Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 40

40 | madison originals magazineoriginal citizen ost of us know the typea per- son who is very good at one thing. There are cities like this, too: Las Vegas, Hous- ton. But the description of one-dimen- sional does not t Madison, Wisconsin nor does it t Stephanie Rearick, who is not a one-dimensional anything. Stepha- nie is denitely a Madison originalthe real deal who sings; plays keyboards, trumpet, and drums; manages a coffee shop; founded a community-based in- novation that serves as a model for the world; and has a fascinating sense of the meaning of money. Born in Akron, Ohio, but well traveled in the United States and abroad, Stephanie was an advocate for Greenpeace and Amnesty International before going into the coffee shop business. And more recently, she was a member of the Alcohol License Review Committee in one of the most liquor-saturated municipalities on the planet, a supporter of street art, an international speaker on complementary currencies and alternative economics, a negotiator and organizer for restorative justice for young people, and a masterful connector of individuals and organizations with heretofore unrecognized resources. Stephanie is a mentor, trainer, facilitator, performer, songwriter, and storyteller of the highest order.You will often nd this multifaceted phenomenon somewhere between the Social Justice Center and Mother Fools on Willy Streetbetween her roles as independent business owner and no-nonsense put your quasi-money where your mouth and heart are kind of artiste of optimism and practical action.What does Stephanie do for a living? All of the above. Up the Wall , her recent nationwide tour, featured her performing songs for which she wrote most of the lyrics, all the melodies, and accompaniment. But also in the mix were tunes inuenced by Linda Barry, Samuel Barber, and Franz Kafka. Cartoonist P.S. Muellers poetry sometimes appeared as well. Performing at edgy little venues was interspersed with speaking engagements on the relationships between politics, macroeconomics, and the very microeconomics embodied by thousands of people in Madison and elsewhere, all while exchanging almost everything except money. Stephanie is simply not that one-thing kind of woman. When she sees a need and a complicated diversity of causes, she is not afraid to take a whack at it. As an example, she and her husband and business partner, Jon Hain, have hosted a space for taggers and grafti artists on their outer coffee house wall for years. They recognize the art and need of the artists to express themselves in ways that could be enriched by acceptance.Stephanie and Jon have created things that are arguably more valuable than the almighty dollar, such as Madison Hours , which they started in 1995. When they needed a new commercial refrigerator, which Mother Fools modest income could not afford, they invented their own currency with a twist, and called it Fools Gold . Buy a gift certicate for $10 worth of coffee and food and its immediately worth $10 in goods; but if you hold onto the Fools Gold bill it goes up in value, topping out at $15 in goods six months later. At the same time, they helped their customers make money. Score one for abundance in an economy based mostly on scarcity. Similar innovativeness has seen Stephanie and Jon nurturing Madison Hours into valuable currency for hundreds of East Side residents. In 2005, Stephanie brought the idea of TimeBanking to Dane County, and six years later our community has one of the largest and most diverse TimeBanks in the world. Nearly 2,000 peopl R6&RFVG262BvVFvRF&VvW6vrW"f"W"f"&RFV"r6R2&VVv&rWBFW"&6FVrVRvFW"G2bW7B2FVv&F'FW2fR6WFrfV&RFffW"V6FW" Time for the World is a project to build active learning, experimenting and sharing in order to replicate and scale