I Am We was an idea waiting to emerge. It was in the old growth forests outside of Eugene, OR, where the idea begot its name. Within a book, a biography about Mumia Abu Jamal, the words I Am We were read and instantly gave shape to the movement that was to come. After moving with its founder, Bowie Johnson, from the forests of Oregon to the forests of Washington, it wasn’t until the idea landed in the creative hub of the SF Bay Area that the concept became action. In 2009, I Am We Productions began booking bands, organizing events and promoting. It was when Autumn Turley joined forces with I Am We in 2012 that the velocity of a one man project gained more focus and a grander vision.
Bowie and Autumn spent much of 2012 traveling, networking, working on their bus, and hosting monthly events. Autumn spent 2013 living in Santa Cruz, taking a break from the action-oriented projects she was doing with I Am We and shifting her focus towards inner-work, spiritual and personal development, and expanding their NetWork into the Holistic Health community. During this time, Bowie continued booking bands at the first I Am We House in El Cerrito, CA, and devoting much focus on the band Dum Spiro Spero that he was an integral part of. Autumn and Bowie continued to occasionally convene to create the growing network of I Am We. In 2014, Autumn and Bowie began focusing their energy towards laying the groundwork to create I Am We into a container for manifesting bigger-picture dreams and goals that they had been developing over the years working together. During this year they met Kaylin DeDiana who shared many common visions with Autumn and Bowie and began working with them at the Core of the project. In the year 2015 I Am We began developing the NEST (Network Expansion Strategy Template) with the help of Mihai Manoliu and Mark DeDiana. The WebSight team expanded to include Elliott Kelley, Nick Echols, and Elizabeth Rogers. We hosted our first annual ManiFestival at Elizabeth’s ranch in Watsonville during the Autumnal Equinox, gathering inspiration and expanding developmental structures.
Bowie Johnson: Creative Director
Mr Bowie Johnson was born on January 26th, 1981, the Day of Striking Deeds. The hospital where he was born in Lakewood, WA, has since been demolished to no fault of Mr Johnson. He was raised on TV dinners and water laced with arsenic and fluoride, the middle child of a single mother of three. By the time he was in elementary school he was a latch key kid. It was during this time that he moved from the smog and the aroma of Tacoma to the sticks and stones of Belfair, WA, and the hood canal with picturesque views of the Olympic mountain range. This is where he spent his formative years in the woods and where his creative expression first sprung forth with music. Saxophone came first, then a few years later the guitar. After he moved to the SF Bay Area, any form of creativity captured his attention. Dance and pottery, film making and digital print making. Currently he is on the Big Island of Hawaii, continuing music learning, implementing sustainable farming, and shooting underwater videography.
Autumn Turley: Creative Director
Autumn Turley is from Magic Land. She currently exists as a Violinist, Massage Practitioner, Contact Improv teacher, and Poet. Her home base rotates regularly between Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Angwin, CA. Her creative projects include playing electric violin in Santa Cruz-based experimental music project Of Dust and Dreams, performing massage at dance events, farmers markets, festivals, and other public spaces, helping run Zana Dance in Santa Cruz, writing the sequel to her poetry book, Ashes, and working as an administrative assistant for Hawk and Horse Vineyards in Lower Lake, CA. She is passionate about NetWorking, growth, helping people discover and actualize their dreams, going on adventures, sharing art and healing and movement, creative collaborative projects, community-building, Spiritual Practice, and the ocean.
Kaylin DeDiana: Creative Director
Kaylin Janel Cook-DeDiana is a first-generation Amerikan gypsy who was raised by a flutter of wild monarch butterflies that immigrated from Nebraska in 2013 following the sweet scent of California flowers. An artist, academic, activist, farm-girl turned yogini, Kaylin dreams to believe. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame, her RYT-200 from Solace Yoga Studio, and is currently enrolled in studies at Mount Madonna Center and at the College of Botanical Healing Arts. She works at Santa Cruz Mountain Naturals as the Compassionate Care Coordinator and as an Herbal Consultant, where she helps spread the healing power of cannabis to her community. She plays both in the forest and at the ocean, as well as with color and the stringed instruments. In homage to the Beats, she aligns herself with the rucksack revolution, and declares infinite joy to all be-ings. Om.
Dark Matter: Poet of Technology
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”
“There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
“Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
~ attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder
Hopi Nation / Oraibi, Arizona
Mark DeDiana: Assistant NEST Builder
Mark DeDiana hails from the land of banana splits, Fred Rogers, and mixed drinks of iced-tea and lemonade. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame, where he played trombone in the Marching Band. Mark is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of California, where he lives with his lovely wife in Santa Cruz. He deeply values California’s agricultural wealth and takes great pride in supporting the vendors at local farmers markets. Mark is a humble and talented artist who enjoys playing and mixing music using a variety of acoustic instruments.
Elizabeth Rogers: Web Developer, Graphic Artist
Clean Water flowing through the beautiful lakes and rivers of the High Sierra have been home for elizabeth (Herald) since early childhood; the gift of being nourished by One Sacred Water Heart of the World, Da ow ga (Lake Tahoe) has defined and guided her life’s journey.
Over time, elizabeth is gradually awakening to the subtle vibrations and mysterious teachings of ‘Water as Source’ ~ reintegrating her gratitude into the Water Cycle of LIFE through a deep commitment to daily Water Blessings. She calls this adjusting her daily ‘WÄTERTUDES’. It is her life purpose to communicate this Love of Water with every breath and with every step she walks upon this Earth.
Professionally, elizabeth has been working in film, video and production for 23 years as a freelance editor, graphics and cameraperson. She chose the visual media as her profession realizing this was how to effect the broadest beneficial changes in humanity. And it is through this medium, while striving for a world that works for all, we’ll effectively transmit the call to remember humanity’s true relationship with WATER and with ALL LIFE thriving upon this incredible planet.