We’re on the mailing list, and I’ve been meaning to put up Todd Brown’s newsletter and hope it will get some response. I can’t imagine a Mission without the Red Poppy Art House, and Brown gives everyone a lot of ways to participate. For more on Todd Brown, read Heather Smith’s profile of the Mission Arts and Performance Project.
A Newsletter From Todd Brown:
Is BEING small POSSIBLE?
A “behind the scenes” look at San Francisco’s Red Poppy Art House, and how you can help make sure we stick around.
At the end of March, the Poppy experienced a 50%-60% funding cut.
“Ouch!” i think is the word.
Out of $60,000 that will take us through to next April, we are still in need of $40,000.
However, we’re hopeful.
This email is to share how our particular approach puts us in a delicate balance. And, most of all, how and why we need contributions to keep this balance healthy.
Please take a moment to read below and really see what this is all about.
Besides, it’s all a metaphor. . .
Risk & Vulnerability
the creative process in an organizational setting
Most organizational processes seek stability and efficiency.
Artistic-creative processes, however, require risk and vulnerability.
Is it possible for an organization to reconcile these two seemingly opposing currents?
At the Red Poppy Art House, we have chosen to forgo many economic safeguards in order to keep our focus on the “intangible,” to continually experiment and achieve a deeper creative vitality in our work. Like the choice facing most artists when pursuing their creative path, the freedom to risk often means giving up stable income and a higher standard of living. In this way, however, we find our organizational path aligned with that of artists themselves. That is, set for an adventure! We need to be a creative organization – an art project in and of itself!
This makes us a bit of an anomaly, organizationally speaking, kinda like this fury penguin. . .
How You Can Support
8 Ways to invest in the Poppy.
Make a direct donation to support a core staff stipend.
Host a “VIVA LA POPPY” Dinner Party at your own home, where friends pay a contribution that then gets donated to the Poppy (this could even be done quarterly!). (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RENT the Poppy for a weekday evening, or weekend afternoon, social gathering of your friends. (We can send you a list of rental fees for varying levels of support, as well as set it up with a live music trio.) (email@example.com)
Host a COMPANY DAY RETREAT at the Poppy. (Have your company/organization rent our lovely space.) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sign up to make a monthly online donation.
Donate painting supplies to our Family Art Program. (email@example.com)
Sponsor the design & construction of our NEW WEBSITE! (We are aiming to have a new website by this summer.) Todd Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Purchase a new building for us! (Sure, why not! We have to dream a little.) (email@example.com)
21 People on the Salary of One
A Quick Breakdown of the Poppy’s Staffing Structure
Beginning January 1st 2011, the Red Poppy has seen the biggest audience increase since the onset of the economic recession. However, the majority of this income (70% of all admissions) goes directly to our guest artists to help support their livelihoods. Therefore, we are still in vital need of your support to make up for the cuts in funding that normally support our core staff.
BUT OUR STAFF!! We really need to tell you just how many of us it takes to screw in the light bulbs. It’s a different kind of organization, one modeled around the evolving practices of social networking. We take this momentum and put it in the service of arts and culture.
The Poppy has 21 staff members, that collectively are funded by the equivalent of one professional salary!
In addition to these 21 inspired individuals, we have 33 monthly volunteer shifts (for events) that are staffed by our general general pool of volunteers.
Together, we produce 145 performances (including 6 MAPP events), 30 artist salons, 48 family art days, resident artist rehearsals, community arts meetings, training seminars, and an uncommon variety of serendipitous encounters.
All of this activity is accomplished for a total staff payout of approximately $60,000 annually.
Please consider investing a piece of your prosperity into the Red Poppy Art House and San Francisco’s cultural landscape.
Here’s How to Donate. . .
To donate, click the Poppy Boat in the upper right. It will take you to the donation page of our fiscal sponsor, Intersection for the Arts. Just be sure you select “the Red Poppy Art House” as the project you would like to support.
Thank you for inspired support!
For us, it makes all the difference in the world.
Best wishes to all of you in your adventures!!!
Todd T. Brown
& the Staff at the Red Poppy Art House