Chicago VeganMania Newsletter

Chicago VeganMania Newsletter - Spring 2012
We're going big time! Chicago VeganMania 2012 moves to the beautiful Broadway Armory

Chicago VeganMania 2012
Saturday, September 29, 10am - 5pm
Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway, Chicago

Last year, Chicago VeganMania drew more than 2,500 attendees. It's wonderful that we're reaching so many people, but it put a huge strain on our venue. We love the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. We've had three great events there, and loved them all, but it's time to move on to a bigger and more accessible venue.



Billed as the Chicago Park District’s largest indoor recreational facility, the 87-year old, but newly renovated Broadway Armory is also in transition to become a mini convention and exhibit hall. It is the ideal size for Chicago VeganMania, and has a lot of amenities that will help make this year’s event truly special. Here are some of the building’s features, and the way we’ll be using them.

At the center of Chicago VeganMania is the massive Exhibit Hall (nearly 50% larger than last year’s three big halls combined!), that will house our amazing Food Court (as many as ten restaurant vendors), a large dining area, and space for at least 100 exhibiting vendors, including a bookstore, leading vegan companies and nonprofits, and of course, lots of tasty food samples.

Our Speaker Room is a gorgeously renovated second-floor space featuring bamboo flooring and large windows that provide a view of the festivities below. We're in the process of recruiting a great roster of vegan leaders to educate and inspire you.

Directly below the Speaker Room is a brand new feature: the Workshop Room, where you can take part in workshops, panels and interactive events in a casual and intimate setting.

Another wonderful feature is the brand-new state-of-the-art Chef Demo Room, where you can watch some of your favorite chefs prepare their signature dishes (and taste them afterward!).

The Culture Café is also getting a big makeover, with a larger room and a larger stage for a roster full of great musical acts, as well as a beautiful art gallery, baked goodies, gourmet coffee and alternative milk bar. The Culture Café is right off the Exhibit Hall, but will feel like a completely different world.

Our other favorite features will all be returning, including a lively and activity-packed Kids’ Zone, the popular Vegan Rockstar Photo Booth, the Graffiti Wall and more. We’re also working some other new excitements that we’ll announce as soon as they’re all set up.

The Broadway Armory is located at 5917 North Broadway in Chicago's historic Edgewater neighborhood, just two blocks north of the northern end of Lake Shore Drive and the lakefront trail, and steps away from the Thorndale el stop of the Red Line. Parking is a lot better than it was at Pulaski Park, but it still is Chicago, a place where a lot of people live and a lot of others like to visit, so we recommend taking the el train, bus or a bike. We are working with local businesses to try and secure more off-street parking.



Join Chicago VeganMania at the first ever Chicago Veggie Pride Parade!

Chicago Veggie Pride Parade
Saturday, June 2, at Noon - Starting at Balbo and Columbus

We are excited and proud to be a part of the first ever Chicago Veggie Pride Parade, which is destined to be another milestone event for Chicago's compassionate community. This boisterous celebration also inspires the same enthusiasm and positive energy that we strive to create with Chicago VeganMania.

In fact, Chicago VeganMania is going to be there in force, and we want you to join us! The first 25 people to come to the Chicago VeganMania section and say they came because they read this newsletter will each get a free Chicago VeganMania t-shirt.

We want to make this a truly historic event, and one that will become as popular as our own festival (which will just keep getting more popular, too, so they both have to outdo each other).

The parade starts at noon, and everyone will be setting up around 11:00 at in Grant Park at Columbus and Balbo, just down and across the street from the Buckingham Fountain.

After the parade, there will be a great mini festival at the same place featuring several great speakers including Chicago VeganMania's own Marla Rose, as well as Mercy For Animals' new Chicago Coordinator Mikael Nielson, and restauranter extraordinnaire Karyn Calabrese. There will also be a costume contest, raffles, and lots of other great fun.

The organizers would like people to pre-register, which you can do here. Park District wants marchers to sign a waiver, which you can do here.

We'll see you there!



We're looking for 2012 volunteers

Last year, it took more than 200 dedicated volunteers to bring Chicago VeganMania to life. Help make this the best year ever by volunteering part of your day to make first time attendees feel the vegan love. Our volunteers are a lively and dynamic community and some of the coolest folks you'd ever want to hang out with. Plus each volunteer will receive a super-nifty organic Vegan Rockstar staff t-shirt, a Goody Bag packed with all kinds of wonderful stuff, and special access to the secret Volunteer Lounge, where you can get more treats and goodies. Also, any volunteer working more than five hours is entered into a raffle for some excellent vegan prizes. If you are interested, please contact volunteers@chicagoveganmania.com.



Questions?
Please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com.

More Updates
The next newsletter is scheduled to go out in late June. In the meantime, we try to keep the latest information on our website.

Chicago VeganMania 2012
Saturday, September 29th, from 10am-5pm
at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway (at Thorndale)
chicagoveganmania.com


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Here's the newsletter from right after Chicago VeganMania 2011

What a Day! Newsletter, November 2011: The Big Recap of the Big Day

Whew! We did it! It's over! Now, let's start planning for next year!

Well, maybe we'll take a few days to rest first...While you’re resting, here are some fun facts about this year’s event:

  • 2500 people joined in the celebration of vegan cuisine, culture, and community
  • We partnered with 15 sponsors
  • 70 business and non-profit organizations had tables in two exhibit halls and the Culture Café
  • 10 organizations donated items for our attendee and volunteer goodie bags
  • More than 100 people signed up to volunteer, and exhibitor and sponsors donated 25 prizes to reward these hardworking people
  • Our Greening team achieved an 85% diversion rate (85% of what would have been garbage at any other event was able to be recycled or composted instead)
  • More than 200 pictures were taken at our Vegan Rockstar Photo Booth
  • We had way more media coverage than in past years

Now here's a rundown of some of the exciting things that happened at Chicago VeganMania 2011:



Speakers/Workshops
Chicago VeganMania started taking form years ago when a group of us held an annual conference and brought speakers in from across the country to speak to a few hundred Chicago area activists. Chicago VeganMania has branched out considerably since then into the popular and dynamic cultural event it is today, but we will always have great speakers because education and outreach are important aspects of building the vegan community. Over the years, we have drawn passionate, memorable speakers, and this year was no different.

