Guest blogger Sarah Jane Semrad is board president of Art Conspiracy and Executive Director of La Reunion TX.
I ran into Art & Seek’s Stephen Becker last night at the Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition meeting at the Sammons Center for the Arts. (If you’re not plugged in to what’s going on with city budget cuts, I suggest you give yourself an education on the DACAC site and take some action.) I was reminding him about Art Con SEED on August 7 and how it works and what it’s for and after I told him the behind the scenes story, he asked me to blog it!
SEED is Art Con’s event to raise it’s own operational expenses. Yeah, I suppose it’s a fundraiser for a fundraiser, but then Art Con is more than just a fundraiser. We call what we do “street level philanthropy” because we engage emerging artists and musicians to join forces to give back to local art and music non-profits. It’s a lovely model whereby we turn a wacky venue (think the historic Texas Theatre or a 40,000 sq ft warehouse) into a giant art studio the first weekend in December. Then we ask all the artists who signed up back in October to turn an 18×18 inch piece of plywood that we provide into a piece of art – on site! The results are amazing and the next night we auction it all off, rapid fire, while hot, local bands play music. We raise a ton of money and turn it all over to small art and music orgs that are doing great things in the city. The 2009 beneficiary? Resolana!
This is where SEED comes in. In order to create the giant art studio in December and invite artists and 1200+ people to attend, we have to rent a venue, pay for plywood, hire security, hire a sound guy and pay for all the other stuff that makes an event of this magnitude happen. At SEED, we explore other artistic media to entice our supporters to come out. We’ve done photography, moleskin journals and more. Something special. This year? Lanterns.
I’ve been collecting giant Illy coffee cans from the good folks at Murray Street Coffee for over a year for another project I was working on last November… Let’s just say I had a few left over. So for SEED, 20 local artists will be turning some of the remaining Illy cans into compact florescent lanterns! Each can has been outfitted with a high performance bulb and plug-in lamp attachment. You won’t believe what’s being created. Mark your calendars for Friday, August 7 from 7-12. Sons of Hermann Hall. Music by Widow, Glen Faris and Airline. Sign up on the mailing list at www.ArtConspiracy.org