Spring Is Here!

Share +

Spring is here! Blossoms on trees, warmer days, melting snow and the re-emergence of green. For more than 6 years the wild, unruly growth that is The Icarus Project has been sending roots deep into the soil and spreading tendrils of radical mental health and mutual support throughout society. With the new season Icarus is doing some spring cleaning as we consolidate the work of the past 6 months and gear up for the energizing times ahead, so here is our Spring 2009 update!In our biggest news, Icarus brought in two new lead co-coordinators! We created job shares out of existing positions to bring new Icaristas on board even as we're limited in our budget and resources. They've joined the Intergalactic Coordinator Collective (formerly known as the "National Coordinator Collective," we decided to change the name to express our allegiance to the sun, moon, and stars not human nation/state models alone) to tend the growth of Icarus across the country and around the world. It was a several months-long hiring search with more than 40 applicants, and narrowing it down was a difficult process as there were so many highly qualified people interested, but we decided on Angel Adeyoha and Annie Robinson. Welcome to Icarus Intergalactic Organizing!Angel Adeyoha comes from the queer and trans activism communities; a creative outsider spirit. You can read more about her here http://legacy.theicarusproject.net/icarusorganizational/welcomeanewicarista. Annie Robinson is a long-time Icarus organizer who's work at NYU with Gallatin Campus Icarus made a huge impact on the student culture there. Annie and Gallatin Campus Icarus werejust awarded the NYU President's Community Service Award, which is a great honor and tremendous recognition for all the hard work they've been doing. Congratulations Annie! You can read more about Annie here http://legacy.theicarusproject.net/community/welcominganewicaristaagainIcarus is organized into 6 different areas of working groups with the leaderfullness of partnered collective coordinators, here is a taste of what's been going on.Working Groups evolution Spring 2009!

  • Mimi/admin & distro orders(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
  • Molly/support network support(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
  • Will/media & publications media(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
  • Madigan/floating air control support roll
  • Nick/web develop admin(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
  • Michael and Annie/education & outreach campus(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
  •  Angel/education & outreach campus focus campus(at)theicarusproject(dot)net

