by Kirby Lindsay, posted 14 May 2012
The May Committee Of the Whole (COW) meeting of the Fremont Arts Council nearly always discusses the upcoming Solstice Parade. Okay, so not to the degree that the June meeting – held in the days before the parade – will be, but it still weighs heavy on the minds of those gathered.
For 2012, with the theme of Apocalypse (which means ‘lifting of the veil’ or ‘revelation’ in Greek,) the initial build of the popular, legendary parade has begun a bit earlier than normal. This may have account for more intense focus on it than usual, but the monetary concern has rarely taken up a majority of a meeting before.
Welcome Ambassadors From The Unofficial Headquarters
The meeting on May 8th at the FAC Powerhouse workshop space started auspiciously. Representatives from Pete’s Fremont Fire Pit were on hand – owners Peter Glick and George Tracy, and Catering Director Jeannine Welfelt. The new restaurant, located near Glick’s other Fremont establishments of Roxy’s Diner and the Backdoor @ Roxy’s, has been decorated (by Fremonster Josh Brown) to reflect the artistic culture of Fremont (as well as Burning Man.) Brown recently hung a sign declaring the restaurant an ‘Unofficial Headquarters’ of the Artist’s Republic of Fremont, “in case you didn’t know where your unofficial headquarters were located,” Glick joked.
They’d come “to fulfill our promise to donate money in gratitude for hanging art,” in the restaurant, Glick explained. The Fire Pit has several pieces borrowed from FAC storage at the Powerhouse, and these ambassadors came as soon as the restaurant had money to give – and before it went towards paying other expenses.
Peter Toms accepted the donation on behalf of the FAC Board of Directors, and asked if these representatives of local business could stay for the next agenda item.
A Discussion Of The Board Financial Initiative
Toms reported that the Board had met the previous Sunday and discussed plans for the upcoming parade, on June 16th. Part of that discussion included a review of the budget, and they discovered that estimates put the regular channels of fundraising at $7,000 short of the estimated budget of $52,500.
Methods including donations from area businesses, gifts from parade spectators (given to the Green Hat,) workshop and membership fees, money raised by the Rummage Sale, etc. raise a certain amount each year, but the Board estimated only $43,000 coming in. They launched a Fundraising Initiative to seek additional sources for another $10,000.
Toms mentioned one untapped source would be a direct ask of businesses located along the parade route, particularly those that benefit financially from having the parade pass their door.
Jessica Vets, of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, suggested offering concrete benefits to those who donate – such as a listing in the Parade handout, or public acknowledgement. Glick acknowledged that the first time he gave it was when someone from the FAC told him directly, ‘we need the support.’ “I had no idea what the financial situation was,” he admitted, “nobody had ever asked me before.” He’d never considered how the FAC funded the parade, or how much it cost.
Glick, who volunteers with Moisture Festival (and gives generously to it,) also advised asking in advance, when possible. Businesses often have a process, a budget or a particular person that must be asked – and figuring out that system can be impossible at the last minute. “It’s not that they don’t want to give,” he advised, “who would not want to give, after all.”
Vets offered to walk the business district – particularly the parade route – with a FAC volunteer fundraiser. “It doesn’t hurt to ask,” she said, and suggested developing a one-page handout to be left with business owners for consideration. Glick suggested using the facts of the budget, and said, “It helps to know what is going on.” Norma Baum, a long-time FAC volunteer, has been out soliciting donations of gee-gaws, frou-frou and trinkets. She said that when approaches donors, “the people who know the parade want to support it.”
When, late in the meeting, Sonia Telesco gave a Treasurer’s Report, she gave the information that the FAC currently has $7,000 in its treasury. The need for financial donations to make the parade a reality is significant.
Myriad Outreach Opportunities
From there, FAC Executive Director Mylinda Sneed listed the many upcoming FAC outreach opportunities – as ways for everyone to participate in the parade merriment this season.
On June 1st, the FAC will have a booth at the Fremont First Friday Art Walk from 6p – 9p at Red Triangle (behind the Lenin statue.) Sneed asked for a volunteer to lead a small project for the parade there – and for folks to stop by and lend a hand.
Finally, Sneed and Parade Communications Manager Tessa Hulls announced that the volunteer page of the Solstice Parade FAC website has plenty of opportunities listed for people to get engaged in the parade. Hulls also mentioned a slew of workshops upcoming where even the most crafts-challenged can learn to make a variety of costumes, walk on stilts or work with bio-plastics. Check the website for information including times and dates.
The Powerhouse Open House for the workshop, and the Parade, will be Saturday, May 19th starting at Noon. A few float bases still remain to be adopted, and volunteers are needed to serve as Studio Assistants (formerly Workshop Moms & Pops.)
As Toms led the meeting off, “the parade is happening.” To learn more, stop by the Powerhouse anytime starting May 19th – at 3940 Fremont Avenue North – and participate. To learn more about the organization, and the COW, stop by the next meeting – which are open to the public – on Tuesday, June 12th starting at 7:10ish. Expect to hear even more about the parade, the parade, and, probably, the parade.
- FAC Highlight Reel: Givin’ Procrastination A Good Name
- by Kirby Lindsay, March 16, 2012
- How To Build A Solstice Parade
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 16, 2012
- Beading For The Crafts-Challenged
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 11, 2010
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.