The Crestone Eagle • April, 2021
Crestone Energy Fair—Mark the dates of August 28 & 29
by the Energy Fair Crew
The Spring Equinox brings us to the halfway point in the Crestone Energy Fair year! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were moving dirt, building stages and kitchens to host the event at our new venue. Merging old and new friendships, we created solutions amidst a year of chaos that we never dreamed possible. Together we were able to transform a barren piece of land into a beautiful space for speakers, vendors, a community kitchen, and kids’ area, and created a delightful evening of music, artistic performances and dancing. We are ready to do it again and are excited to announce the 2021 Energy Fair will be held on August 28 & 29. We hope you will be inspired to join us in whatever way your heart desires.
Last year we had over 325 live attendees and another 3000 people have joined us on our livestream and videos on our YouTube Channel. You can still access all of this free education at www.youtube.com/c/CrestoneEnergyFair, our website http://crestoneenergyfair.org or visit our group page on Facebook. Stay tuned for the May Eagle where we will have more information about being a vendor, sponsor, presenter, performer and volunteer for this year’s event.
All of these efforts couldn’t have been possible without our amazing media team. We have been so grateful to have Rita Peak as our Web Designer; she is currently transitioning this role to Jared Alan Ortega, whom we warmly welcome to our crew. Rita shares her experience with us . . .
“I remember walking into a tent where Lisa had a booth at the Garden Festival in 2019, and she was looking for volunteers to help her with the upcoming Crestone Energy Fair. She had a mind map with all of the volunteer tasks they needed help with to pull off the Fair that fall. I looked at the list and saw Website Needed and became enthusiastic—Hey I can do that! I’d only been living in Crestone for a little over a year at the time, and was looking for ways to get involved in sustainable community living skills, so this was perfect! That summer I created the crestoneenergyfair.org website and have been working with the Energy Fair folks ever since. We’ve supported two fairs with the website, and recently launched a website crestoneenergyexchange.org to extend the vision of educating people on sustainable alternative living skills year round. For this coming fall, I signed up for a Master’s Degree program at Adams State. I was worried about supporting the upcoming fair, and starting school. When Jared showed up to take over the website work, I was happy to pass that on to him. I’m excited to see the new directions he will take the online presence of the Energy Fair. I will still support this amazing group of people in whatever way I can going forward as I pursue my educational goals. I am excited about what the future holds for the Crestone Energy Fair!”
We are grateful that Rita will continue to serve in an advisory role to our organization.
Jared Alan Ortega owns and operates Cosmic Cloud Studios which is a full-scale media production service, in the high desert of Crestone, CO. Cosmic Cloud Studios specializes in web design, live event broadcasting, concert production, documentary series, narrative films, TV shows, commercials, podcasts, web series, corporate presentations and videos, tradeshows, and Livestream broadcasting. The Studio is located on the 40-acre Crestone Energy Fairgrounds and is 100% solar-powered.
Here is Jared’s account of how his path came to join ours . . . “For over the past 10 years I’ve been fascinated by Earthship architecture, and sustainable living practices. After graduating from New Mexico State University with a degree in Creative Media and Emergency Medicine, I made it my life’s mission to further the education and practices of healthy living and environmental sustainability. In 2015 I moved to Colorado with my college sweetheart, who suffers from a rare congenital heart defect, so she could receive the healthcare services her heart needs. In between hospital visits we would take small camping trips to learn more about Colorado, which is when we discovered the San Luis Valley. My spouse and I fell in love with the Crestone community as soon as we discovered its existence. After much deliberation we decided this is where we want to spend the rest of our lives and further our goals of environmental sustainability and build our own Earthship forever home. We bought land back in 2018 and have been working to develop it ever since.
To make this dream a reality we worked and saved in Denver for several years until the Pandemic hit. With my wife immunocompromised it was time we moved to a less populated area and finally put everything we’ve learned into practice. This is when we serendipitously met everyone with the Crestone Energy Exchange while working at the wood processing pile. I couldn’t be more grateful or thrilled for this chance encounter with Lisa Bodey because we soon realized we both share the same goals for sustainability and she just so happened to need a multimedia guru to help spread the word about the Crestone Energy Exchange. I leaped at the chance to collaborate with Lisa for what I see as the most important use of my media production company, Cosmic Cloud Studios. Working with Lisa and Marita on the website is the most natural progression of all our combined strengths and I look forward to our prosperous future working here in the world’s most beautiful high desert landscape of Crestone.”
So what have we been up to since the event? With all of the momentum and enthusiasm we have created the Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) to expand our work in the community on a year-round basis. In partnership with Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) and the Emergency Firewood Project we created the Community Firewood Program. We are grateful for everyone’s support on this new adventure. We got a late start as wood suppliers weren’t able to deliver until mid-November/December but we were able to process a total of 50 cords. Thank you to the clients who purchased 27 cords, our work-trade partners who donated work for the equivalent of 8 cords, and to all of our volunteers who helped us process and deliver 15 cords of firewood for NHN. Over the winter we hosted many work parties, with the culmination being the Wood Splitting Contest. This created community, camaraderie, physical exercise, knowledge gained and skills sets improved. In this issue we would like to thank Tom & Enid Malacek for processing the firewood, Kim & Andrew Martinez for donating their log splitter to the efforts, Tom McCracken for donating around 7 cords of cottonwood from Green Earth Farm and Jonathan Roux for all of your help.
Speaking of amazing resources in the community, who misses the Crestone Free Box? Crestone Creative Trade, CEX and NHN are collaborating to create a grand reopening of this community treasure. We have sent a survey out via email and posted this on the Crestone Energy Fair FB group to explore the interest and availability of individuals and organizations ready to support our efforts. If you have questions about any of our projects, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com