We started out the day with Pamela Ziemann, who offered a workshop called "Giving Voice to Your Cause," which helped attendees build their communications skills with playful but effective improvisation games. Next, Mercy For Animals' Kenny Torrella spoke on "Inspiring Compassion: Putting Our Ethics on the Table," which addressed the current state of industrial agriculture and how the treatment of animals conflicts with our values of compassion. Next was our "Powered By Plants" panel, featuring some amazing local and national athletes: Nicole Sopko, Amanda Riester, Brian Duda, and Robert Cheeke shared their insights and experience to an eager crowd on "plant strong" fitness. Vegan Outreach's Jon Camp spoke on "Getting the Goods: Impacting Animals Through Effective Vegetarian Outreach," simple strategies for being as effective as possible for the animals. Cynthia Bathurst of Project Safe Humane spoke on "Lifetime Bonds: At-Risk Youth and At-Risk Dogs Helping One Another," teaching about the far-reaching effect humane education has on at-risk dogs and youth in the city, and the positive ripple effect that has on  communities throughout the city.

It was heartwarming to see the room buzzing with people throughout the day, even at this event with so many other features. Every talk had great, passionate interaction by engaged, energized people, nodding in agreement, sometimes emotional, but all very present. The speakers are a cornerstone of Chicago VeganMania because that is where so many people make deeper connections and have a chance to absorb new information. It is also a place for those who are already vegan to build their communications know how and just be among like-minded people. We are very grateful to the talented speakers and the engaged audiences we attracted this year in our speaker room.



Chef Demos
The back half of the West Gym was a hive of activity as several of Chicago's finest vegan chefs gathered to share their expertise to an eager audience. The day beagn with Laviyah Ayanna of The Vegan Food Truck and Ste Martaen vegan cheese who made quesadillas with Ste Marten Cheese. People were interested to hear about her adventures with the Food Truck, and her continuing adventures in business. She was followed by The Chicago Diner's heralded pastry chef, Melissa Sabaduquia. Melissa has been with the Diner for about a year and has brought a load of energy and talent to the process. Next up came the inimitable and always entertaining first couple of Chicago Soydairy (creators of Temptation ice cream, Teese cheese and Dandies marshmallows), Ryan & Mary Howard, who prepared a variety of common dishes all involving Teese. Their playful banter made it feet like you were in their kitchen at home and they were sharing a bit of their life. Then it was time for one of Chicago's great raw chefs, Linda Szarkowski of Green Spirit, who prepared Savory Spinach Spread and Red Pepper Cheeze Dip. Linda, always the consummate professional, instructed the group on the finer points of Raw Food Prep. The day ended on a sweet note with Sandi Swiss, the goddess behind Canary Confectionery, who created pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. All chefs shared their creations with the appreciative crowd, making for a satisfying, enlightening and instructive day.



Vegan Food Court
The Vegan Food Court was the first stop on a lot of Chicago VeganMania attendees' to-do list, and this year we had the best collection of restaurants we've had to date. The venerable Chicago Diner was there in force with a mini-version of their world famous Radical Reuben that they called the Reuben Slider. Next door, Chicago's new Thai sensation, Urban Vegan, was serving some very tasty Yellow Curry, Orange Soy Chicken, Tom Yum Tofu and other wondrous Siamese delights. A lot of longtime vegans got their first tastes of Chicago Hot Dogs (and several other innovative gournet dogs) at Drew's Eatery. For almost the entire day, there was a long line at newly rechristened Soul Vegan, where they kept the crowd fed with the Bbq seitan rib tips, veggie gyros, mac & cheese, collard greens and smoothies. And our local faux-meat entreprenuers, Upton's Naturals, dazzled the crowds with gooey nachos, tamales, and a lively roasted seitan sandwich they dubbed "The Coach." Next to them, Devon Street's excellent Indian restaurant Arya Bhavan served up savory samosas, channa masala and other delicacies from the subcontinent. The Vegan Food Truck showed off some very meaty vegan versions of wings, cheesesteak and other hearty dishes that demonstrated why they were voted the best vegan food truck in the country by the readers of VegNews. And attendees could end their perfect meals with a truly heavenly collection of cupcakes, cookies, truffles and other vegan goodies from Canary Confectionery.

Everyone brought copius amounts of food, but thanks to the collective appetite of the large and ravenous crowd,
most places completely sold out by the end of the day.



Entertainment Stage

Despite the fact that we had two last minute cancellations, the stage was lively and exciting all day long. Things opened up right on time with Zach, an enthusiastic performer who came all the way from Columbus, Ohio, and lit up the stage with a powerful performance of original songs backing himself with some impressive work on the acoustic guitar. Not contenting himself with the limits of the stage, he took a dancing performance all the way through the whole auditorium. He was followed by an impressive Matthew Brockman who came down from the Culture Café to fill one of the vacant slots, and sang with a defiant longing that seemed to channel Kurt Cobain and Bright Eyes. Then it was time for some exciting preteen hip hop and breakdancing with an energetic performance from Kidz in the Mix, a wonderful group of youngsters guided by choreographer Tanja Pajou. Next was a stirring performace of beautiful gospel-tinged soul music, sung by YAW and Khari Lemuel under the name The Ones. Their gorgeous voices soared through the rafters and further uplifted the already charged up crowd. The ambient rhythmic sound of The Exponential followed. This sonic experiment from the duo of Ben Perkins and Brian Murray combines Indian raga with various world percussions, electronic loops and subtle melodies to create a hypnotic wall of sound. The ambient vibe continued until the end of the afternoon with DJ Dominion who layered vintage synthesizers over a bed of bass & drums and classic electronica.




Culture Café
The Chicago Vegan Mania Culture Cafe was a dynamic showcase of vegan culture and talent. Live abstract artist Zac Franzoni, Marci Rubin Art and Framing Mode & Gallery provided fine art, design and color to the lofty space. Michele Rubin’s jewelry table, adorned with necklaces, rings and bracelets sparkled in the glow of the afternoon sunlight. She generously donated her profits to CVM and Mercy For Animals.

Expressive spoken word poetry and live music captivated listeners on the Culture Cafe Stage. Poets Jodi Daquilanea, Steve Brightman, and T.M. Göttl performed their original works. Live musicians performed eclectic original and cover compositions, keeping the Culture Cafe rockin all day long. The Culture Cafe Stage music lineup was celebrated by Robinlee Garber, Ahymnsa, Mari Therese, Immovable Types, and Ollie Davidson. DJ Veganinblack MC-ed the Culture Cafe Stage and kept the electronic beats from Moby, Sarah McLaughlin and Depeche Mode connecting the acts.

