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In cheerier news?

If you want to feel better about the mid-range future, look to the more controllable near-range future:

One month to Orestes.

Cambiare Productions - Orestes - Gabriel Luna - Steffanie Ngo-Hatchie 1

Gabriel Luna and Steffanie Ngo-Hatchie
Photo by Will Hollis Snider

It’s not transparency if you don’t talk about failure

On May 1, I submitted Cambiare Productions’ first City of Austin Project II grant application. Project II being the first stair step on the way to larger City funding in the future.

Today down at Austin City Hall was the peer review council’s public comments on the application.

It didn’t go well.

This isn’t to say we will receive no funding. This is to say that the application was poorly written and confusing to them in places, and fails on some important (to them) criteria.

Let me step back and say, the process is really great, even with a negative outcome for us, I think every arts company should undergo objective peer review.

Back to the matter at hand:

We have low multicultural impact
True. The criteria assumes that my art is white and inaccessible to other cultures, but that’s not the panel’s problem. In terms of the criteria, we do rate poorly.

We have low economic impact.
Indisputable. Vancouver and Chicago aren’t (yet) dumping tourist dollars in the pot to come see us, and the 600 person local reach is low.

We have low cultural impact.
This is lumped into #1 a little, but I do dispute this.
Breadth is only one measure.

We have muddy measurable goals.
Or as we say in the business…. muddy writing about our goals.
This is directly on me. I failed to communicate our goals clearly. You’d think I’d be able to convey audience and stature building pretty clearly, but apparently not.

We don’t have broad community support
This was in reference to our support letters, and the fact that we only had a couple, and that they were from within the industry.
It’s true and indisputable. We are applying for funds for our second production as a discrete organization.

These were the major strikes, though there was also a comment about lack of diversity of funding – apparently Will’s pocket and my pocket aren’t diverse enough sources. There was also a comment commending us on the ideas and explorations of art on this site, and a desire to make them less intellectual and more tangible.

I couldn’t agree more. We just need gas money.

Make no mistake, I’m crushed. But we are better prepared for next year and I have more faith in the peer review process than I did a few hours ago. I’ve done without money before I’ll deal without money in the future.

Now I just need another innovative fundraising method.