There is a point, in all young arts groups that MONEY suddenly becomes a necessity of the conversation. We have been hiding from this, sort-of. It snuck up on us recently and the conversation was pretty interesante.
CORY: I have also been doing reading/thinking about fiscal sponsorship. We do not need to go through one of these official umbrellas – NYFA, Fractured Atlas. I think the best option is to go thru another org that is already non-prof. They just have to be someone we trust.
Patrick, for Fracking Play it might even be good to specifically go with a certain org in a community we work in, or want to work in.
I’m just reading this Artist Tools Handbook. It says “Non-arts sponsors…include educational institutions, churches, community development organizations, etc. …They may also offer an alliance that is mutually beneficial in other ways – for example, a church might not only want to help you raise funds, it might make you an ‘artist-in-residence’ by giving you an unused space in their rectory … Especially if you are doing work based in a specific community, an org from that community might be a great sponsor for your work.”
PATRICK: I like this. It also means that we do not need to be non-profit (per se). I like that fiscal sponsorship could be part of our deal as community-engaged.
CORY: ALSO: Big. I think we should do a fundraiser. For Serbia. Maybe while X is in town even. Because we could pretty easily remount BT Project. Right? Only this time: publicize. Through the Serbian Embassy. Through any other cross-cultural means.
$25 donation @ door, make some traditional Serbian food, serve some rakija. Have a way for people who cannot attend to donate. Low cost, potentially high return.
CORY: I guess a potential tricky part is…rights to BT? Do we need to worry about that?
PATRICK: I would not really feel comfortable charging money unless we have the rights…I know. But I want to honor another artist’s work if we are making money off the deal. I like the idea of a fundraiser. Let’s think creatively.
Its summer. Its sunny. Who would come? Young people? How do we think creatively about what we would like to go to…
Break the model. Break the mold. Create a new way to make money. What does that look like?
I like Tiny Rhino because it is in that vein. Work being done, quickly, with passion… blah blah. How can we reflect ourselves and our ideas in a fundraiser. Okay. My thoughts.
I know, I always make it more complicated.
CORY: We could always ask her if she’d be willing to allow us to perform it as a fundraiser. I don’t know that we should break our brains over a fundraiser – that’s why I liked this idea – b/c it would be relatively simple. I think we have a lot on our plates to be creating something totally new just for the sake of fundraising.
As far as who would come – I would hope not just young people. How about, anyone who is interested in international exchange. That’s why we should try to reach out thru embassies.
CORY: Or ask Burkat to dj a benefit for us.
CHRISTINA: I think we can do it. My professor in Warwick knows her (B.S.), so I could see if he can put me in contact. He’s not my favorite person at the moment, but I have to face him eventually.
When would we do this? P, what dates are you in Italia? I’m home June 25-July 18. I may need to extend it though b/c I’m not sure if it is enough time for me to accomplish everything I need to.
Do we still have the exhibition from the last one or has it been trashed? Would we stick with the same people? Same apartment?
I’ll try to brainstorm some other things. That are sunny and summery. haha.
CORY: Yes! Face him! Face him for the cause!!
We could try moving it to my apartment if P’s would be tricky for any reason. Mine’s bigger, has that awesome back deck – ah! X, you have to see it. Also, Chris and Anais are going to France for 3 weeks in June so things are emptier around here…I guess that is tricky timing though, because P’s Italy dates (as reported to me) are:
June 25 (or 27?)-July 11
That really just leaves July 11-18, and you have a LOT of dissertation stuff to do…ha. (You should totally extend.) But if we do it as a one-off thing, it shouldn’t require all that much effort as far as rehearsal and stuff goes. I could try to be in charge of marketing and everything. We could do…the 12th? Because it’s a Thursday? Maybe that’s crazy. Thoughts?
Maybe Patrick and I should do something in my apartment earlier in June, when Chris and Anais are gone.
PATRICK: I am going to be a bit of a poo-poo again. Last time we did it, it was a ‘fundraiser’ for stef’s company. I sort-of hated asking actors to volunteer to get money so that we could pay other actors later on. It is the same deal – volunteer so that we can have money for a future project – just not this one. If you can convince me why that is okay – I am on board. It just caused me a lot of frustration/weirdness the last time around.
CORY: Okay – I guess I didn’t really know it was a fundraiser last time. Then, never mind.
CORY: Although I will say, anytime you do a fundraiser/benefit, anyone who is involved is pretty much donating their time. Or whatever other resources. Donated space – donated auction items – hopefully donated food. So I think it’s fine. Like, I think ideologically it is totally fine to ask actors to donate their time. They don’t have to say yes. It’s just like asking anyone to donate anything. In fact, I think it’s a great thing for artists. Asking you to donate your art instead of a dollar amount? I think that’s great.
If you were not asking ideologically, though, then I would say that of course I understand why some actors wouldn’t want to donate their time. But, once again, then they should not say yes. I don’t think we should feel bad for asking.
CORY: What if we do something like…Around the World with the Yinzers. While X is still abroad.
Set up different rooms in the apartment. A computer in each room w/someone on Skype, in a different country. X in the UK, someone from Germany – Nora? Someone in Serbia (?). Someone in Italy (?). Someone out on the West Coast. A where we’ve been, where we’re going thing.
So you can interact with someone who’s in this other place (how/why/what? Think about that). And in that room there’s themed food/drink/other activity. You learn something new about that part of the country or world.
PATRICK: I LOVE THAT! They are also drinking. And you get to chat with them, if you like.
CHRISTINA: This email thread should go on the blog. Just tell me when to be online and I’ll be there! With drinks and foreigners in tow.
PATRICK: A giant MAFIA game? A giant celebrity game?!!
CORY: I like the idea of a game…What’s a game we can play with a bunch of people in different countries? Who are there via Skype? This sounds very young person-y…am I right? It makes me feel just a little weird to be targeting young people to give us money.
Maybe that is silly though.
PATRICK: Maybe we should think hip rather than young. I hear you, about young people. Hmm. Maybe we should target young professionals… For the thing. 25-40 I think is our range. Maybe? Like some say – be specific and it is relatable. Or something like that…
Or think differently. Who could our target be? Who likes immersive/international/community-engaged/funky/fun/etc theater, and would want to give $… Or come.
CORY: Hip – yeah. Let’s be hip.
I think the “international” component is pretty important. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like that is a good hook – Getting embassies/internationally focused orgs to put the word out might do a lot to reach out to new people. We could reach out to international/language groups on Meetup. Anyone who makes an effort to stay internationally connected, internationally involved…there are lots of different reasons to do this, of course…
Thing to think about: We have not built an audience base/supporter base – because the stuff we’ve done so far has happened all over. Right? Maybe we are pulling in new people who aren’t familiar with us.
Well, maybe that’s not so important if the event itself is fun/attractive…And then we can be very available to answer q’s about us if people have them.
And the conversation continues…