Chicago’s Delicious Cafe offered vegan baked goods and expertly slowly brewed organic Counter Culture Coffee. The Alternative Milk Bar demonstrated that dairy is not the only “milk” choice available. These yummy cruelty free alternatives included: soy, rice, hemp, coconut, and almond.

The Vegan Rockstar Photo Booth was a great success. The camera captured attendees posing with whimsically painted cardboard instrument props on a stage. Over 200 pictures of adoring festival fans were taken and can be seen in a gallery here and in a soon-to-be-released music video. Next to the photo booth, three towering Graffiti Wall panels entertained Chicago VeganMania attendees of all ages. Over-sized multi-colored sidewalk chalk invited anonymous tags and expressions for an interactive work of collaborative art.



Family Activities Area
The young and young at heart were kept busy by creative activities at our newly expanded Family Activities Area. Kids were given the chance to decorate and eat their own vegan (and gluten-free!) cupcakes, thanks to Betty Alper and the gang at Bot Bakery. A table staffed by the Peggy Notebaart Nature Museum helped kids build beautiful keepsake nature journals. And the youngsters rocked and rolled at day on the mini playground provided by our friends at Balance Boards and Beams. Our impressive volunteer staff, headed by vegan moms Lisa Joy Rosing and Mandy Solon, also kept the kids busy with a Build Your Own Animal Sanctuary exhibit, facepainting, pumpkin painting, animal mask making, a children's Graffiti Wall, and a wide range of arts and craft activities.



Exhibit Halls
The throngs of festival-goers turned to shoppers who packed the two large gymnasiums that served as our exhibit halls. The East Gym held twenty food booths (and the Chef Demos) where attendees could sample gourmet vegan marshmallows, cheese, popcorn, kombucha, chocolates, fruits and juices, pocket sandwiches, and all manner of baked goodies. The West Gym was the place to go to find vegan clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories, a wonderful array of bodycare, cosmetics, fragrances, candles, pillows, household goods and books as well as services ranging from wellness care to financial planning. The West Gym also housed a broad assortment of great nonprofits from vegan and animal rights, animal welfare and animal rescue groups to environmental and local food groups. Many of our generous sponsors and media sponsors also had tables here. Many of our exhibitors sold completely or mostly out of their goods, gave away almost all their literature, and talked themselves hoarse by the end of the day, and most we've talked to so far said they were impressed both by the size and the enthusiasm of the crowds.

All in all, it was a splendid day. We are very grateful to all who particpated and brought their time and energy into making it so special. This is the kind of event where every attendee is a co-creator, and literally everyone there helped contribute to the wonderful vibe that permeated the air.



Green Team
From the beginning, we've strived to make Chicago VeganMania an eco-friendly event. We maintained a free Water Station, so festival goers would not be washing down their meals with bottled water. We've located the event near an el train line to encourage the use of public transportation. And we've set strong standards requiring compostable tableware of our restaurants and exhibitors. Most significant of all, we have an amazing group of volunteers working behind the scenes to divert every possible bit of trash out of the wastestream and into a process where it would be either recycled or composted. Under the warm leadership of the amazing Gill Gillono, the Green Team successfully recovered more than 85% of the event's waste. Put another way, there were eight restaurants feeding full meals to 2,500 people, plus thousands of food samples handed out, hundreds of children building craft projects, and dozens of exhibitors setting up and tearing down elaborate displays and handing out thousands of peices of literature and selling many thousands of dollars worth of goods -- yet the entire event generated only six bags of trash! The other 85% (by volume -- more than 95% by weight) of refuse was taken away by our sponsor Collective Resource of Evanston, who will start the process of converting it into either new products or rich soil. Congratulations and Thank You Green Team!



Now Please Take Our Survey
So now that we’ve given you some information, we would like you to give us some information – we have put together a short survey and ask that you please take a moment to give us your feedback about your experience with the event. There were several new things we did this year that were a direct result of previous feedback, and hopefully, we will continue to improve the event with your help.

Thank you

Take the Chicago VeganMania 2011 survey here




Volunteers
Thanks to the almost 100 volunteers who donated their time and hard work to make our event successful.  Through the generosity of our exhibitors and sponsors, we were able to provide prizes for almost a quarter of our volunteers. Anyone who worked five hours or more was entered into a raffle, and here are the prize winners!
Alisa Simms, Anita Simms, Anna Valianos, Arlette Yolo, Asha Berry, Brandon Bohn, Carol Feingold, Clyde Coleman, Corinne DiLorenzo, Jim Glackin, Johna Yolo, Karen Glazik, Katie Morris, Kevin Cooney, Lisa Joy, Mandy Solon, Rachael Jones, Robert Wayner, VB Patrick McNurle, Clinton Duckworth, Patrick Burke and Ryan Sobe
 

Donations
Thanks to everyone who donated items for our goodie bags, prizes for our volunteers, and cupcakes for the Family Activity Area, as well as monetary donations!
 
•    Action For Animals
•    Bot Bakery
•    DeCapo Press
•    Gardein
•    Green Choice Bank
•    Mercy For Animals
•    Mindful Metropolis
•    Natural Awakenings
•    Nielsen Family
•    No Voice Unheard
•    PETA
•    Something Beautiful
•    Tamasin Noyes
•    Taste-A-Thon
•    Turtle Island Foods
•    WayFare


Sponsors and Exhibitors
Thank you to all our exhibitors and sponsors, whose support helps us put on this amazing event!


Sponsors
•    Chicago Soydairy (Platinum)
•    John Beske Communications/Wide Awake Books (Platinum)
•    The Chicago Diner (Gold)
•    Consolidated Printing (Gold)
•    Veg Fund (Gold)
•    Mercy for Animals (Silver)
•    Book Publishing Company (Bronze)
•    Collective Resource (Bronze)
•    Soul Vegan (Bronze)
•    CLTV (Media)
•    Mindful Metropolis (Media)
•    Natural Awakenings (Media)
•    WCPT (Media)
•    Framing Mode Gallery
•    Teknosis Audio
 
Click here for sponsor descriptions and links




Exhibitors

Food Court
•    Arya Bhavan
•    Canary Confectionery
•    The Chicago Diner
•    Drew’s Eatery
•    Soul Vegan
•    Urban Vegan
•    Upton’s Naturals
•    The Vegan Food Truck/Ste. Martaen

Click here for festival map and food court booth locations



East Gym
•    Back to the Roots
•    Bot Bakery
•    Chicago Soydairy
•    Chocolate Inspirations
•    Door to Door Organics
•    Green Spirit Living
•    Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks
•    Juice Plus
•    Karyn’s Fresh Corner
•    Kat’s Hot Cakes
•    Montalbano Farms
•    NessAlla Kombucha
•    The Pasty Oven
•    Theo Chocolate
•    Tomato Mountain Farm
•    WayFare

