A different direction

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What are you doing today?

I’m having an interesting weekend, doing something kinda different. I work for a small nonprofit arts organization, and this year I wrote my first grant (and got funding!). I wear about twenty different hats at work, some of which I enjoy more than others, but I LOVED writing the grant. The whole process of answering the questions, writing the narrative, presenting the financials — I took to it like the proverbial duck to water. I am no good whatsoever at asking people for donations or planning fundraisers, but grant writing is apparently right up my alley. I had this feeling that Fate was tapping me on the shoulder and saying, hey, come over here, come this way. I’ve had that feeling a few times in my life and it’s never been wrong.

So one thing led to another and next thing I knew I found myself on a panel of volunteer reviewers allocating grants to local arts groups. And I am spending this weekend reading their applications. And it is SO FUN!

Although. Ahem. NOT ONE group followed all of the directions. Every single application has at least one piece missing or in the wrong place. I don’t get it. If you are asked to describe your program’s “artistic merit” why would you instead label that section “quality” and thereby make it harder for me to figure out what you are talking about? If you are told to give your attachments specific file names such as “att1_yourname.pdf” why would you not do as requested? Hello??

On the other hand, a few of the applications actually moved me to tears. Not that I’m a hard sell. Pretty much anything involving arts education, especially arts education for underprivileged kids, moves me to tears. Another one that had me misty-eyed was an application to fund a blues festival in celebration of black history month. This festival apparently has been going on for years with packed venues and not one dime spent on marketing in a county that is 98% white.

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