marla and I spent several days taking an incredible workshop with her and her then partner Zoe Weil. She has been one of my key inspirations and mentors ever since.

One of our other inspirations when we started building EarthSave Chicago was JC Corcoran, who at the time was running one of the country's best regional veg groups, VegMichigan. JC introduced himself to me about ten years ago when he told me how much he liked a Vegan graphic I'd done for the design of a Frisbee. Then he rolled up his sleeve to show the same design tattooed on his arm. JC has inspired thousands of people with his lectures and workshops on the power of plant foods.

Together, Rae and JC are practically an institution, and they're traveling the country spreading a message of peace, compassion and sustainability. We're excited to have them an Chicago VeganMania, and we know you'll come away from their presentations inspired and energized.