Alchemy Initiative is a not-for-profit organization in Shire City (Pittsfield) MA. I am one of the 5 founders. For me, it all began as the church my husband and I purchased to house the manufacturing company bearing my name, became vacant. Suddenly we found ourselves as proud owners of a huge, beautiful, and expensive Roman Catholic Church that was built in 1895 for the French Canadian population of what was then, the booming city of Pittsfield, MA.
In January 2009, we (my three kids and hubby) were living on the third floor of the rectory, in one to the four apartments we had made there when Alchemy Initiative was born. For me it is all about creating the lifestyle desired in the place given. We landed here, in the very heart of this down trodden city where teenage pregnancy abounds, the high school drop out rate far surpasses that of surrounding areas, and poverty is prevalent. With the small grounds or campus of the church and rectory we own, we decided to develop the lifestyle we wanted without relocating. We rented apartments (which are actually condominiums) in the rectory to build the base of contributing neighbors in the hood. We tilled the lawn to flower, fruit and vegetable beds. A small chicken coop was erected to house 12 hens. Beehives were added for honey production, all right here in the heart of this place. It feels like we are the heart of this place, the busy engine, pumping simple possibility out, and around, circulating it back in.
Alchemy Initiative morphed and clarity was initiated as we developed our Board of Directors. Alchemy Initiative became our tenant in the lower level of the church, renting that space and the gardens. A director stepped up from our small group of founders, heading up the forward motion of the organization, filing papers with the IRS to be deemed a forthright Not For Profit organization was the first order of business. While the board continues to finesse the mission of Alchemy Initiative, I see it as this:
Developing community through the arts, food, careful consumption, and nature.
On April 20 and 21, 2012 we will be holding one of our two annual fundraising events. The Alchemy Initiative Earth Day Fashion Show, Dance Party, and Clothing Swap! Please come and enjoy, and see what we are up to. My blog will be filled with all sorts of information about us, and that event in the next weeks.