The following article first appeared on the May 13, 2015 Sierra Sun Give Back Tahoe page. It explores the very catalytic work of a creative collective exploring innovative solutions to extreme challenges the Tahoe Truckee region faces. Here, we discuss their first work: Elevate Tahoe, Food Innovations at 6,000ft. We look forward to the announcement of their next project as they continue to explore important issues.
The Tahoe Truckee region is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With changing seasons and elevations, our surrounding forests reveal endless opportunities to explore. Wildflowers and waterfalls, alpine lakes and valleys, peaks and couloirs, this area is unlike any other.
Conversely, the challenges that Tahoe Truckee residents face are also geographically distinct: soaring property values, weather dependent employment, and expensive basic necessities. Some may chalk up these challenges as facts of life, but many of our neighbors are adapting and creating new ways of living in the mountains.
Elevate Tahoe, a local creative collective comprised of Moonshine Ink and SBS Media House in partnership with Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF), sets out to explore regional challenges and solutions. Through film and public showings, Elevate Tahoe illuminates the adaptive ways our neighbors are living at 6,000 feet. What follows next is not only greater awareness, but a wider community conversation and call to action.
In 2014, the Queen of Hearts, a donor base of TTCF, were planning a membership Farm-to-Table Dinner highlighting a San Francisco-based speaker presenting urban food innovations. To ground the audience in what was happening here at home, TTCF partnered with Moonshine Ink and SBS Media Group to explore the topic in a seven minute video: Elevate Tahoe, Food Innovations at 6,000 feet.
The video was met with great enthusiasm when it premiered, and it was clear that seven minutes wasn’t enough. Soon, the production of a more in depth twenty-five minute film successfully captured the expanded stories of our food innovation.
Within our community, service clubs and venues have taken up the film enthusiastically. In January, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City exposed the film to more than four thousand festival participants.
Elevate Tahoe’s food innovators include local foragers, farmers, and educators who are passionate, inventive, and excited to spark change. Featured stories include: the Tahoe Food Hub, Harvest of the Month, Sierra Valley Farms, Alicia Funk- a local forager, and, mom turned backyard farmer, SunMie Won.
Elevate Tahoe’s success demonstrates our community’s overwhelming desire to overcome the challenges we face. As the conversation continues, more people are inspired to educate themselves and their families, and to participate in the food innovations available.
Intrigued by the process and results of their endeavor, the Elevate Tahoe team looks forward towards attacking other factors that are unique to living in our region difficult. In fact, the team is currently exploring their next topic and hopes to announce it very soon.
Watch the film on Vimeo. To show your support, mingle with Elevate Tahoe at the Truckee Wine, Walk and Shop Event for which they are the featured nonprofit. To learn more about their efforts and more upcoming events and educational workshops, visit their Facebook page.