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Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for November, 2008

AEO’s Regional Flavor gathering in Charleston, SC Dec 1-5, 2008

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 30, 2008

I’m looking forward to participating in a Regional Flavor Learning Cluster this week in Charleston, SC, as  part of the Minnesota regional group lead by White Earth Land Recovery Project.  The Regional Flavors project is coordinated by  the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), a national leadership organization and the voice of microenterprise development. By providing cutting edge training, knowledge sharing, Federal and State public policy and advocacy, and communications, AEO empowers a community of nearly 500 member organizations to be uniquely effective in serving the needs of microentrepreneurs who do not have access to traditionalsources or business education or capital.  Check their website for tools, resources, webinars, and much more.

What is the Regional Flavor Learning Cluster?
Building on our prior Food Sector, Sustainable Tourism, and Artisan Learning Clusters, AEO launched the Regional Flavor Learning Cluster in March 2007. Following a competitive Request for Proposal process, six regional networks in Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, and Ohio were selected for this four year project. Additional support for the Cluster has been secured through an USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grant awarded to AEO in April 2007.

Why Regional Flavor?
As many rural communities experience a ‘loss of power’ in their traditional economic engines (manufacturing, resource extraction, etc), this project offers new hope and opportunity. Utilizing collaborative efforts to implement a mix of rural economic development strategies that incorporate microenterprise development, regional tourism, cultural and historic assets, and agricultural product development, the Regional Flavor approach supports these entities and entrepreneurs in working together to rethink, redefine, and rebrand themselves and their regions.

Posted in microenterprise | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Twin City Travel Writers Group Forming

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 24, 2008

We're planning a second organizational meeting at the Wilde Roast Cafe in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m.  We have reserved
the Parlor Room.  It's free, but we need a minimum of six participants and we are expected to buy something to eat.

We would like to invite all existing members as well as the members of Deborah's current Alternative Writing class to join us.  The purpose
is to discuss how we can move forward with this group and how we can continue to support each other in our travel writing pursuits.  Let us
know if you can be there.  Please respond on the TCTW group site so that everyone can follow the conversation.

In the meantime, if you have anything going on, feel free to post a message.

Joe Koppi  email:

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Announcing the Indigenous Tourism Biodiversity Website Awards

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 24, 2008 and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity are collaborating to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. Indigenous tourism websites that promote sustainable practices and educate visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation are eligible to win’s Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website (ITBW) Award. Nominees include indigenous owned and operated tourism businesses around the world.

The Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award has been designed in partnership with the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) to motivate indigenous tourism operators and associations to improve their online communication and to highlight the best practices of indigenous and local communities (ILCs).

Nominations will be accepted until December 12, 2008. Voting takes place in January 2009.

For more information go to:

Posted in Native tourism | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spring “Loft” Travel Writing Class Announcment

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 24, 2008

Alternative Travel Writing
Instructor: Deborah McLaren
Class: M56-2, 6 Week Class, Winter/Spring 2009
Location: Open Book
Date(s): Tuesdays, March 10 – April 14
Time(s): 7:30 – 9:30 pm


Learn what it takes to be an alternative travel writer. This is a nuts-and-bolts class designed to turn personal stories into articles that are ready for publication. Be prepared to write in class and at home. Come prepared with a past trip or a new local destination for your topic. The class is fast paced: students will learn how to structure travel articles—from understanding the promise to the reader (title) to sidebar information. Through readings, written assignments, and individual critiques, students will gain a practical grasp of travel-writing techniques. Alternative travel writing introduces readers to places where they can experience something that is not mass-marketed and often features locally grown food and products, activities such as hiking and biking, birding, art events, touring farms and wineries, city infrastructure tours, and much more! Numerous resources, contacts, and magazine samples will be shared with the class each week. Copy fee of $3 payable to teaching artist.

35% presentation/lecture and review of master works
25% writing exercises & in-class writing
20% sharing student work
20% discussion of readings & publishing information

View current scholarship information Scholarships are available for this course: Full, Vaughan

Instructor Information: Deborah McLaren

View current sliding fee scale This class uses a sliding fee scale. Please proceed to checkout to determine final fee.

Posted in travel writing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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