Cirque Du Solar

You know that big, hot circle in the sky? The thing with the light shooting out of it? The source of all life-giving energy and the reason you buy sunglasses? Isn’t it about time we took a good, hard look at it? (note: DO NOT take a good, hard look directly at it!)

For a while now people have been pretty jazzed about the sun—you know, worshipping it, making blood sacrifices to it, naming fruit-flavored beverages after it—and finally somebody realized we could trap its power in solar panels and use it for whatever we want. Amazing, right? We can finally get off fossil fuels and take Ra down a peg while we’re at it. The only trouble is, most of us are poor, and it costs money.

Or DOES it?

Well, yes and no. Enter non-profit GRID Alternatives. Their mission is to slap solar panels on the roof of every qualifying low- income home they can, and for at least another five years they have access to a rebate program put together by the California Public Utilities Commission called Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH), which is designed to supplement a significant portion of the costs.

There are so many great elements to their work: along the way they provide job training, which has opened doors for a lot of people to enter the green energy industry and improve their lives and those of their community. The world gets a little cleaner, poor people save money on their power bills, there’s less strain on the power grid, AND they’re working to bring electricity to Native American reservations where people have been living without any electricity or running water—seriously, none.

If you want to see if you qualify for SASH, there’s a pretty complicated set of rules and regulations, but the people at GRID are happy to guide you. It’s a process that’s totally worth it if you can cut your electricity bill down to a sliver. (Call 1-866-921-4696 to get started.) For many people, the entire cost can be covered, and for others it can be significantly reduced. They do all they can to help find other grants and raise funds (through events like the one I’m about to talk about) so they can bring solar power to as many people as possible.

Which brings me to the real point of this article (finally!): I like parties, especially when they have a theme, and that theme is a cirque, and the proceeds go to a really good cause. Coming up this Thursday (June 19th), all my likes are coming together at the Women’s Club for Cirque du Solar.

There will be music by Bogg, Erin Lizardo, and The Rugs, as well as performances by Meg Amor, Everybody In Outer Space (pictured), Samba Sirens, fire and belly dancing… it’s basically an extravaganza of entertainment. On top of that, there will be food and a no-host bar serving beer and wine.

Cost is $15 at the door, or $5 for any volunteer wearing a GRID shirt. As mentioned above,
all proceeds benefit the non-profit GRID Alternatives in their mission to make everything awesome.

Doors and dinner at 5:30, music and entertainment from 6-9. 

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Managing Editor for Synthesis Weekly. Amy likes to make clothes, plant flowers, and chase butterflies.