“I want to demystify canning and make you feel powerful!” quipped Molly Notarianni, holding up a Mason jar full of jam. She was speaking to a group crammed into a room at the Rudolf Steiner High School, who’d come to learn about canning, oven building, medicinal plants and other skills of self-reliance.
This day-long event wasn’t just a dabbling into traditional domestic arts. Saturday’s Re-Skilling Festival – which drew about 150 people to Steiner’s bucolic campus on Pontiac Trail – fits into a broader effort, one that aims to strengthen the local economy and gird the community for a time of dramatically reduced resources.
Called Transition Ann Arbor, it’s led by a small group of residents who aren’t elected officials, aren’t business leaders, aren’t even all among the usual suspects of community activists. So who are they, and what exactly are they doing?