Click here for festival map and food court booth locations



West Gym
•    A Well Fed World
•    Action for Animals
•    Arbonne
•    Body Karma
•    Book Publishing Company
•    Broad Shoulders Animal Rescue
•    CARE Evanston Animal Shelter
•    Chicago Canine Rescue
•    Chicago Vegan Cooperative
•    Chiro One Wellness Centers
•    Cleo Roos
•    Consolidated Printing
•    CW Jewelry
•    Devoted to Healing/GFREEV
•    Door to Door Organics
•    Eagle Strategies
•    Edgy Petal
•    Ethically Engineered
•    FamilyFarmed.org
•    Fox Valley Nutrition
•    Green Choice Bank
•    Haiti Reads
•    The Herbivore Clothing Co.
•    Hoops and Loops
•    John Beske Communications/Wide Awake Books
•    Karma Healing Solutions
•    Koru Street
•    Kozy Prery
•    Mercy for Animals
•    Mindful Metropolis
•    One Tail at a Time
•    Organic Consumers Association
•    Pamela Ziemann
•    Pansy Maiden
•    PETA
•    Soaphappy
•    Something Beautiful
•    Supreme Master TV
•    Univera
•    Vaute Couture
•    Veg Fund
•    Vegan Chicago
•    Vegan Outreach
•    Vegan Recycle/Rednose Rescue
•    Vegetarian Resource Group
•    WCPT
•    Whole Soy & Free From Harm



Lost & Found

We have a great track record with connecting items people found at the event with the people who lost them. This year, we managed to find the owners of everything that was turned in (including two smartphones!), with the exception of a girl's toddler-sized parka (pictured above). It's really pretty, and we're sure someone would love to be reunited with it. If you know this someone (or are this someone), please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com and we'll arrange to get it back to the little one who will need it this winter.

Next Year!
Seriously, we have to get some rest before we start planning for next year! We will be making an announcement once we have a date and venue secured, so check back with us. Even better, join the planning committee and help us plan next year’s event!

Questions?
Please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com.

Chicago VeganMania 2011
Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm
at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk
chicagoveganmania.com

Photos  in this newsletter courtesy of Robert Chesrow and Mikael Nielsen

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Here's the newsletter from right before Chicago VeganMania 2011


Your Definitive Guide to Chicago VeganMania 2011

Come celebrate vegan food, culture, and lifestyle with 2000 of your closest friends!  Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, come to learn, sample, and explore new ideas and products, as well as have some fun.




Date and venue
Chicago VeganMania will take place on Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm, at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk.
Pulaski Park is just east of Ashland and halfway between North and Division. The Division Blue line stop is nearby.


New this year!
ATM on site! We’ve got some great exhibitors and food vendors lined up, and we know you’re going to want to eat and shop, so we will have a Thillens armored truck ATM in front of the building.

Coat Check - This year’s event is in November instead of October, so we thought a coat check might be a good idea in case the weather requires a jacket and you don’t want to have to schlepp it around the event all day. Just $1 per coat.



folksinger Mari Therese on the Culture Café stage


Newly expanded Culture Café
The Culture Café features works from artists Zac Franzoni and Marci Rubin Art creating works before your eyes, unique handcrafted vegan-themed jewelry, and tables where you can hang out and share experiences with friends old and new.

Culture Café performance stage - This year, the Culture Café has its own stage featuring a great schedule of thoughtful singer-songwriters and spoken word artists with sonic interludes from DJ Veganinblack. The day's schedule is listed below.

Coffee and alternative milk bar - Real milk comes from from almonds, soy, rice, coconuts, oats, hemp, and other plants! Here's a chance to see just how many tasty varieties of vegan milk there are as you pair them up with a rich brew from Counter Culture Coffee and some delicious vegan baked goods from Delicious Café.

The Vegan Rockstar Photo Booth - You'll already be living like a vegan rockstar all day, so you might as well be photographed doing it. Grab a colorful guitar or a pair of drumsticks and show off your best chops to be preserved for eternity on the Chicago VeganMania website.

Graffiti Wall - Last year, the kids had a lot of fun expressing themselves with chalk on a wall we set up in the Family Activities Area. This year, we're adding a much larger wall for the adults in the Culture Café. Let the world know how you really feel.




Balance Boards & Beams and Bot Bakery cupcakes


Newly expanded Family Activities Area
We've also expanded our Family Activities Area where the kiddies can decorate their own vegan (and gluten free!) cupcakes from Bot Bakery chef Betty Alper, build their own nature journals with help from experts at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, rock their way through a unique mini playground provided by Balance Boards and Beams, scribble on the aforementioned Graffiti Wall, build their own animal masks or partake in any number of other arts and crafts activities.



Elyahreev Immortal performing both at CVM and the Afterparty


This just in... The Official CVM Afterparty!

Cap off your awe-inspiring day with "Vitality" The Official Chicago VeganMania AfterParty - If, after spending a day in vegan paradise, you're all fired up and ready to keep going, you may want to take a 3-block walk to The Silver Room (1442 North Milwaukee Avenue), which will be vegan central for the next several hours. The doors open at 5:30, so you can head there straight from the festival, and it lasts until 10:00. There will be great food from Soul Vegan, live performances from The Ones, Elyahreev Immortal, and Phenom, and the chance to rub shoulders with Chicago's vegan illuninati. Your suggested $15 donation will help fund several great causes, including Chicago VeganMania.



