VVC

2015 Vida Vegan Con Speaker Roundup #1

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We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We used and abused a dry-erase board… You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. Why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?! (Seriously, Google, how about sponsoring us?)

But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’ll feature a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we posted last week).

As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, smartypantses, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire.

So here they are, in randomly random order, your first handful of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:

Susan Voisin VVC III 2015

Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan

An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. She’ll also be sharing teaching duties in a class on monetizing your blog.

 

 

 

 

Sasha Perry VVC III 2015 speakers

Sasha Perry, of Strongest Hearts.

New to VVC, Sasha is a veteran filmmaker who was recently a producer and shooter (the camera kind!) on a little show called “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Sasha will be presenting on video and film as activism through storytelling. Get ready to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

Ginny Messina VVC III 2015 speakers

Ginny Messina, of The Vegan RD

Ginny’s back for her third round of VVC, and we couldn’t be more honored to bring you arguably the best-respected voice in vegan nutrition. This year she’ll be talking about a super hot topic, preventing ex-vegans.

 

 

 

 

Tashina Combs VVC III 2015 speakers

Tashina Combs, of Logical Harmony.

Tashina has become the go-to resource for vegan cosmetics and bodycare and we’re glad to welcome her to her first time speaking at VVC. She’ll be teaching us about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, what to look for, what questions to ask, and who you can trust.

 

 

 

Brian Patton VVC III 2015 speakers

Brian Patton, of The Sexy Vegan.

Cookbook author, podcaster, and the 2013 Vida Vegan Galarama host, Brian is presenting his first VVC class this year. He’ll be breaking down social media and teaching us how to tweet like you give a damn.

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it, round one, with so much more to come! Ready to register? Especially as we announce speakers, these tickets are gonna go fast. Put in for your vacation time and reserve your spot today!

 Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX

Late-Summertime Laze: Q&A with John McDevitt

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john_mcdevitt

Joining us in our walk down memory lane are some of our favorite Vida Vegan Con alumni. What are their upcoming projects and seasonal shenanigans—and what did they take home from VVC2013?

Today we’re checking in with John McDevitt. Running Vegan Omaha and helping the kitties via The Teal Cat Project, it’s ironic the he’s the voice behind The Laziest Vegans in the World. Hey, John!

What have you been up to this summer?

Traveling, relaxing, gardening, and jogging.

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?

Because I really like Jess, Janessa, and Michele. Plus, all of the presenters and attendees are amazing.

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

The VeganMofo class ruled.

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?

Not much. Still lazy as ever (blogwise, anyway).

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

Ha! Not at all. I did enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives, though.

Who were you really excited to meet?

Miyoko!

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?

I just love the vibe of the conference. So many vegans in one place, it’s pretty amazing! Happy to see everyone from 2011 and meet the 2013 newbies.

So, have you started reading any new blogs?

Yes, a couple! Can’t wait till VeganMofo to find even more cool vegan blogs.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

I like to see people having fun with blogging and not take it so seriously.

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?

Maybe expand the conference beyond blogging?

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?

A vegan cruise, just do it! [Editor's note: We've done some research, and we haven't ruled it out.]

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)

Portobello gnocchi.

Until next time, Mr. McDevitt.

See John’s coverage of the past Vida Vegan Con here (and catch up on convenience foods galore)! And stay tuned for more of our Month of Memories, from us (Janessa, Jess & Michele) and our Vida Vegan family, all VeganMoFo long.

Team Vida Vegan’s Always Cooking Something Up!

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Lentil pâté and notebooks, that's how it gets done.
Curried lentil dip and notebooks, that’s how it gets done.

After wrapping up VVC 2013—you know, returning rental fire extinguishers and dropping off the recycling from the Galarama—Janessa, Jess, and I all collapsed for a few good hours. Like real hard.

