HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE: I've felt rather icky all weekend. Rundown, tired and kinda over everybody and everything. The older I get, the more it seems allergies affect me. I've had weepy eyeballs and a stuffy nose, and of course it's hot as hell outside. I've got a zillion things to do - grant applications, submitting poetry requested by a couple of journals and several other projects I've neglected - but I've slipped into some kind of summer malaise. The couch and the ten DVDs I bought for next to nothing on eBay (La Femme Nikita, Broadcast News, The Color Purple, Clockwatchers among them) are my only interests lately.

Saturday was the wonderful, but ass-numbing GLBTQ reading at the Atlanta Library. Four hours with only one break was pushing it, and by the end I was squirming and my attention was starting to wander. Highlights of the reading were Cleo Creech, Dr. Madelyn Hatter, Theresa Davis, Stacie Boschma, Dustin Brookshire, Stanley Fong and Robin Kemp. Host Franklin Abbott and the library's Cal Gough did a great job of getting everyone together. Not surprisingly, the audience was mostly made up of the performers (there were 17 of us) along with a partner, friend or supporter. Maybe the 2 -6 p.m. time frame scared them off, or the downtown location or the fact that it was too many homos in one place or....? I've given up predicting who's going to show up to anything these days. The young and restless gay community that populates Atlanta would rather sit through a Murder, She Wrote marathon or conversion therapy than sit through a poetry reading.

The non-audience trend continued Saturday evening at 7 Stages theater for the Art Amok Slam Team fundraiser and performance. It was basically cancelled due to lack of interest. That's a real shame. These ladies need community support to get to the National Poetry Slam. Admission was only $5, so it wasn't like they were demanding big dollars or your first born. It costs several thousand for a team to compete at nationals, and even worse, the team is going to drive to Austin (the horror...the horror...), which gives ass-numbing a whole new meaning. There are several more events before they leave, so if you're in Atlanta, get off your duff and go drop some cash.

I can't really get into specifics, but I was very disappointed to find out that Poetry Atlanta is getting a fraction of what it asked for in a local grant application for 2006-07. What really pisses me off is all the time and near nervous breakdown I put myself through writing this grant. We're going to have to diversify, find new revenue sources and stop relying on government money. Arts funding is low on the totem pole for most elected bodies, which should be criminal. Motherfuckers. On another front, the Poetry Atlanta website redesign is 75 percent complete and on target for an Aug. 1 launch.

The other bone-killer of the weekend was sitting on the phone for hours trying to get services switched to my new apartment next month. The phone company kept me on for an hour...just to switch my same number and DSL service across the parking deck. They couldn't grasp the fact that my address was staying the same, just the apartment number was changing. I literally talked to 10 different people in an hour. God knows what will happen when I move. I do know that I won't have an Internet connection until Aug. 7, so my posting, browsing, e-mailing, etc. will be limited for a few days. Maybe that won't be such a bad thing.

Comments

Sorry about the grant experience.

Thanks for the note about your show.
Lisa Allender said…
Collin, SORRY about the grant....
You do a great job on EVERYthing you are asked to work on;it's a shame that you are not rewarded for it!

Here's an idea for Arts organizations everywhere---we do indeed need to stop depending on Federal and State monies('cuz there isn't any!!), so....let's feel our way to some NEW ways to raise money--how about "sponsorship" like they do for marathons--you know,each person donating could PLEDGE, say, $1.00 or $2.00 for EACH poem, or each MINUTE of reading---if several folks did this, for each performer, well, I'm no mathematical genius, but it could look like this:
5 donors for one performer, who does 10 poems(or ten minutes)....
Each donor gives $2.00 per minute...
That's $2.00 times 10 poems or minutes= twenty bucks....
but times 5 donors, it's $100.00...
Just a dream, but...

All you potential cash-donors, THINK about it--$20.00--that's about what you'd pay for a good lunch out, or about the cost of one ticket to the theatre....

Perhaps this scheme of mine could be expanded to fit other Arts groups--say, a Corporation pledging x number of dollars for a specified event(less than a large grant for a whole "season").....
Is this feasible, anyone?
Collin said…
Interesting ideas, Lisa, and all are welcome. We're going to sit down after Kodac and the team come back from the National Slam to figure out where Poetry Atlanta goes from here.

The slam team is only one component of what PA funds. Although we were not planning a Java anthology for 2007, we were hoping to get the First Book competition from PA Press off the ground.

I'm sure between all the smart folk on the board and community support, we can figure it out.

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