Archive for December, 2011

December 13, 2011

Apps, Cellphones, Art and You

As you might know, I am on the Advisory Board for Social Media Week 2012, and a few weeks ago was featured in the Advisory Board Spotlight. One of the questions:

3) It’s common for the arts industry to be early adopters to innovative media platforms, what do you see as being the next big thing for Social Media in the arts in Toronto?

There’s been a wave of great promotional videos over the past while—some have the feel of trailers for the show, some are multi-part series of interviews posted pre-show. All of them are tapping into an audience in ways that weren’t possible before; the performing arts are a very you-must-be-there type of work, so I think these types of videos are a great addition to traditional marketing and media outlets. They’re obviously easily shared, easily talked about and easily re-posted on blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter. The best thing I’ve seen recently is the integrated interactive online piece Canadian Stage has created for their current production of Red. Go look—I think this one is a game changer. Rather than broadcast out information, it’s bringing the audience member in and creating a relationship. Very well done. Love it. And for me it’s not how much it cost or didn’t cost, but the idea of doing it and the execution that is exciting.

Yesterday’s Globe and Mail confirmed that belief.

“At least three Canadian theatre companies – Canadian Stage, Atomic Vaudeville and Praxis Theatre – have launched Web-based entertainments related to their stage productions..”

I’m delighted.

This on the other hand, I’m not so delighted with. Found it on a friend’s FB wall and agree with her comment: “WHY? There is no explanation of how this is supposed to be better artistically or even just plain commonsensically. It’s just…giving up.”

Sigh. Too early in the morning for a rant about today’s society. But I’m old enough to remember when people like doctors and lawyers were the only ones who had cell phones (actually – pagers) and they were expected to check them before the performance (check as in coat check) and if the kidney became available, or the governor called with a reprieve during the performance, an usher would come and get them.  I guess what I’m saying is – are the phone calls people receive mid-show as important as that? Usually – they are not.

December 11, 2011

Sunday Roundup – December 11

Graduation and Deputation were the highlights of my week. Read on for what else happened…

Graduation! – some thoughts and thank yous on graduating from Entrepreneuse School

Deputation and Graduation – Talk about Hump Day – full text of my deputation at City Hall on the 7th

You’re Charging HOW much, and a call for Submissions – why handmade art costs money, and Kensington Murals.

Together Toronto has a great section on their site devoted to the arts – and a way to directly email your Councillor from the page.

Have a lovely Sunday – I have Christmas cards to do and strategy to create  – in that order.

December 9, 2011

You’re Charging HOW much, and a Call for Submissions

Quick post today with a bit of reading to finish off the week – an excellent article I found on a friend’s FB wall about the true cost of handmade:

I recently did my first craft fair.  And at that craft fair, one woman picked up every one of my hats, tried them on, and made a sort of a noise in the back of her throat indicating disgust. Then she muttered, “I don’t really like these hats” before looking at the price tag for one of them and looking at me over her glasses: “Do you really charge this much?” Read more

Personally, I would want to hand that person a brush and a tube of paint, or a crochet hook and skein of yarn and say, “Have at it!” It’s why I don’t get to work many craft shows.

And the Kensington Market BIA has a call for submissions out: The Kensington Market BIA has allocated some funds to work with local merchants to increase the number of murals installed in the area. Read more

And finally if you didn’t have time to tune into the show of shows otherwise known as the 2012 Budget hearings, I recommend you wander over to Torontoist where they live blogged the hell out of them:

Day One           Day Two

That’s me in the red hat.

Also an excellent commentary by Hamutal Dotan on Government, Ford Style.

 

 

December 7, 2011

Deputation and Graduation -talk about Hump Day

Today was graduation from Entrepreneuse School. I have a Certificate of Achievement.I have Achieved.

Today was the first day of Deputations at City Hall regarding potential budget cuts.

 

This is the clean edited version of my deputation today – I say clean not as in dirty words but that it’s not the version edited on-site with a lipliner. I was number 20 on the list and spoke at around 1:45 p.m.  Fun fact – there were 348 people on the  list- deputations will go 930 to 930 today and tomorrow,  with meal breaks, and anyone who doesn’t get to speak can submit in writing. I do not think they will all get to speak.