But then the sun rose, and it was back to spreadsheets and emails and meetings. Even with Janessa flying all over the damn globe, we’ve been videochatting and scheming and daring to dream. And we gotta tell ya, we’re pretty excited about the future of Vida Vegan. (Aside from VVC3, because yes, we’re obviously planning that too!)

The website: Vida Vegan Headquarters. Sure, we’ve given ourselves a little spit ‘n’ polish here, but by mid-2014, we hope to bring you an expanded site, where we can share so much more with you, including an events calendar and forum threads…because not everyone wants to be on Facebook, and besides, we can be a lot better organized here.

Vida Vegan Focus. More one-day intensives, like our Fall 2012 Tech offering, where we focus on one main topic for a small group. In 2014 and 2015, we’re looking at topics like Photography, Ethical Business, Blog Building, and Organization & Outreach.

The Vida Vegan Creative Retreat. What could you do with five or so days to focus on writing or photography while eating all vegan food in a relaxing setting? Maybe with breaks for yoga or meditation or a little nap under a tree? We’re location-scouting for a very intimate group (think a maximum of 30) for some loosely guided artistic/work retreat.

Online courses and guides. We know not everyone can travel to our events—although we are definitely getting out on the road to reach more of you—so we’re developing some very focused online courses and downloadable guides so you can get your learn on while still in pajamas (which is exactly how we do a lot of our planning). Let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

Local events. We’ll also be producing some smaller, Portland events…maybe even one in early December 2013.

Sooo…that should keep us all busy for a bit!

The VVC Shop Is Now Open

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vvc-2013-mug

Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear.  We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.

The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)

That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.

You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.

Thank you, and enjoy!

VVC Vegan Tattoo Sale, Take 2

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Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.

berries jess
Jess about to go under the needle. You could be next!

One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).

What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.

We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.

berries fitting
Janessa figuring out placement
berries stencil
Jess with the stencil placed and ready to be inked
berries 1
And Michele, all done (and a little swollen and hurty)

While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!

Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(503) 233-4292

Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!

Portland Picks with Lisa Coulson, Panda with Cookie (PPK, represent)

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First up in our series of personalized Portland Picks is the one-and-only Panda with Cookie, aka Lisa Coulson. These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze a little time outside of the busy, busy conference wandering in our vegan wonderland.  Let’s find out Lisa’s Portland-musts below…
panda1
True life.

Your Name: Lisa Coulson

Your Website/Business: Panda With Cookie

What to See:

1. Mt. Tabor.  Lovely place for a stroll and a beautiful neighborhood in the spring.

SW Waterfront. Image source: Visions2200.com

2. Downtown waterfront. An excellent location for a bike ride next to the river. Roll down the Springwater trail to check out the feral cat feeding stations and the twin fluffy black cats there on occasion.

3. Portland Farmers Market, Saturdays at PSU. I love me some farmers markets and there’s a good number of vegan options aside from the usual piles of produce.

Where to get your Pizza, Scone & Waffles on:

1. Dovetail Bakery. Best scones in the US. Get many and bring me one.

2. Dove Vivi. Cornmeal crust pizza with roasted corn and homemade cashew cheese. Add the smoked tomatoes. Can I get a hallelujah for a place that still does their own cheese instead of using a packaged one?

Corn cashew vegan slice with smoked tomato (of course), Dove Vivi

3. FlavourSpot. Get your maple pecan Dutch waffle taco on.

Where to Sip Some Tea:

1. Townshend’s Tea. 2 locations serving mighty fine teas.

Lapsang souchong it up.

2. Lan Su. Chinese garden downtown that is a lovely place to visit. They have a tea house with a nice selection.

Where to Shop:

panda2
We love Panda. We love cookies.

1.Vegan Mini Mall. Head down to Herbivore, Sweetpea, Scapegoat, and Food Fight! and enjoy that everything you can eat or buy in the whole strip is vegan.