Goody Bags

Come early! If you are one of the first 100 attendees, you will receive a goody bag stuffed with, well, goodies! Food, coupons, stickers, magazines, dvds, and more! Limit one per household


Programming:
Here is the day's complete schedule



Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke on the Powered By Plants panel

Presenter and workshop schedule
11:00 - Giving Voice to Your Cause
Pamela Ziemann  author: Giving Voice to Your Cause

12:00 - Inspiring Compassion: Putting Our Ethics on the Table
Kenny Torrella  Mercy For Animals
(note: Nathan Runkle of Mercy For Animals is unable to attend. We are pleased to have Kenny join us)

1:00 - Powered By Plants: The Unlimited Potential of Vegan Fitness
Robert Cheeke - VeganBodybuilder.com
Amanda Riester - Bodybuilder
Nicole Sopko - Yoga instructor
Brian Duda - Bodybuilder

2:00 - Getting the Goods: Impacting Animals Through Effective Vegetarian Outreach
Jon Camp - Vegan Outreach

3:00 - Lifetime Bonds: At-Risk Youth and At-Risk Dogs Helping One Another
Cynthia Bathurst - Best Friends Animal Society

Click here for descriptions of workshops and bios of presenters




Chef Laviyah Ayanna of the Vegan Food Truck and Ste Martaen

Chef Demo Schedule

11:00 - Laviyah Ayanna  The Vegan Food Truck/ Ste Martaen

12:00 -Melissa Sabaduquia  The Chicago Diner

1:00 - Ryan & Mary Howard  Chicago Soydairy

2:00 - Linda Szarkowski  Green Spirit

3:00 - Sandi Swiss  Canary Confectionery

Click here more about chef demos




Nahotnah promises to light up the performance stage

Performance Stage Schedule

11:00 - Zach  feel-good alternative folk-rock

12:00 - Nahotnah  motion dance and precision hula hoop troupe

12:45 - Kidz in the Mix  preteen breakdancers

1:00 - The Ones  inspirational soul

2:00 - Elyahreev Immortal  empowering rap and hip hop

2:45 - The Exponential  ambient world beat free jazz

3:45 - DJ Dominion  vintage synth layered over sound loops and groovy beats

Click here for more about auditorium stage performances





DJ Veganinblack is the emcee of the Culture Café stage

Culture Café Stage Schedule

10:00 - DJ Veganinblack

11:00
- Matthew Brockman

11:30
- Robinlee Garber

12:00
- Ahymnsa

12:45
- Steve Brightman

1:00
- Mari Therese

1:45
- T.M. Gottl

2:00
- Immovable Types

2:30
- Jodie Daquilanea

3:00
- Ollie Davidson

3:45
- DJ Veganinblack

Click here for more about the Culture Café and its performances
 



Sponsors and Exhibitors

Thank you to all our exhibitors and sponsors, whose support helps us put on this amazing event!


 
Sponsors
•    Chicago Soydairy (Platinum)
•    John Beske Communications/Wide Awake Books (Platinum)
•    The Chicago Diner (Gold)
•    Consolidated Printing (Gold)
•    Veg Fund (Gold)
•    Mercy for Animals (Silver)
•    Book Publishing Company (Bronze)
•    Collective Resource (Bronze)
•    Soul Vegan (Bronze)
•    CLTV (Media)
•    Mindful Metropolis (Media)
•    Natural Awakenings (Media)
•    WCPT (Media)
•    Framing Mode Gallery
•    Teknosis Audio
 
Click here for sponsor descriptions and links




Exhibitors
Our exhibitor rooms have sold out! Thanks to everyone coming and our apologies to those who have been unable to procure exhibit space.

Food Court
•    Arya Bhavan
•    Canary Confectionery
•    The Chicago Diner
•    Drew’s Eatery
•    Soul Vegan
•    Urban Vegan
•    Upton’s Naturals
•    The Vegan Food Truck/Ste. Martaen


Click here for festival map and exhibitor booth locations





East Gym
•    Back to the Roots
•    Bot Bakery
•    Chicago Soydairy
•    Chocolate Inspirations
•    Door to Door Organics
•    Green Spirit Living
•    Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks
•    Juice Plus
•    Karyn’s Fresh Corner
•    Kat’s Hot Cakes
•    Montalbano Farms
•    NessAlla Kombucha
•    The Pasty Oven
•    Theo Chocolate
•    Tomato Mountain Farm
•    WayFare

Click here for festival map and exhibitor booth locations





West Gym
•    A Well Fed World
•    Action for Animals
•    Arbonne
•    Body Karma
•    Book Publishing Company
•    Broad Shoulders Animal Rescue
•    CARE Evanston Animal Shelter
•    Chicago Canine Rescue
•    Chicago Vegan Cooperative
•    Chiro One Wellness Centers
•    Cleo Roos
•    Consolidated Printing
•    CW Jewelry
•    Eagle Strategies
•    Edgy Petal
•    Ethically Engineered
•    FamilyFarmed.org
•    Fox Valley Nutrition
•    GFREEV/Devoted to Healing
•    Haiti Reads
•    The Herbivore Clothing Co.
•    Hoops and Loops
•    John Beske Communications/Wide Awake Books
•    Karma Healing Solutions
•    Koru Street
•    Kozy Prery
•    Mercy for Animals
•    Mindful Metropolis
•    One Tail at a Time
•    Organic Consumers Association
•    Pamela Ziemann
•    Pansy Maiden
•    PETA
•    Soaphappy
•    Something Beautiful
•    Supreme Master TV
•    Univera
•    Vaute Couture
•    Veg Fund
•    Vegan Chicago
•    Vegan Outreach
•    Vegan Recycle/Rednose Rescue
•    Vegetarian Resource Group
•    WCPT
•    Whole Soy & Free From Harm


Click here for festival map and exhibitor booth locations





We're still looking for more volunteers
Our event keeps growing and growing which means we need more and more volunteers. Help make this the best year ever by volunteering part of your day to make first time attendees feel the vegan love. Our volunteers are a lively and dynamic community and some of the coolest folks you'd ever want to hang out with. Plus each volunteer will receive a super-nifty organic Vegan Rockstar staff t-shirt, a Goody Bag packed with all kinds of wonderful stuff, and special access to the secret Volunteer Lounge, where you can get more treats and goodies. Also, any volunteer working more than five hours is entered into a raffle for some excellent vegan prizes. If you are interested, please contact volunteers@chicagoveganmania.com.

Our Team
In each issue of our newsletter, we’ll introduce you to some of the hardworking folks behind the scenes at Chicago VeganMania.



Mike Durschmid

Mike is a GMO-Free, Vegan Activist; Anti-Consumption-ist, Climate & Social Justice-ist, and Egalitarian-Horizontal-ist. He became a vegetarian 31 years ago while attending the College of DuPage, and has been a vegan the past 25 years.

Mike’s interests and motivations are informed by both personal self interest, such as health and longevity, and by enlightened self interest and a deep concern for others. His altruism includes a non-human centric egalitarianism - treat other’s as you would like yourself to be treated (both human and non-human alike), an equitable treatment of animals, abolition of exploitation, etc. Mike has worked with many groups including Trans-Spices Unlimited , Animal Rights Mobilization (ARM), Chicago Animal Rights Coalition (CHARC), Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, EarthSave, Beyond Beef/Adopt-A-McDonalds Col., Pure Food Campaign, McLibel Support, Autonomous Zone Collective, Animal Defense League (ADL-Cgo).

