March 6-7, 2019, Los Angeles

A gathering
of people who
make places

ABOUT


Why do you do what you do?

What keeps you going when others would have stopped, or cut corners, or made it beiger, or opted for the path of least (or lesser) resistance?

Why do difficult work that’s likely to be misunderstood by the many for the sake of the passionate few?

Because you can see it.
Because others will be fed by it.
Because it’s inside of you yearning to be expressed.
Because more-bigger-faster is ultimately a hollow pursuit.

In March 2018, fifty creative, restless souls gathered in a rustic log cabin overlooking the San Francisco skyline. It was a time of quiet contemplation and expansive thinking, fueled by stirring speakers sharing provocative, vulnerable stories.

In March 2019, we’ll hold our second annual gathering — this time in Los Angeles, in a former church built in 1905, now beautifully restored and converted to event space.

Who attends? Developers, musicians, makers, planners, writers, architects, artists, activists, teachers, agitators. In short, the people who together, altogether, make places. Who take matter and make it matter.

For a day and a half, this small, eclectic and highly potent brew of speakers and participants will wrestle with difficult questions, engage in rich conversations, and share meals, stories, ideas, and human experiences.

It’s why we do what we do.

Matter is created and curated by Greg Fuson as a project of the Plan Be Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that celebrates and supports people whose work fosters community and connectedness.

PROGRAM


What can you expect at Matter? Stirring speakers in an intimate setting sharing vulnerable stories. Be prepared to laugh, cry, be provoked, be inspired, and feel something.

What you shouldn’t expect is a nuts-and-bolts seminar. You won’t “get the latest techniques” or “discover 20 tips and tricks.” You will, however, have the time and space and guidance to think deeply about the truly significant stuff, such as:

* What’s driving you. And what’s stopping you.
* How to be a more empathetic leader, parent and friend.
* Why the quickest path to success is to simply solve one problem.
* Why community is fueled by shared interests more than shared activities.
* Why something earned is valued more highly than something purchased.
* Why sexy design matters less than you think.
* How to overcome limiting beliefs.
* How to see the magic all around you.
* How to tell a better story.
* How your fears and pain can be your greatest creative fuel.
* How to take the difficult next step, even when you’re feeling all the feelings.
* Why giving a damn exacts a toll. And why it’s still worth it.
* Why people who genuinely care about you might nevertheless resist your efforts to change.
* How to make decisions from a more centered, purposeful place.
* How to prioritize the important and not be captive to the urgent.
* How and when to step back and hit pause.
* How and when to move forward and just f***ing do it.

Meet the speakers who will be seeding our conversations at this year’s gathering.

Emily McDowell

Emily McDowell is a writer, illustrator and entrepreneur who chronicles the human condition, making cards for the relationships we really have.
Emily McDowell is a writer, illustrator and entrepreneur who chronicles the human condition, making cards for the relationships we really have.

Kimmie Weeks

After fleeing the Liberian civil war as a child, Kimmie Weeks has dedicated his life to alleviating poverty and human suffering in war-torn countries.
After fleeing the Liberian civil war as a child, Kimmie Weeks has dedicated his life to alleviating poverty and human suffering in war-torn countries.

Brian Rea

Brian Rea is an award-winning illustrator with a profound gift for taking internal experiences and making them visible, tangible and relatable.
Brian Rea is an award-winning illustrator with a profound gift for taking internal experiences and making them visible, tangible and relatable.

Micah Bournes

Micah Bournes is a spoken word artist who blends and bends genres to illuminate deep issues like friendship, race, love and redemption.
Micah Bournes is a spoken word artist who blends and bends genres to illuminate deep issues like friendship, race, love and redemption.

Jason Rosenthal

Jason Rosenthal is a lawyer, painter, writer, amateur chef, music aficionado, and speaker with a profound message about love, loss, grief and fulfillment.
Jason Rosenthal is a lawyer, painter, writer, amateur chef, music aficionado, and speaker with a profound message about love, loss, grief and fulfillment.

