For about seven years the Embassy has been running an Organic Garden project next to St Peters Town Hall. When the Neighbourhood Centre, that ran most of the building for community use, was defunded after its management committee was stacked by ALP heavies, we lost access to the key to the gate into the garden. The neighbourhood Centre held that key as well as auspicing the project on behalf of the Embassy.

A letter to Marrickville Council, that is now supposed to be managing the Town hall building, has received no reply - as has a letter sent to Green couincilor Sylvia Hale. Of course the respomse from many people will be that we should just join in with some other community garden - not understanding that we should be able to do something for ourselves. For instance we have had leases in the past from the NSW Dept of Housing yo run our jobless and disabled group housing scheme.

Since Marrickville Council seems to have trouble answering its mail- perhaps people reading this might like to also write to them suggesting they stop locking us out of this otherwise unused public land where we have been able to grow vegetables organically for years. You can send copies of your letters to us (see postal address on front page).

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Building on our annual
Poetry Picnic event started in 1990, we produced a wider Alternative Arts Festival with a $500 arts event grant from Leichhardt Council in 1990. This involved using part of Glebe Town Hall for a Club Hippi event on a weekend after the Poetry Picnic (held in Pioneer Park at noon on the last Sunday in november). In 1999, Club Hippi featured stand up comedy auditions and video projections of our Poetry Party readings at cafe venues.

In 2000 it had a live Play Cabaret performance of
AIDS: The Musical - including acted video inserts. Last year a video of the whole production was shown on the big screen and the Poetry Picnic issue of our Timestream (TM) magazine was launched with live music (violin and accordion).

In our fourth year of the Festival in 2001 we are seeking further funding from the Council and elsewhere - so we can try and buy our own video projector. Volunteers are sought for production and publicity for the Festival, as well as for producing new issues of Timestream and vide0/music we hope to use in any venues, such as cafes, over the next few months. Poets, short plays and poetry are also needed for such videos and Timestream magazine. Last year's Festival was entirely funded  from private donations - which are always welcome, as the Embassy is a registered non-profit organisation. See front page for contact details.

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The Embassy presented a research paper called
Welfare Business to an ethical investment conference in Brisbane early 2001 and is now calling for papers to run a seminar on welfare business in Sydney later this year. This idea aims to expand the concept of community support for non-profit community projects that take a planned business type approach to how they operate. Such projects, like the Embassy's Alternative Arts Festival, show how the jobless can produce an annual series of events that is open to the whole community. The Embassy has successfully been able to get access to local Council resources as well as to various small grants from government bodies.

Another long standing Embassy project is its
Odd Job Centre - which has been seeking new office type premises for several years from local Councils. The Welfare Business seminar will look at how community based organisations can co-operate to get resources to operate various social and cultural self sustaining welfare businesses. Such projects promote initiative, innovation and co-operative self determination for more effectively than work-for-dole and start-your-own-business-on-dole schemes. For details about submitting papers and register to come to the seminar.

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The Embassy's
Living on the Cheap column was first published in 1980 in the Guardian local newspaper  produced out of Newtown Town Hall, LOC also appeared in the Embassy's long running community radio show Freek Out (and its community TV pilots). we are seeking more members to help produce LOC in various media. This column appears occasionally on the back of the hard copy of our Dole News - see front page for link to latest issue.  A cookbook is now being prepared for several media including video. A Lifestyle version with cheap places to eat and shop will appear soon - any suggestions welcome. Email details soon. Unemployed Peoples Embassy - PO Box A360 Sydney South 2000