Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NEA grant

Grantwriting? Yeah, it's frustrating.

I'm in the midst of helping the Artistic Director of AST apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Now, the writing part and the gathering of documents part isn't so bad. But, the actual uploading of the attachments and making sure everything is in the correct order is taking soooooooo long. Not to mention that the application has to be turned in two week before it's due because it has to be looked over by the university that houses the AST festival. That means that numerous people have to approve all the information, which will take forever. The more important the person=the longer it takes to get a signature. Hmmm...

With CAFTA, we're getting a lot of things done for ArtsFest! I've been compiling a media list and creating a marketing plan so we can get started publicizing our events. This city has a large Hispanic population, and we're exciting about including this untapped audience!

Something I'm really excited about for this year's festival is the inclusion of some spontaneous performance art. Think ImprovEverywhere, or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

New ArtsFest website, too! http://www.artsinconway.com/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sequins & Nazis & Grannies, oh my!

Wow. A lot has happened since my last post! I've gotten started working with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (AST), and it's been a whirlwind!

Last week, I was assigned some grant research for AST. I headed over to the University of Central Arkansas (which hosts AST) and used their software to search through The Foundation Center's database. I looked at the top Arkansas foundations and investigated their giving to the arts. Thankfully, the arts apply for 501(c)(3) status under the Education category, so foundations that give to education can give to the arts as well. Hopefully, we'll apply to some of these foundations and raise much needed funds!

I've been able to see two shows during the festival. One was the childrens show, The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. This show was great, and the kids in the audience really got excited about all the characters. My favorite, though, was The Producers. If you like old grannies gettin' action, dancing nazis, and men in sequined gowns, this is the show for you. The movie was done years ago by Mel Brooks, and then remade (poorly) a few years ago.

Later this week, I'll get back to doing CAFTA programming. We're meeting with a local bike club on Thursday about the possibility of incorporating a bike tour into our fall ArtsFest. How fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First day of work!

Yesterday was my first (official) day working with CAFTA! I attended a meeting with my supervisor (a CAFTA board member) at an elementary school to brainstorm with public school art teachers. The ArtsFest programming always involves some kind of participation from K-12 students in the city. We met with these teachers yesterday to talk about having an exhibit of their students' work downtown during this year's festivities.

For most K-12 art teachers, time is always limited. They may only see students once a week, so I was worried that they might not be thrilled about being asked to take on a somewhat large scale project like this exhibit. To my surprise, they all seemed excited about it! That was a relief! It will be so great for the kids to have their art shown at the festival!

Today, I moved into my office for the summer. I feel so lucky, because I was generously offered work space at the City Development and Planning office in the middle of downtown. It will be a lot easier for me develop relationships with businesses and potential ArtsFest venues because I'm so close to them!

Everything is going great so far, except for one little thing: I'm missing DC terribly. I lived in Arkansas for 21 years, so don't get me wrong: I love it here. It's a beautiful state, and the city of Conway is developing a great arts scene (which is why I chose to work here this summer).

But. . .I miss businesses that are open 24-7. I miss having a fun FREE activity every night.

ArtsFest 2008:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Feels like the first time. . .

I'm starting my internships in Arkansas next week!

I have two internships this summer and they're going to be really exciting! They're both in Conway, Arkansas (about 30 minutes from my hometown of Little Rock).

The first is with a new arts council called Conway Alliance for the Arts, or CAFTA for short. CAFTA hosts a festival called ArtsFest every October, so my job will involve doing some programming, development, and publicity for the festival. The (almost) week-long event involves music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and a whole lot of creative fun! It involves the three universities in town, the public schools, and downtown businesses. I'm anxious to get started working on this!

The second is with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre Festival, or AST. My undergraduate minor was in theatre, but I haven't attended a lot of theatre in DC this past year. Hopefully, this internship will allow me to get back into the habit of going to peformances! I don't have all the specifics of this internship yet, but I think I'll be doing some development with their fundraising event, The Bard Ball, and helping them organize their donor information. This festival is pretty new, so hopefully I'll be able to help them cultivate some donors!

I'm driving from DC to Arkansas this weekend (17 hours!), and I start work on Monday. I have a feeling it's going to be a looooong first day.