Volunteer Feature – Eastside Culture Crawl Shuttle
Blog post written by Modo member and volunteer, Barth Siemen.
Every November, I celebrate art in my community during the Eastside Culture Crawl. For years I would join a group of friends to visit the many artists in their studios to see and hear and appreciate the vast expressions of creativity. This was my second year driving a Modo shuttle van for the event. May I tell you why I love it so much?
Many artists refer to their path of discovery, especially working with a new or unusual medium. I spoke with an artist that moved beyond rug hooking to creating tapestries with found fabric, from the most unique sources, and finally to creating fabric for hooking through the canvas. As she described her process, imagination dancing across her face, I vicariously experienced the thrill of exploration.
My Experience Driving the Modo Shuttle.
My passengers are just as interesting. I met a meditation leader that prefers to teach in public libraries. Her favorite student is one who is open to new ways of thinking. As we release our preconceived ideas—about methods, timing, and more—we ready ourselves for meditation. Fascinating stuff. I hope she visits my neighborhood library in the new year.
Who is an artist? What is your creative expression? These are a couple of questions that I ask while shuttling passengers from venue to venue. Some quickly answer ‘yes’ to the first question and are more hesitant to answer the second question. My van is an affirming space; so I encourage my passengers to release preconceived judgments and explore a broader definition of creativity. Artistic endeavors abound in our community.
Seeing our shuttle vans and connecting them to Modo advertising, participants are happy to accept a FREE ride to another venue. Several current Modo members proclaim how carsharing improves their day to day lives around the city or to destinations in the surrounding area. Others ask questions and consider how they might let go of their second car or release themselves from car ownership completely.
Modo as Another Form of Transportation.
There is my queue to talk about why I joined Modo. For years, my wife and I required a car for work, and we considered secondary transportation when the car was in use. There were downsides. Not being a car guy, I dreaded visits to the car garage to be told that this gizmo wore out or that doohickey was reporting an error. Also, we had so much money and energy sunk into the car that it felt counterintuitive to invest much into bicycles and gear.
We made decisions that reduced our car dependence by finding a way to move closer to work. Joining Modo gave us access to well-maintained vehicles for visiting family in the Fraser Valley. And there are other perks. We love the physical benefits of cycling more. We can still pick up friends for an evening out, and now we can park in resident-only zones. We can participate in the sharing economy.
Being open to new ideas and exploring new ways of living is essential to considering alternative transportation, including carsharing. I am excited that Modo is involved in community events, like the Eastside Culture Crawl, to continue the conversation. I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer in that effort.