Interview with Jasmine Fuego
The Art of Creating Transformational Space
Jasmine Fuego, Co-founder of the Permaculture Action Network, is part performer, part educator, and full artivist. Jasmine pulls from her worlds of permaculture organizing, performance and youth education to curate and create transformational events centered around bridging art and culture with social & environmental justice.
In her interview, we talked about how her various paths have culminated in her current two main income streams that she loves, and how her school-year job has allowed her to launch her business as a performer. We also discussed at length about she identified unfilled niches (the Permaculture Action Network and Jasmine’s “Unraveled” house concert tour are both efforts to “decolonialize” the arts and permaculture) and combined innovation and entrepreneurship to design alternative business models that include multiple forms of abundance.
Due to her multifaceted experience as an event organizer and performer, Jasmine shared with us her insights into “transformative space”–what it is, and how to co-create it.
Also, look at the photos on Jasmine’s website, because they are inspiring! We talked about the need to convey what our work is about through visual images, and getting comfortable being “really visible” in our work.
Finally, we talked about her music (I had the pleasure of hosting Jasmine for a house concert the night before this interview in the Summer of 2017), and her EP which was released shortly thereafter. Listen to some tracks here, and you will want to buy her music!
Time-stamps for the interview are at the bottom of this page.
Her song, Woman, is one of my new anthems, and we talk about it in the interview, and a new music video for it is in the making!
Time Stamps of our Interview
0:30 General overview of the interview
2:05 Meeting Jasmine - educator, artist and permaculture culture keeper… working to bring those three areas together in a more holistic way
3:05 Her work with the Permaculture Action Network to use the energy gathered around bigger festival & events to ground this in social justice food justice in practical ways by getting people to build gardens with their own hands in cities and schools
4:40 Youth educator doing inner permaculture: mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Learning the inner landscapes of our emotions and tools to interact and relate to ourselves and others in a regenerative way.
6:06 Her artistry: performance artist, dancer, singer. Her “living room tour” and first album, Unraveled.
7:00 How Jasmine prepared for her path, and how she gets paid for organizing work, which is often unpaid. A deeper dive into The Permaculture Action Network (TPAN).
9:15 The art of asking—our vision for the tour, presencing the value of our work and contributions. Our crowdfunding campaign raised $56K so we could be paid and fund projects in 32 communities. The “Art of Asking” and TPAN’s evolution towards grant funding.
12:30 Choosing groups to work within communities—how Jasmine and TPAN connected with the right folks by crowdsourcing them
14:30 The beauty of the “Art of Asking” in enabling us to be in service to folks.
15:30 Skills learned to be an effective, thoughtful organizer
22:00 How Jasmine got started in entertainment, and how her skills weave together—Using the art and culture space to bring more attention to what our planet and communities need. Shows that feel like a conversation and co-creation with the folks attending.
26:50 The Art of Creating Transformative Space
33:00 Connecting a community and co-creating by highlighting the gifts in the people present
37:00 The importance of innovating new solutions and pairing them with abundance models (instead of biz models) in order to sustain ourselves
38:35 The shaming of money and business in the permaculture world, and how Jasmine embraces “the problem is the solution” and permaculture in applying entrepreneurial skills to des
42:25 Jasmine shout outs to her teachers: Pandora Thomas, Karryn Olson, Starhawk, Penny Livingston, IMAP (the Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute)
43:30 Shining a light on the importance of mentorship
44:17 The “Living Room Tour.” Donation-based concerts that enable folks to attend and pay what they have available and have access to the healing and medicine of her music, and their community… and how Jasmine is nurtured through this model
45:30 Pandora Thomas used her social capital to open up opportunities in the permaculture world to get on stages and be spotlighted, and to take charge of my finances
46:40 Karryn’s first Thrivelihood course enabled Jasmine to apply permaculture design to my life and goals. We also hear more about Jasmine’s “Abundance Model”
49:35 Starhawk’s Empowerment Manual helped Jasmine learn to deal with interpersonal dynamics and organizing, coming into new communities
50:18 Penny Livingston taught me how to reach out to my plant allies for self care
51:45 Karryn asks: How do you say what your niche is? Whom do you serve?
56:30 Jasmine’s work with youth, and how her visions for them informs her work
58:00 The multigenerational nature of her “Good Culture” and other audiences, and serving youth in particular, which allows parents and grandparents to support her
1:00:00 Taking your great idea out into the world, and the importance of customer discovery
1:01:15 Small and slow solutions for building your livelihood… and Jasmine’s examples, including http://mindfullifeproject.org and how skills you learn from an “anchor job” can transfer between livelihood “ecotones”
1:08:15 Getting really visible with our work. Jasmine shares the stunning pictures of her, that convey artistry, audaciounsess, beauty, ecology, and more. We hear insights about how to deal with blocks about being/becoming more visible. See Jasmine at http://www.jasminefuego.com/media or follow her on Instagram @jasminefuego
1:13:00 As a woman, unravelling the narrative that “to be humble means to be invisible.” Instead, offering our services opens up the opportunity for someone to receive. Being visible is necessary to get the things you are doing off the ground.
1:17:00 For folks who don’t feel comfortable on screen, some insights
1:19:30 Images that portray you
1:23:20 Contribute to Jasmine’s Abundance by following her on Instagram @jasminefuego or FB /jazfuego, or play and share her music, which you can find http://www.jasminefuego.com/music, Spotify, Apple music, Soundcloud, YouTube, etc
1:25:50 What Jasmine’s lyrics mean: “I am the Woman, the peace in the war…” acknowledging the times we are in now, a moment of unravelling and some of that looks like a war on life… and still here I am in my center, a beacon of life and light, "and I will stand in this war offering fully my heart, because I am the Woman, and that’s what I was birthed to do."
1:27:49 Goodbye from Karryn & Jasmine