Gina Angelone

Gina Angelone is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for telling stories of people and their connection to place.
Gina Angelone is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with a passion for telling stories of people and their connection to place.

Nina Simon

Nina Simon transformed a struggling museum into a vibrant community hub. Now she’s helping organizations globally become “of, by, and for” their communities.
Nina Simon transformed a struggling museum into a vibrant community hub. Now she’s helping organizations globally become “of, by, and for” their communities.

Alex Hillman

Alex Hillman is co-founder of one of the first and longest running coworking spaces. Along the way, he learned a thing or two about community, connectedness and JFDI.
Alex Hillman is co-founder of one of the first and longest running coworking spaces. Along the way, he learned a thing or two about community, connectedness and JFDI.

Jennifer Romolini

A former dropout and “failure,” Jennifer Romolini helps fellow misfits navigate the working world and turn their weirdness into a unique creative asset.
A former dropout and “failure,” Jennifer Romolini helps fellow misfits navigate the working world and turn their weirdness into a unique creative asset.

Wells Hanley

Pianist, composer, improviser and arranger Wells Hanley uses improvisation and song to help people and organizations rediscover and reframe their stories.
Pianist, composer, improviser and arranger Wells Hanley uses improvisation and song to help people and organizations rediscover and reframe their stories.

Roshaun & Maritza Davis

Roshaun and Maritza Davis breathe life and vitality into public spaces by staging events and experiences that engage people, community and culture.
Roshaun and Maritza Davis breathe life and vitality into public spaces by staging events and experiences that engage people, community and culture.

Courtney Ferrell

With a witty sense of humor and irrepressible energy, Courtney Ferrell provokes organizations and individuals to think and behave differently.
With a witty sense of humor and irrepressible energy, Courtney Ferrell provokes organizations and individuals to think and behave differently.

Sam Sweet

Sam Sweet is the author of All Night Menu, a history of Los Angeles told in five installments, soulfully exploring the city’s lost corners and anonymous heroes.
Sam Sweet is the author of All Night Menu, a history of Los Angeles told in five installments, soulfully exploring the city’s lost corners and anonymous heroes.

Sandra Kulli

Sandra Kulli is a student of cultural anthropology and a specialist in the business of creating memorable places.
Sandra Kulli is a student of cultural anthropology and a specialist in the business of creating memorable places.

Greg Fuson

Greg Fuson is the creator and curator of Matter. His goal, every year, is to make you cry.
Greg Fuson is the creator and curator of Matter. His goal, every year, is to make you cry.

LOCATION & LOGISTICS


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SETTING

A historic church built in 1905, for decades serving as a community hub and a progressive voice for the Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage movements. Now beautifully restored and converted to event space—stained glass windows still intact—it sits in the heart of LA’s Highland Park, a mecca for artists with its Craftsman homes and trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.

ACCOMMODATION

We’ve arranged group rates at the hotels below, all within a 10-20 minute drive depending on traffic. Or for options that are closer and homier, Highland Park boasts a wide variety of Airbnb listings.

Langham Huntington Pasadena (4.0 miles) – discount rates

The Westin Pasadena (4.6 miles) – block full

Freehand Los Angeles (7.8 miles) – discount rates

SCHEDULE

Day 1: The program will begin mid-afternoon on March 6, followed by a reception with beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres in the “secret garden” backyard.

Day 2: We’ll go from 8am to 5pm on March 7, with space for food, conversation and reflection throughout.

AIRPORTS

The venue is 15 miles from Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and 25 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

PARKING

Limited free valet parking will be provided, as the venue is in a residential neighborhood with very little street parking. Arrival by Uber/Lyft/taxi is recommended.

ATTIRE

Relaxed and comfortable. Like you’d dress to hang out with close friends.

REGISTER


Matter 2019 has reached its limit of 100 participants…BUT…life happens, plans change, seats open up.

If you’re hoping to attend, join our waitlist and we’ll let you know as cancellations occur.

If you’re not on the invitation list and would like to be added, tell us a little about you. We’ll send you info about future gatherings.