Edgy Mama: HATCH, family-friendly style

We’re not hatching chicks here, we’re hatching ideas, inspiration and connections. At least, I think that’s what HATCH Asheville’s all about.

This is the event’s second year in town, and it runs April 15-18 (yes, that’s this week). While the free panels and workshops are geared toward adults, HATCH Asheville board co-chair Sean O’Connell says, “There’s nothing inappropriate here for kids. It’s just whether or not your kids are interested.”

Though you might want to check the descriptions of some of the films before you bring along young ’uns.

But the good news is that, if, like me, you’re short on baby sitters, you still can participate in many HATCH Asheville events. There are several that seem more family-friendly than others, so let’s talk about those.

For the up-and-coming musician: The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. The bus will be parked near the WCQS office downtown, around 73 Broadway. I think it’ll be easy to spot (see photo).

As far as I’m concerned, anything plastered with John Lennon’s name must be cool. The bus bearing his moniker is a nonprofit audio and video recording and production facility that travels the country encouraging students to play music, write songs, engineer recording sessions and produce videos.

In fact, the bus will arrive in Asheville in the wee hours of Saturday morning as it’s being driven from Spokane. The up-and-coming musicians chosen as HATCH groundbreakers will work the bus on Saturday. You’ll be able to check out what they produce that day on the HATCH Asheville Web site.

Then on Sunday, the rest of us can get on the bus. “It’s inspiration on wheels,” O’Connell says. “You can learn about the legacy of John Lennon and see projects that other kids have created on the bus. See? Cool.

For your young story tellers: Bo Taylor, Cherokee story teller, will share the evolution of storytelling from the Cherokee perspective at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, at 49 Broadway. Taylor, who is well-known in the region for his Cherokee dancing, will trace how traditional oral story-telling evolved into modern day forms such as film and digital media. And I bet he’ll tell a tale or two.

For the playful young innovator: Brendan Boyle of IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm, will offer a “fun and interactive” workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to HATCH Asheville board co-chair Christine Lowe.

Boyle believes that innovative companies “often share in common a culture of optimism and playfulness.” So he wants to look at building a culture of innovation through play. Which, I think, is something that children remind us of often. This one sounds like it’ll be inspirational for those of us who’ve started getting stodgy in our thinking. Of course, if you bring your kids to this workshop, they’ll probably be thinking, “Well, duh, I could’ve told you that.” Play on, dudes.

For the mini-fashionista: O’Connell notes that there are a number of fashion-oriented events that might intrigue some kids, especially tweens and teens. The fashion panel that most intrigues this clothing-challenged mom is “The Scope and Potential of Sustainability Issues in Fashion and Textiles.” That will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, at 49 Broadway. This panel’s all about understanding the life cycle of a garment and addressing it’s impact on the environment.

“This is Asheville — it’s a place where people want to teach their kids about creativity,” O’Connell says. And where stuff comes from.

In honor of full disclosure, I’ve volunteered to help at a couple of HATCH events, but they’ll be the less-kid-friendly parties on Thursday and Friday nights. All events are free, except for evening parties and films. So if you want to get out of the house and let me pour you a beer, find a sitter and come on.

Otherwise, I’ll see you on the bus — the John Lennon Bus.

For more information and schedule of HATCH events, visit www.hatchasheville.org.

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