Currently, when not creating his own local food security in his organic vegetable garden, or helping to organize Chicago VeganMania, Mike is working with (1) local Climate Justice groups to i.e. shut down Chicago’s two coal fire plants in Little Village & Pilsen; (2) Organic Consumers Assn's Millions Against Monsanto project for Mandatory Labeling of GMO Food; (3) Corporate Accountability International's (CAI) effort in pressuring McDonalds to Retire Ronald, and stop its predatory marketing to children; (4) CAI’s Think Outside The Bottle, campaign to fight privatizes-ers of municipal water systems by discouraging the idea of disposable water bottles and promoting tap water revaluation; and (5) the Occupy movement which seeks a more equitable economic balance and accountability while reclaiming democracy from the banksters and corporate criminals.




Jeff Olichwier

Jeff Olichwier has been part of the vegetarian community since 1995 when he was with the Chicago Vegetarian Society doing vegan dinners at restaurants before there was a Meetup! He was an integral part of planning the Chicago Vegetarian Society’s TurkeyFree Thanksgiving events. He brought in speakers such as T Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Michael Klaper, Brian Clement and many other renowned speakers for the CVS events.

Jeff was a part of EarthSave Chicago since 2000. He has been a part of planning team that put on the Conference for Conscientious Living series of events with ESC among other events they put on, including speakers and potlucks. Jeff also plans vegan dinners under the group Taste of Vegan Chicagoland Meetup group. His vision is to go to traditional restaurants and show them that there is an underserved market for vegan diners. He hopes to show restaurants that there is a demand if they can produce delicious food that is vegan. He also hopes to show vegans that there are many more options than just the known vegan and vegetarian restaurants. He is also active in the Living Foods community helping plan events and attending many of the potlucks.




Sandi Swiss

Sandi Swiss is a vegan baker, activist, and fundraiser. She has always loved animals and spoils her cats rotten, but did not make the connection to veganism until November 2009 when someone she met encouraged her to watch some videos online. After realizing that her actions were not in line with her values, she went vegan overnight with help from that same person and has a passion for educating others.
Sandi co-founded Canary Confectionery, a vegan baking and confections company based out of Naperville, with Brian Duda. Canary Confectionery caters, tables at events, and works with non-profits like Mercy For Animals, PCRM, Wedrose Acres, Don’t Bully My Breed and A.D.O.P.T. to help bring awareness to the western suburbs. Sandi started the Facebook group “Compassionate Friends of the West Suburbs,” which promotes positive change for animals, humans, and the earth. Sandi has also co-planned with Gill Gillono a screening/fundraiser of the film “Bold Native,” a volunteer trip to Farm Sanctuary’s Hoe Down in New York, and a Ringling circus protests at Allstate arena.

Paz St. John
While we would love to publicize all the good work Paz does, we are respecting his wishes to remain behind the scenes.

Questions?
Please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com.

More Updates
This newsletter is our last one before the event-for further updates, check out our website!

Chicago VeganMania 2011
Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm
at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk
chicagoveganmania.com


______________________________________________________

Here's the newsletter from September, 2011.




Chicago VeganMania is a celebration of vegan food, culture, and lifestyle. It is a positive event where vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores can come together to learn, sample, and explore new ideas and products, as well as have some fun. Last year, more than 1500 people attended, and we are expecting more than 2000 attendees this year.

Remember, you don't have to be vegan to attend or enjoy Chicago VeganMania - you just need to want to have fun!




Date and venue
This year’s Chicago VeganMania will take place on Saturday, November 5th, from 10 am - 5 pm, at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk in Chicago.


Programming
Chicago VeganMania has visionary speakers and lively and inspiring workshops, cooking demonstrations from Chicago's top vegan chefs, and an entertainment stage featuring popular bands and a diverse mix of extraordinary and unique entertainment.


Speakers and Workshops
Our Speaker Room will be the center of a lot of exciting, interactive events mixed in with some of the most engaging leaders in the vegan movement. We're still putting the final schedule together, but here's a preview.



Nathan Runkle
Inspiring Compassion: Putting Our Ethics on the Table


Did you know that chickens pass information along from one generation to the next, or that pigs are smarter than dogs? Few of us give much thought to “food” animals, yet these fascinating creatures’ lives are rich with complex emotion and intelligence. Learn how industrial farming has changed the way cows, pigs and chickens are treated and how our food choices can become a powerful tool in preventing cruelty to animals.

Nathan Runkle is the Founder and Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. Raised on a farm in rural Ohio, Nathan has long had a deep connection with farmed animals and agriculture. After a local farmed animal abuse case, involving a piglet slammed head first into a concrete floor during an agriculture project at a nearby high school, Nathan founded Mercy For Animals to give “food” animals a much needed advocate in his local community.

Since founding Mercy For Animals a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization's growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals. A grassroots organizer and coordinator for many years, Nathan has spearheaded hundreds of demonstrations and outreach events across the country – ranging from protests outside pork and egg producer conventions to parade marches, educational exhibits, and more.

A nationally recognized speaker on animal advocacy, grassroots activism, and factory farming, Nathan has spoken at colleges, forums, and conferences from coast-to-coast.



Jon Camp
Getting the Goods: Impacting Animals Through Effective Vegetarian Outreach


Adopting a vegetarian diet allows us to spare dozens of animals a year from suffering. Getting involved in vegetarian advocacy allows us to spare thousands. Using humor and drawing from his years of outreach on college campuses, Jon will discuss simple ways that each one of us can effectively spread vegetarianism and reduce a great amount of animal suffering. Whether you're new to activism or a seasoned veteran, this is one talk you won't want to miss!

Jon Camp is Director of Outreach for Vegan Outreach. He has spent the last seven years traveling the country on behalf of VO's college outreach program, reaching out to students with the plight of farmed animals. Jon has been to over 400 schools throughout North America, distributing Vegan Outreach materials and giving talks.



Workshop: Powered by Plants: the Unlimited Potential of Vegan Fitness
Forget the notion that eating meat is essential to maximize your strength and power. Join this energetic panel of elite vegan bodybuilders and athletes, and learn how a plant-based diet can help you build muscle, gain endurance, and improve your flexibility and recovery time. This inspirational workshop will leave you pumped!

with Robert Cheeke - VeganBodybuilder.com
Jon Hinds - MonkeyBar Gym
Amanda Riester - Bodybuilder
(pictured above)
Nicole Sopko - Yoga instructor
and Brian Duda - Bodybuilder

There will be other incredible workshops that are currently in the process of being finalized. We'll describe them in the next issue of the newsletter.




