Post Written by Phayvanh Luekhamhan
“It’s always worth seeing what’s available from Marketplace members. We value the opportunity to do business with organizations that share our values.” – Jim Lockridge, Executive Director, Big Heavy World
The Web is full of information and the best place to find out about Vermont’s musical acts is at bigheavyworld.com, the home of Big Heavy World, a volunteer-run organization that has been cataloging and promoting Vermont music since 1996. The website’s black background and colorful fisheye photos portray a high-energy underground populated by cool, talented people. Under founder Jim Lockridge’s leadership, Big Heavy is drawn towards innovation.
“Our participation pre-dated the VBSR Marketplace – Amy’s work with alternative currency, then the sustainable exchange, were cutting edge and embodied local values.” Jim wants not only to engage the young people he works with, but do so with meaning. By selling underwriting via the Marketplace, he knows he’s doing business that builds community by reinvesting local dollars. “These objectives were perfectly aligned with our organization’s world view,” says Jim.
Big Heavy’s crew is largely comprised of high-schoolers and college students, who manage to run 105.9 FM The Radiator, Burlington’s LPFM station. They’re also busy making compilation CDs, and following Burlington’s live music scene. The volunteers have fun doing it, as stated on the website, “if it weren’t a blast we wouldn’t bother.”
On a slim budget, how does Big Heavy support and develop its staff? Again turning to the VBSR Marketplace, they purchased tuition for a certificate course at Marlboro College Graduate School using the Marketplace’s internal currency, the Trade Dollar, that they had earned from selling underwriting to another VBSR member. The course, Jim says, gave “exposure to concepts and tools that are now essential” to his work.
“The experience would not have been possible without the Marketplace.”
Jim values his access to VBSR’s network of socially responsible businesses. Their values reinforce his. Plus, using the Marketplace was easy: “The communication leading up to it and the confirmation…The transaction was very fluid.”
What are you waiting for?
Photos from Big Heavy World.