2. Powell’s Books. Support your local independent book sellers. Sweetpea treats are in their cafe area.

3. Get some Heidi Ho chia cheese sauce. That stuff is good on everything. Usually in the cold case at Food Fight!

 

Stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC II Google Map.

VVC 2013: Getting to the Portland Art Museum

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Let’s get you to Vida Vegan Con!

Our event takes place at the Portland Art Museum for the first time this May, and our Getting to Portland page has all the information and tips you need on flying, driving, taking the train, and busing from out-of-town, as well as local transportation and bike rental ideas.  If you’re planning on taking the BoltBus from Seattle, Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C., do be on the look-out, as their schedule is posted 4-6 weeks in advance and tickets go quite quickly these days (and it *is* shockingly possibly to snag a $1 ticket, as Jess here, can personally attest). This post will review the nitty-gritty of getting to the Museum & more, so please make sure to read carefully.

Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other.
Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other. There will be signs on how to quickly get to and from.

Immediate Area & Google Map

We’ve been putting together a brand-new Vida Vegan Con II Google Map so you can get a feel for the Portland area. It includes all official and unofficial conference happenings, as well as dining and lodging recommendations, and directions to and from several important locales. We highly suggest that you bookmark it if you’re a smart phone user. If you’d like to see something added, say the word and we’ll do our best to get it in.

The address of the Portland Art Museum is: 1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

For more details, and to peruse the latest exhibits, visit the PAM website.

We’ve put all the official Vida Vegan Con II locations, including:
  • The Portland Art Museum
  • Staver Locomotive – the home of the Saturday night Galarama & Silent Auction, sponsored by So Delicious, which is included in conference registration (though tickets are available for family & friends!)
  • White Owl Social Club (home of our unofficial but official Thursday night Meet & Greet)
  • Numerous hotels, guesthouses, hostels and other lodging ideas, many of which are offering weekend discounts if you sign up for a room by the end of April
  • Peoples’ Coop
  • The Vegan Mini Mall at SE 12th & Stark (Herbivore Clothing, Sweetpea Baking Co., Scapegoat Tattoo and Food Fight! Grocery), the latter of which is home to the Friday night Pop-Up Sandwich & Queso Shop, hosted by Upton’s Naturals and Food for Lovers Queso
  • All our favorite must-go vegan eats & locations around town – feel free to email us or leave a comment if you’d like us to add something!
The Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum

Getting to the Art Museum:

More on Public Transit 

All you need to know about using Trimet’s MAX lightrail, bus lines and the Portland Streetcar lines to get to the Portland Art Museum is on our Venue page.  For custom Trimet trips from anywhere in the Portland metro area, use the official (and easy!) Trimet Trip Planner.

The Portland Art Museum is centrally located on multiple bus lines, the recently expanded Portland Streetcar system, and a few blocks from the MAX lightrail. The closest lines are technically the streetcar and the #6 and #15 buses, but it’s also a quick walk from any bus  (which includes most lines) and the MAX that stops along the downtown bus mall.

Please note, there is no more Fareless Square. Tickets are now required for all buses and trains.
 
Metered street parking: read more below
Metered street parking: read more below

 About Parking

There is much metered street parking in the area (most spaces limited to 2 or 3 hours—and you can’t just keep feeding the meters; you have to move your car to another block or you will get a ticket), and many parking garages.

We’ve also investigated two nearby parking lots, which are across the street from each other from the conference, at SW Park and Main, and one block north. Be sure to investigate your options, as rate can vary. 

SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW 10th
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
These two carts are right across the street from each other on SW Main, from the corner of the Portland Art Museum

Stay tuned for a lodging round-up (plus, our favorite Portland vegan musts & local recs) soon – and check out our recommendations and various promotional discounts across town in the meantime. Remember, it’s a holiday weekend, so book those rooms!

Galarama seeks Vegan-Friendly Food Carts!

