Art Crawl concert to benefit sustainability project

Article Published: Sep. 30, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Sheila Ostroff is embarking on a mission, and she's running out of time.

As The Mountain Times first reported earlier this year, Appalachian Voices' Ostroff was selected to take part in an international conference in India on community outreach, the Oxfam International Youth Project.

It's a fellowship that makes Ostroff among 300 selected from 127 different countries to take part in the Kaleidoscope Program in New Delhi, India.

The program, which starts Nov. 21, isn't a grant or a job opportunity. The eight-day program is a training ground for ideas, and it's going to help Ostroff kick off a program she's passionate about developing here in the High Country.

"I want to work with youth, kindergarten through eighth grade, on educating them as to where their food, water and energy sources come from," she said.

The goal? To create her own program here that teaches kids about where their resources come from.

And it's time for Ostroff to come up with the cash to put it into action. To do it, she's working with Footsloggers to organize the Sustain-a-Scholar Benefit Concert, just in time for Friday's Art Crawl.

While it's billed as a concert, backed by local bands Swift Science, Early Morning Rebels and Airhorse, it's a comprehensive event with everything from a raffle (think Speakeasy Tattoo and restaurant gift certificates) to a workshop called "Footsteps to Peace."

"We'll be talking about what kinds of smaller things we can do in our everyday lives to drive a more peaceful and sustainable future," she said.

The public (kids, too) will be invited to paint recycled Footsloggers footbeds as part of the workshop.
That, along with face painting, hula hooping and rock climbing will give Ostroff a backdrop to discuss her ideas with the community. "I'll answer questions they might have," she said.

To Ostroff, it's not her project. It's the community's project. And, while she's already been in cahoots with the Watauga High School Environment Club, she's got bigger ideas in the works for when she returns from India, ideas that will require cash to bring to life. She's working with Appalachian Voices and Elkland Arts Center to create workshops that will give kids a better answer to the "where does water come from" question than "a tap."

For more information, ask Ostroff yourself Friday or visit her blog at

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