Transition Laguna's "Great Unleashing" event last month attracted more than 600 community members. The event centered on the dangers of dependency on foreign oil and ways to become free of fossil fuels.
The event's success led to the formation of several subgroups with a specified interest, including recycling, mobility, currency, water and ocean, and another food group that focuses on canning and preserving, said original Food Group co-founder Billy Fried.
Most exciting to him, he said, was the onset of Transition Consciousness, a group that will focus on eco-education in a "fun, playful way" within the organization and community of Laguna Beach.
"One of the biggest problems we face concerns our children and the food they're eating," Fried said. "Ultimately, we want our group to go out and teach children and the public about nutrition and sustainability."
An important facet of the program, he said, is to incorporate both terrestrial and spiritual topics and activities, and to make them fun for all involved.
Transition Consciousness will launch a program beginning Monday that will promote cultural exchange and ideas on topics such as reducing the carbon footprint in Laguna, nutrition and wellness, spiritual healing and performing arts.
The program will run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. every second and fourth Monday over the next six months at the Women's Club of Laguna Beach, 286 St. Ann's Drive., and will feature guest speakers, performers, film screenings, group discussions and "5 Rhythms" dancing.
"We decided to mix in the 'Ecstatic Dance' program for the second half because it's a great way for people — especially those who like to dance but don't want to be in a setting with alcohol — to unwind and express themselves," he said. "It's also a great way for the community to connect."
The first half of the inaugural event will highlight the current missions and goals of Transition Laguna's action groups, where each leader will present a short briefing and an opportunity for the audience to engage with the group through interactive question-and-answer sessions.
Hawaii native KT Turner will unleash her Ecstatic Dance during the second half, which she said is a great way to express oneself through movement in a safe, supportive environment.
"A free-form dance to world music with a beat, we start slow and rev it up, then slowly bring it back to earth," she said. "All ages are welcome."
Fried said he and fellow volunteers are excited to get the new program moving.
"We think this is a great forum for people who have heard about this groundswell movement of Transition Laguna that is doing so many great things, and a chance to meet the community and get involved," he said.
A $10 donation is suggested, which will benefit Transition Laguna. Loose, comfortable clothing, a pillow and water are recommended for the meeting. No hard shoes for dancing are allowed.