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If you’re a vegan-friendly food cart operator in the Portland area—or mobile and looking for an excuse to visit—we’d love to have you stop by our Saturday night Galarama + Silent Auction on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

We simply ask that you:

a) are a cart

b) make great vegan food

c) only serve vegan food at this event

d) show up with aforementioned great vegan food for a crowd!

More details:

The Vida Vegan Galarama is being held 7–930pm. All 300 Vida Vegan Con II attendees are invited (and their admission is included in the ticket price) and the event is open to the public. More information and General Admission tickets are available here (So exciting: VIP tickets have already sold out).

Please let us know your menu ideas, rates (or minimum), and if you’d rather charge individually or cater at a flat rate.

Gluten-free options are encouraged.

All participants will be featured on our website.

It’s that easy! Email us to get involved and to discuss promotions! Galarama.org [at] gmail.com

Anyone else pretending this cart is a) in Portland and b) vegan? Make it happen.
One more thing: Anyone else pretending this cart is a) in Portland and b) vegan? Let’s dream.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock: This Many Tickets Remain for Vida Vegan Con II…

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Vegan alert! Vegan alert!

As of this post, there are IS officially FOUR MAKE THAT THREE AND THEN THERE WERE TWOtickets ONE TICKET remaining to the second Vida Vegan Conference. The now three-day, action-packed vegan weekend of classes, workshops, community building, socializing, dancing, new product sampling, and vegan food and fun galore returns May 24-26, 2013, to the Portland Art Museum, and we hope to see you there!

So, review your budget, peruse the agenda, and run, run, and click as fast as you can to the Registration page. Don’t miss out as the “vegan love fest” returns!

Janessa displays our award, which quickly went onto the mantle above her sweet fireplace.
Janessa displays our award, which quickly went onto the mantle above her sweet fireplace.

Speaking of ticketsif you’re attending and have a plus-one hanging around the Portland area (I mean, this city is pretty dang amazing and offers an ever-growing list of coffee shops, tea spots, independent movie theaters, bookstores, cozy pinball bars, and creative, locally inspired restaurants to while away an afternoon in—and we’ll be posting some VVC favorites soon), do consider bringing them and any other local friends to the equally bigger & better Galarama on Saturday, May 25th.

This event, which is home to the Silent Auction for Chimp Sanctuary Northwest, will be held at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland and includes a very special host.

More details and ticket information are at Galarama.org

Please note that VIP tickets are now sold out, but there are plenty of general admission spots (and attendance is included for weekend registrants, of course).

If you’d like to donate a Silent Auction item, you can sign up here. Thank you!

Design the 2013 Vida Vegan Con T-Shirt!

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Update: We will be unveiling the winner soon!

Hey, You!
Design the Vida Vegan Con II T-shirt!

When it gets down to it, not much is better than your favorite T-shirt, and we at Vida Vegan Con want to be that T-shirt! And we want YOU to help make that happen. So, we are holding a contest to design that very T-shirt!
This shirt will be available for pre-order and pickup at the conference registration desk—and limited online, too.

Here’s the deal…

Rules:

Please email your design in PDF format by March 16, 2013, to VidaVeganShirtContest@gmail.com

We ask that you include the final (as it can be) file and are open to ever so slight, teeny tiny modifications if need be. Vida Vegan logo and other information may be included in addition to your design on the front or back of T-shirt (one print location only). We’re thinking a dark shirt color, and it will likely be screen-printed.

We will pick our very favorite and share all submissions online for help along the way.

You need not be an attendee to enter!

Please include:

Vida Vegan Con II
Vida Vegan logo (see below) – or make a new one!

Consider including:

May 2013
May 24-26, 2013
Portland
Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon
vidavegancon.com
Vegan Summer Camp
Vegan stuff!

Prize:

Vida Vegan website profile,two tickets to the Saturday night Galarma & Silent Auction, fame, and of course, glory.

Here’s a little bit of official inspiration to get you going:

Vida Vegan Con Logo

VVC Badge

That’s it! For now….