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.

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