Friday, February 25, 2011

Donor Circle for the Arts Pitch, Part 2

Backstage at the Dragon Theater: Ms. Kim Mesa of the Alum Rock Education Foundation and Ms. Arlene U. Illa, 5th Grade teacher of Cureton Elementary in Alum Rock, San Jose, CA.

On Wednesday, I was a part of the Donor Circle for the Arts grant presentations for the final round of grant applicants for 2011. It was a very nerve racking and exciting privilege to be there among the other artists and arts groups. My digital textile banner project was the very last presentation of the night! Each grant proposal pitch was to be limited to three minutes. Kim Mesa, Arlene Illa and I practiced over an over in the lower lobby of Palo Alto's City Hall before we headed over to the Dragon Theater to join the other presenters. Here are photos I took back stage of Kim and Arlene waiting.

I think we did a pretty good job. We at least stuck to the three minutes which was a challenge and I was grateful to have them with me to share the You Are Here Banner Project vision.
For the grant pitch we wore scarps of fabrics from a past digital textile project and I had the dramatic prop of an 8 foot by 2.5 foot street banner. The Redevelopment Agency of San Jose loaned two banners to me for the presentation. I will be using them again in a presentation to the Alum Rock Village Business Association on Monday.

On Tuesday, I was lucky to meet Stephen Yeager who works for the city and he installs every single street banner in San Jose. That is over a 1,000 banners citywide! He told me that the banner program has been in place for 22 years and that there are only two neighborhoods that take advantage of banner funds set aside for the community business associations: Alum Rock and Japantown. I actually know the talented designer of the Japantown banners. She is Tamiko Rast of Rasteroids. On Tuesday, Steve Yeager took me on a tour of the storage rooms of the city banners. I was surprised to learn that they are stored in storage rooms built into the Market Street Garage in downtown San Jose. It was cool to see all the banners rolled up and store neatly in these facilities. I enjoyed the visual texture of the tight rolls of banners.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Project Selvage

I just received an email notice that Spoonflower is teaming up with Michael Miller Fabrics to present Project Selvage, a competition in which the winner will go on to sign a contract with Michael Miller and produce a collection of fabrics to debut at the Fall Quilt Market in October 2011. The theme of this competition is baby boy prints. They are accepting entries from today through March 24th. On March 31st, they will announce the 75 finalists chosen by judges from Michael Miller and Spoonflower and you'll have a chance to vote for the designs that will go on to the final round.

Michael Miller Fabrics has nice contemporary designs, but the contest site does not reflect the artistry or sophistication and whimsy of their collections. It was kind of a turn off to see the goofy illustration on the project site. The project homepage would look a lot better without this image. At any rate, having conducted an online textile project last year, I am interested in seeing how this project goes. I think it may be a wonderful opportunity for artists to enter in the profession of textile design.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amazing Flash portfolio

I was blow away by this website. An amazingly elegant and simple brush stroke feel to was created in 2006 using Flash....a great example of tools serving the idea and not the other way around!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Donor Circle for the Arts Pitch

I am working on a 3 minute live grant pitch to the Donor Circle for the Art grant funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. I recorded a screen casting (using Camtasia) of my powerpoint run thorough. The final presentation will be more dynamic as there will be three of us talking and I will have props of fabric and other materials to share. Hopefully we can get a hold of an existing street banner to show, too.

The Awesome Foundation

In my attempts to find ways to fund the street banner project in Alum Rock, San Jose, I have been lucky to get a lot of feedback on how to both approach "crowd funding" better and other online grant opportunities. A friend told me about the Awesome Foundation and with a name like that, how can you not check it out! I applied a few weeks ago and will see what happens.

I had an interview with a writer of the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers a few weeks ago and they may be running a story after the 25th. I hope so as it could drive up visits to my Kickstarter:

Next Wednesday I will be giving a second round grant pitch for the banner project to the Donor Circle for the Arts, a grant provided by funders of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. I will be presenting with two others: a teacher from Alum Rock and a representative of the Alum Rock Education Foundation. This is an unusual stage setting and only three minutes to present. I have a lot of work cut out to make an engaging presentation...we are the last presenters of the evening and I know the donors will be so exhausted from listening to all the presenters at that point.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eye with a purpose

I was looking up the term "Pecha-Kucha" (reading about it in Presentation Zen) and found this video....blew my mind. It shows how technology coupled with the sheer passion, creativity and determination of a creative team can profoundly impact an individual's ability to communicate. I had to watch over and over. I love how the project enabled an individual to communicate creatively once again with the world. I have mixed feelings about graffiti, but really like this digital version in which anything can be the canvas, spectators can watch the art as it is created and the wall remains unmarked. Elegant and moving on so many levels.

Zach Lieberman is the artist who created the above Eye Writer presentation. Here is his website:

Here is another video about the project:

The Eyewriter from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

foundation to donate to for the project:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kickstarter, continued

Well, today I officially have 31 days left to my Kickstarter effort.
The You Are Here Street Banner Project

I have also applied for four other grants to fund this project and won't know if anything has come through to fund this vision until March. I did learn yesterday that my application partnering with the Alum Rock Education Foundation passed the first round of the Donor Circle for The Arts Grant. This grant program is funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. We will be giving a 3 minute presentation on the project idea in a black box theater in Palo Alto on February 23rd.

Like all the education projects I become involved with, I am in a big learning curve!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Great environmental animations

Here are a few environmental animations. I am beginning to research these for a project next year. I will be sharing these with students:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sharing and learning technology tools

Last week I gave a Google Calendar presentation and now know how to share my powerpoint online. It was a very step by step session. There is no audio here as it was an on site demo. I like it that you can view it full screen if you go to slideshare and click on the full screen button.

Digital Banner Textiles with Children

As I have mentioned before, I am crafting a workshop series that will introduce children to textile design and which will hopefully result in street banners in the spring of 2011. I am in the last month of a Kickstarter drive to raise funds for this project.
Students at a San Jose, California school and at a Hawaii school have participated in the lead in introductory components of the project.
I have set up a website for the You Are Here workshop series.
Here are samples of the student work:
Hawaii 4th grade student radial pattern explorations

and here:
San Jose 5th grade student radial pattern explorations