Our support network coordinator Molly Sprengelmeyer reports: On an organizational level we are solidifying our working group structure, which is proving successful in engaging more community volunteers. We've got a plan in the works to create a council of sage advisors and vision keepers to support this structure, strengthening our foundation even more. Coming full circle with Women's Encuentro feedback, we're developing procedures related to collective accountability, modifying our wellness policy and adding regular working group evaluations. Newest local groups include Boston, Seattle, Arkansas and Evergreen State College Campus.The monthly community conference calls originally seeded by Madigan Shive, have now become a lively and dynamic way for people to connect in real time, share resources and support, air concerns, gain peer comaradery and give input into Icarus overall.  In the coming months we will increase our use of conference call technology for structured skills shares on topics as various as web technology,  forum moderation, facilitation, advocacy and interfacing with the media.Icarus co-instigator Ashley McNamara is back in San Francisco! Here's a message from her:After a tumultuous year spent living in England, I’ve recently returned to the San Francisco Bay Area ready to reconnect with people and projects that have been a huge part of my life, including Icarus. I’m working with the Bay Area Radical Mental Health Collective again, and am joining the BARMHC for a trip down to the Santa Cruz Anarchist Convergence on May 9th , where I’ll be facilitating a reprise of the workshop on Surviving Trauma that I developed for the London Feminist Health Gathering this March. In addition, I’m hoping to spearhead a collaboration between Icarus and the BARMHC on a reader around trauma – hopefully something with the scope and artistry of Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness, but focused on how people experience and heal from trauma, rather than bipolar. Stay tuned for a call for submissions from Icaristas far and wide – we’ll be looking for all kinds of writing and images. When I’m not scheming about various projects, I’ve been starting up an organic gardening business, hanging out with family and friends, singing, riding my bike everywhere, and enjoying the tremendous amounts of sunshine that bless this part of the world every spring.Thanks to Nick, lead coordinator of our website working group, we recently launched an organic group feature, which supports autonomous local groups by providing a way for groups to post notes in a Wiki, maintain calendars, make announcements, and further horizontal activism and support. So far 8 local groups have set themselves up to pilot the feature. Organic groups have also increased our organizational transparency by having a more accessible place to post housekeeping notes and collective documents. Check it all out here: http://legacy.theicarusproject.net/book/icarusgroups.We're also starting to stay in touch with people more using our email list, so if you're interested please make sure to sign up on our homepage http://legacy.theicarusproject.net/ Angel in Education and Outreach focused on campus organizing, describes some recent efforts:We kicked off Spring with successful tabling at the Hunter College Health and Wellness Fair on the 31st of March. More tabling will happen at TentCity at Rutgers on May Day (May 1st), so there's lots of chances to come and pick up some Icarus stuff and say hi! In other cool news, we are working with Fountain House's HeadStrong campus program to have even more chances to connect with and empower students. Watch out, Summer is next!Media, education, publications and fundraising activities have also been getting attention. We recently published a spanish language edition of the Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, and downloads and inquiries have been steady. German, Japanese, and Dutch translations are also in the works, let us know if you might be able to help with proofreading and distribution. We finally got the Navigating The Space reader available online as a free download, expanding its reach as a steady underground influence on the culture.Annie Robinson reports that she and collaborators have been doing amazing work with the NYU Gallatin campus Icarus group, and independent student organization she organizes for. Live ThroughThis! book anthology editor Sabrina Chapdjiev offered a workshop on the "Insanity of Gender," co-sponsored with NYU National Organization of Women and the Center for Study of Gender, with more than 30 people turning out to puzzle through the madness of femininity, masculinity, and everything between and beyond. The Gallatin group also hosted a screening of Equus, the classic psychoanalytic film about normalcy and madness, followed by a rollicking discussion, and they welcomed the spring with a huge Integrative Health Fair, with over 40 presenters and practitioners bringing wellness, nutrition and holistic health to more than 200 participants.Allies have also been leading & weaving innovative connections with Icarus. Icarus has always been deeply connected to the broader DIY and punk music scenes, and Defiance Ohio, the anti-capitalist acoustic folk-punk band known for their lively shows and community-mindedness, just released 4 songs to benefit the Icarus Project! 100% of all donations go directly to Icarus. Check out http://defianceohio.terrorware.com/icarus/. Madness Radio, hosted by Will Hall, continues to draw on Icarus collaborators for the hour-long FM interview program syndicated on Pacifica, recently including Gianna Kali, Mary Kate Connor, Annie Robinson, Gabriella Coleman, Machete Mendias, Steven Morgan and Sabrina Chapadjiev. Listen at http://www.madnessradio.net.Recent news from New York City is that our Fountain House office location, which for four years has been a wonderful base for networking and distributing our publications, hosting art shows and advocacy events, is now moving across Manhattan to the A.J. Muste Buidling with the War Resisters League. A huge thanks to Fountain House for opening minds and hearts to the peer-led Icarus vision, establishing a wellness unit and welcoming our unruly band of freaks and visionaries into one of the most established mental health community services in the country. Thanks Fountain House! We look forward to our next chapter of cross community building. Our new spot downtown puts us closer to NYU and promises interesting synergy with the anti-war movement. Look for updates as we settle in.We recently got this update from Icarus co- instigator Sascha Dubrul, who has been taking a break from organizing since December:It's so inspiring to hear how well things are going with Icarus! I'm so proud of all the people in leadership positions who are holding the collective together and I'm looking forward to reengaging with the project when I can. For those in the community who weren't around to be a part of the fiery mess, this past July I had my first full blown "psychotic breakdown" since we started the Icarus Project and ended up being brought by the police to Bellevue Hospital (ironically after giving a talk there to a group of psychiatrists a few weeks earlier!). After unsuccessfully trying to live in Brooklyn for awhile and work a regular job, I ended up working at a Yoga Ashram far away from all my peeps, which is where I've been for the past four months, slowly putting the pieces back together and thriving in the healthy spiritual structure. I'm learning so much here that I never would have been able to if I hadn't crashed so hard and I'm looking forward to coming home to the Icarus community with a lot more knowledge and skills. I'm not online much these days but if anyone wants to write me do it here: scatter(at)theicarusproject(dot)net Mad Love!  - saschaHas The Icarus Project helped or supported you? Do you use our forums or get information from our resource section? Are you part of the movements we are nourishing and supporting? Show your involvement- we need your donations! Because we do not accept state or corporate interests, we depend entirely on volunteer membership energy and personal contributions to keep this going and cover our basic housekeeping expenses. It's easy to make an online financial contribution just click here. Donations are tax-deductible, and even small amounts like $10 or $20  add up. Please join us, donate and participate in your Icarus community navigating the space between brilliance and madness!Mad Gifts of Radical Love & Gratitude,The Icarus Project (TIP) Housekeepers: Intergalactic Coordinators Collective: mimi, angel, michael, will, annie, madigan, molly and nickwhyrad⋅i⋅cal (mental health)   /?ræd?k?l/  [rad-i-kuhl]–adjective1.     of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.2.     thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.3.     favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic4.     forming a basis or foundation.5.     existing inherently in a thing or person6.     Mathematics.a.     pertaining to or forming a root.b.     denoting or pertaining to the radical sign.c.     irrational (def. 5b).7.     Grammar. of or pertaining to a root.8.     Botany. of or arising from the root or the base of the stem.---------Thanks to Steven Morgan for the photos, Ketogah for the Buddha graphic, and Ashley McNamara for the illustration!