Chef Demonstrations
Learn the secrets of some of Chicago's top vegan chefs. We're still rounding out the day's schedule, so there will be more to announce, but here's who we can mention so far.

Chefs from
Canary Confectionery
Chicago Diner
Chicago Soydairy
Vegan Food Truck/Ste Martaen



Music and Entertainment

Chicago VeganMania has always had an interesting and eclectic mix of activity on the mainstage in the Auditorium. This year, we're pulling out all the stops. Stay tuned...



Kids’ Activities
Each year our list of kid's and family activities grows exponentially. This year, we have a lot of exciting new features:

Balance Boards and Beams
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Bot Bakery cookie/cupcake decorating activity and robot coloring activity
Free the Turkey drawing activity



Sponsors/Exhibitors

Thank you to all of our exhibitors and sponsors without whose support we could not stage this event.

Our Exhibitor and Sponsor information packets are available for download on our website. If you would like to be a sponsor or exhibitor for this year’s event, please contact Isabel Schechter at sponsors@veganmania.com.

Sponsors

Our sponsor list keeps growing all the time. Here are several great ones that you need to know!

Book Publishing Company
The Chicago Diner
Chicago Soydairy
Conscious Living TV
Consolidated Printing
John Beske Communications
Mercy For Animals
Mindful Metropolis
Teknosis Audio



Exhibitors
Our exhibitor list is a lot bigger than it looks here, because many have committed but are still going through the approval process. Here are the ones we can announce now.

A Well Fed World
Action for Animals
Body Karma
Broad Shoulders Animal Rescue
Chicago Vegan Cooperative
Cleo Roos
CW Jewelry
Eagle Strategies
Edgy Petal
Ethically Engineered
Free From Harm
The Herbivore Clothing Company
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks
Juice Plus
Kat’s Hot Cakes
Koru Street
Kozy Prery
Pansy Maiden
Soaphappy
Something Beautiful
Tomato Mountain Farm
Veg Fund
Vegan Chicago
Vegan Outreach
Vegetarian Resource Group
Whole Soy



Food Court Restaurants
This is just a partial list. Several other great restaurants have committed and are going through the approval process. We'll have a feature about all the restaurants in the food court in the next issue of the newsletter.

Arya Bhavan
Canary Confectionery
The Chicago Diner
Ste Martaen
Upton's Naturals
The Vegan Food Truck




Our Team
In each issue of our newsletter, we’ll introduce you to some of the hardworking folks behind the scenes at Chicago VeganMania.



Mikael Nielson
Mikael has been vegan for almost 13 years and began his work helping animals by joining EarthSave Chicago in 2002, working on their Conferences for Conscious Living and eventually running their volunteer and outreach program, setting up leafleting and tabling events all over Chicago. He is now a Chicago Outreach Coordinator for Mercy For Animals and Director of Outreach for Justice For Animals as well as a leafleter for VeganOutreach.  He works full time doing shipping logistics for two of the largest wind farm developers in the US. He was Mercy For Animals’ 2008 Activist of the Year.



Gill Gillomo
Gill Gillono was an “environmentalist vegetarian” for 10 years prior to realizing how much more could be achieved as a vegan. Throughout the years Gill has learned so much & fully embraced the vegan community as her chosen family in complete alignment with her core values. Prior to VeganMania, Gill had been involved as a tireless independent recycler and Freecycler,  as well as a Greening volunteer for Chicago’s Green Festival since its inception, scheduling herself from morning to night to help the Festival meet its sustainability goals, and for which she was honored as one of the top volunteers of the decade in 2011.  Gill will be co-leading the super fun and incredibly efficient GreenTeam at Chicago VeganMania, whose mission is to divert as much waste as possible away from landfill and into recycling & composting. Come join her!!



Marci Rubin and Damian Overlord
Marci Rubin is a vegan activist, artist, curator, and DJ. She has been involved with the vegan and animal rights community for the past 11 years. After earning her Master’s Degree in art with an emphasis on sculpture from the University of Chicago, she opened Framing Mode & Gallery, a full service custom framing boutique in Chicago's South Loop. Framing Mode’s gallery features local original fine art and and has hosted fundraisers for PCRM, Mercy for Animals, and Chicago Vegan Mania. This past year, with the help of Vegfund, Marci fed over 700 people vegan fare at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. She has been involved with vegan activist work on the playa for the past 4 years. AKA DJ Veganinblack, Marci’s music collection includes classic goth, industrial, 80's new wave, electronica, chillout, and darkstep. From residing at the Burning Man Festival's Club Planet Earth and Black Planet to various Chicago club appearances, DJ Veganinblack also donates her talent to animal rights and fundraising events.

Damian is a musician, sound engineer, DJ and philosopher. After obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Audio Arts and Acoustics from Columbia College he built a recording studio and launched Teknosis Audio Labs, an event production company in Chicago. They specialize in sound, DJs, lighting, staging and video projection. As a vegetarian in his teen years he posed a question that inspired years of further research: "Why do we eat foods that require refrigeration?". He began to obsess about bacteria, microbes and states of decay, and how meat and dairy fit into the equation. This led him to the word Vegan and a new way of looking at the world. Since then he has volunteered for Mercy For Animals, driven the Chicago Vegan Food Truck for a spell and continues to learn how to walk softly upon the earth. Damian goes by DJ Dominion behind the decks. He utilizes drum machines and synthesizer technology to inspire. He has been collecting synthesizers for 20 years, and his current work involves integrating live synthesizers with his DJ sets.




Volunteers needed
We’re looking for dedicated folks to help us plan the event, as well as volunteers to help on-site. If you are interested, please contact volunteers@chicagoveganmania.com.


Get the news while it's hot
For the latest info about Chicago VeganMania, you should get our newsletter delivered right to your inbox.
Sign up now!


Questions?
Please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com.


Chicago VeganMania 2011
Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm
at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk
chicagoveganmania.com

Thanks to the selfless photographers who have donated their talents and images to Chicago VeganMania and this Newsletter:
Eric Poders (banner photo, chef demo image, exhibitors, pics, green team shot) and Hannah West (kid's activities images).
The image of The Giving Tree Band appears courtesy of Tracy Graham.



Chicago Soydairy is proud to be a sponsor at this year’s Chicago VeganMania! To show our excitement we'd like to offer you a $1 off coupon for Teese Vegan Cheese (available at Whole Foods Market). Please join our mailing list and we'll be sending out the coupon within the week.

