Social and Political Action Area
April 13, 2005
Once again it's time to apply for booth space in the Social and Political Action (SPA) Area of the Common Ground Country Fair. The dates for this year's fair are September 23, 24, & 25, 2005.
Enclosed is this year's SPA Area application. Applications must be postmarked by May 6th, and must be accompanied by a $5.00 processing fee. Please mark this information on your calendars. The processing fee for applications postmarked after May 6th is $50.00, so don't be late! Here are the important dates for participation in the SPA Area:
May 6 SPA Applications Must be postmarked by This Date
Late-May SPA Area Applicants Notified Of Their Status (accepted, rejected, wait-listed)
June 17 SPA Contracts and Booth Fees Must be postmarked by this date
Mid-August Fair Office Sends Out SPA Confirmation Packs
September 23, 24 & 25 The Fair!
If you want electricity at your booth, please review and fill out the enclosed electricity form. Electricity will be free for up to 300 watts and a $10.00 fee will be charged for 301-2,000 watts.
As most of you know from previous participation in the Fair, MOFGA places a great deal of emphasis on educating fairgoers about sustainable living in Maine. When filling out your application this year, please be sure to let us know how you plan to teach people about the importance of your social work and political initiatives. Please remember that booths are to be staffed all three days; groups that do not staff their booths daily from opening to closing of fair will not be considered for next year's fair.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wishing you Peace and Wellness,
Dan Hamilton 495-2236
Beth Leonard 729-5083
Gary Lawless 729-5083
Social and Political Action Area Coordinators
Coordinators: Dan Hamilton, Beth Leonard, Gary Lawless
Purpose: The purpose of the Social and Political Action Area is: to serve as a common ground for a wide variety of organizations and ethnic groups to explore shared values and possible areas of cooperation; to encourage environmental protection and a respect for all living things; to make it possible for people to earn a living through their work and to develop their potential as human beings; to support public policy that promotes these objectives; to educate the public to injustices; and to provide opportunities to help right these injustices.
Statement of Philosophy
Sustainable agriculture requires sustainable communities. The very basis and justification of organic agriculture is that it should not harm the earth, its plants, animals and its people. As we contemplate and support changes in our food system and our systems of land ownership and use, and as we return to a system which both supports and benefits from organic and locally grown food, we need to be aware of trade, agricultural land use policies, human rights and suffering throughout the world.
The goals of the Social and Political Action Area are:
- To promote a bioregion that is environmentally sound and is sustainable, meeting the basic needs of all living things, in accordance with humane principles.
- To provide an opportunity for groups advocating peace, social equity, civil/human rights and concern for the rights of all living species (including groups addressing international environmental and agricultural problems) to present ideas and information.
- To provide, in addition to educational activities occurring at each booth, a forum for scheduled presentations and debate.
- To accommodate activities, including those for profit, that are compatible with the area.
Guidelines for Social and Political Action
- Applicants must read and abide by the general guidelines for the Common Ground Country Fair.
- Local, grassroots organizations will provide information on issues of peace and justice, social equity, civil/human rights and environmental politics at individual booths and through scheduled presentations at designated sites (common forum).
- The mission of each group participating in this area must be in accord with the stated purpose, philosophy, goals and objectives of the area.
- Participating groups must be organizations, which promote views that, are compatible with sustainable environment and whose principles embody respect for the planet and all of her beings.
- Organizations selected to participate in the Social and Political Action Area will have demonstrated a commitment to non-violent methods of social and political advocacy. Their programs and activities will reflect respect for the dignity, safety and equality of all human beings. Groups that interfere with the ability of individuals to exercise their legal rights freely and without intimidation will not be accepted.
- The Social and Political Action area encourages presentation of a wide range of issues and perspectives. It is conceivable that groups with opposing views on an issue(s) may participate in the area at the same time. Participants in such groups must be respectful of those with views and perspectives different from their own and, while making their disagreements clear, will refrain from maligning the program or mission of another organization.
- Items sold at the booths must reflect the clear message of the organization, and should fit the goals and objectives of the area.
- Booth displays should be educational, conveying the group's message in an appropriate manner.
- Exhibitors intending to use VCRs or stereo equipment for presentations must provide headphones for fairgoers. Such presentations must not be audible to neighboring exhibitors or passersby.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Common Ground Country Fair
PO Box 170
Unity, ME 04988