About Chicago Soydairy
Chicago Soydairy makes delicious cruelty-free food products with taste and texture similar to their animal-based counterparts. Our innovative products include the award winning Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, Teese Vegan Cheese, and Temptation Vegan Ice Cream. We are 100% vegan owned and operated!



___________________________________________________________

Check out our late summer newsletter....



Chicago VeganMania is a celebration of vegan food, culture, and lifestyle. We bring together the the best vegan restaurants and food companies, leaders and entrepreneurs, doctors and chefs, businesses and organizations, singers and dancers, and we put them in one big place to show them all off to the world.

You don't have to be vegan to attend or enjoy Chicago VeganMania. You don't even have to understand or care why people would adopt a vegan lifestyle. We just want you to have fun. Chicago VeganMania is a festival where you can eat wonderful food, enjoy great music and lively entertainment, discover unique vegan products, and learn the secrets of vegan chefs. There are even places where you can learn about the whys and hows of veganism if you're so inclined.

Our first two celebrations exceeded everyone's expectations, and this fall we'll be back, bigger than ever. So stop by and prepare yourself for an exciting and wonderful day.



Date and venue announcement
This year’s Chicago VeganMania will take place on Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm, at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk.

For those of you who have heard we were moving, we did try to find a larger venue for this year, but the venue we chose ran into construction delays, so we will stay at Pulaski Park one more year. We will let you know about next year’s venue and date once those plans are finalized.



New this year
We’ve made changes based on your feedback about what worked well in the past, and what could be improved:

    * We are locating the food court and the dining area in one room
    * We are creating a larger space for chef demos
    * We are relocating the exhibit tables that were in the hallway to one of the exhibit halls to ease traffic congestion
    * We are looking into parking options
    * Other exciting changes will be announced as they are finalized!



Speakers/Performers
Once again, Chicago VeganMania is putting together an A-list of wonderful presenters and workshops. We're carefully assembling the best possible program and we'll announce it as soon as it's ready.
We are also soliciting submissions for presentations on the themes of vegan food, culture, and lifestyle.  We are looking for speakers who can deliver engaging, positive experiences for our attendees. We are also soliciting submissions for performances by vegan musicians, comedians, dancers, and entertainers.
If you would like to be considered, please visit this page for presenters or this page for performers.  



Kids’ Activities
Chicago VeganMania looking for interactive, fun, and educational activities for our Kids’ Activity area (kids up to 12 years old).  Activity time slots range from 30 minutes to all day experiences and exhibits, and can include arts and crafts, storytelling, music and movement, cultural appreciation, and even science experiments!

If you would like to participate, please visit this page.  




Upcoming events
We will be tabling at the Evanston Green Living Festival on Saturday, September 24. Come check us out for the latest news!



Sponsors/Exhibitors
Our Exhibitor and Sponsor information packets are available for download on our website. If you would like to be a sponsor or exhibitor for this year’s event, please contact Isabel Schechter at sponsors@veganmania.com.


Our Team
In each issue of our newsletter, we’ll introduce you to some of the hardworking folks behind the scenes at Chicago VeganMania.



Marla Rose & John Beske
Marla Rose and John Beske became vegan together in 1995 after each had been vegetarian for more than a decade. In 1998 they founded Vegan Street, which became a popular web-based vegan magazine and organic clothing company, and they paired again to form EarthSave Chicago in 1999. EarthSave Chicago held rousing monthly potlucks at the now defunct Healing Earth Resources, and produced its first daylong vegan conference called The Conference for Conscious Living in 2000. Four more CCL events were held over the next several years, each bringing key leaders of the vegan movement to Chicago and each attracting several hundred attendees. Both the group and the event evolved into Chicago VeganMania, which burst onto the scene on October 10, 2009, and is now nearly ready to make its third annual appearance. Also in 2009, John and Marla were named "Activists of the Year" by Mercy For Animals.

In 2004, Marla published “Marla’s Vegan Guide to Chicago and the Universe”, and in 2005, Marla and John co-founded The Chicago Vegan Family Network, a social organization for families raising vegan children that has since grown to more than fifty families who meet monthly and take field trips together during the summer. Their own vegan son, Justice (age 9), started his own vegan operation with Mom, a gourmet lemonade and baked goods stand called Stand For Kindness, that operates every weekend and donates all its profits to charity.

During the day, John runs John Beske Communications, an advertising and design firm that services vegan and sustainable companies, and Marla is a frequent contributor to VegNews magazine, Encyclopaedia Brittanica’s Advocacy for Animals, Examiner.com and other publications, as well as her own blog, Vegan Feminist Agitator. Marla’s first novel, “The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero” is currently seeking publication.




Josh Alper
Josh has been vegan for just over 10 years, all three of his children were vegan before him and they were instrumental in educating him on this simple yet powerful idea that promotes sustainability, health and conscientious living. Together with his daughter Betty, they established GFREEV LLC in 2006 to promote Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free restaurants and food production companies. In 2009 GFREEV received the Progressive Business Award from Mercy for Animals. In 2011 GFREEV achieved non-profit status and has since dedicated it self to enabling small and/or progressive companies in the international vegan market place.

Josh's extensive international business and travel experience combined with a long time commitment to the science of human consciousness, gives him a unique insight into questions of how food decisions are made from both taste/chemical and ethical/cultural perspectives.

His current projects include the BOT Bakery, a local organic vegan gluten-free bakery in Chicago, The Total Package Food Challenge, a Certified Vegan Community Kitchen in Three Oaks, Michigan, and the establishment of an affiliated office of GFREEV in Istanbul, Turkey.



Isabel Schechter
Isabel has 15 years of experience producing events ranging from 10 to 35,000 attendees. Isabel’s client list includes the Chicago Green Festival, FamilyFarmed.org Good Food Festival, and Uncommon Ground Green Room Sessions. Isabel recently launched her own event production company, Attention to Detail Event Productions, LLC, and specializes in working with small- to mid-sized companies and non-profits on a variety of meetings, conventions, festivals, and special events.




Volunteers needed
We’re looking for dedicated folks to help us plan the event, as well as volunteers to help on-site. If you are interested, please contact volunteers@chicagoveganmania.com.


Get the news while it's hot
For the latest info about Chicago VeganMania, you should get our newsletter delivered right to your inbox.
Sign up now!


Questions?
Please contact us at info@chicagoveganmania.com.


Chicago VeganMania 2011
Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm
at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk
chicagoveganmania.com






Chicago VeganMania, September 29, Broadway Armory

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