Good morning – well, my notes say good morning, but I’ll say good afternoon.

My name is Sue Edworthy. I am a resident of Toronto; a homeowner, a taxpayer, and a small business owner. I am also a member of the arts and culture sector, and I am here to speak to you today about the 10% cut on the table for arts and culture.

In May 2011 – just six months ago – City Council unanimously endorsed the Creative Capital Gains report presented to them.

Of particular importance, the report set a target of $25 per capita funding for arts and culture, from its current $18 per capita.

I know that everyone on this council and committee are working hard to arrive at a good solution for Toronto. But I worry you have lost sight of the bigger picture of what makes a city great, in anticipation of short term gains. And they are not really gains at all – a cut of 10% is in many ways more than the number it represents on a spreadsheet.  Ten percent in real life equals

Fewer arts projects in neighbourhoods across the city:  TAC currently supports 250 arts projects annually with grants totaling just over $1 million.

Fewer individual artists will receive support: TAC currently supports 200 individual artists including writers, composers, visual and media artists with grants totaling just over $1 million.

Arts and culture are essential to Toronto’s economy, generating $9 billion every year –that figure is from 2006 or 07 I believe.  The city achieves this economic return on a relatively small arts investment.

I am fairly certain that members of the current City Council decided to run for office because they had a vision for a better city, that they would work with their colleagues and constituents to make Toronto better if not great. Arts and culture are part of what makes our city great. I have faith in you to realize the importance of the request I am making.

I know you’ve read and heard these numbers before – you’ve endorsed the report, you’ve heard and read numerous deputations and requests on this topic.  This indicates to me that you saw the value in in arts and culture and endorsed moving ahead. By cutting 10 percent now you are contradicting your own endorsement.

I’ll leave you with a fable from over 2000 years ago, with the hope that it still resonates to members of this committee, and City Council at large.

A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.  “Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.” “You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.” So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs

Thank you.

…Actually – I realize that I have 20 more seconds left. I’d like to answer Councillor del Grande’s earlier comment about everyone saying no to cuts, but but nobody is saying where the money will come from. SO –

–        I would not have repealed the vehicle registration tax;

–        I would not have instituted a property tax freeze for last year;

–        I would have raised property taxes this year and I say as a homeowner good, I expect that to live here;

–        I would be looking into road tolls and

–        I would be looking into a hotel/tourism fee as so many other cities do.

Thank you.

People clapped, I don’t know what that means, Gord Perks seemed to agree saying “look there are golden eggs!” and Sarah Doucette said thank you for coming. So did Janet Davis. Piece spoken, we shall see.

December 6, 2011

Graduation!

Entrepreneuse School ends tomorrow – ten weeks, two days a week of business boot camp and I am leaving with a fifty page document (11 pt Arial font, single spaced) that is the official blueprint of Sue Edworthy Arts Planning.  From Company Profile to fighting with Excel for financials, I have enjoyed every exhausting minute of it. It was worth it – combining this type of course – in class, weekly milestones, research, planning planning and more planning along with working with  clients and my regularly scheduled programming already in progress is a definite challenge. Many thanks to those I had to disappear on due to unfinished homework, meetings scheduled around class time, who smiled at my ever-present notebook and helped in oh, so many ways. It’s not many who have such a great support network, and I’m glad I do.

I am very proud of myself and my amazing classmates, all of whom took the road less travelled, proud of our efforts and our courage – which of course leads to:

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” -JFK

We now have all four.

Congratulations, TBDC Group 123! We did it!

PS – No, there is no rest for the wicked or weary  – tomorrow is not only Graduation, but Deputation at City Hall. More on that later.
December 4, 2011

Sunday Roundup – December 4

It’s DECEMBER. Weird.

Last week of Entrepreneuse School this week, the end of one chapter  is hurtling towards us with the beginning of a new one of the very next page.

This week was art nd politics and art and politics and trying to figure out the best way to explain to some the important of the former to the latter. How did we do?

a tale as old as time, a 30′s style salon and our national anthem – the 1164 Cabaret was born at Pentimento Gallery and needs to become a regular thing in my opinion.

Cool contest with Angelwalk Theatre – it is. Break out the FlipCam and off you go.

A Message From Friends of the Arts Re: 2012 Toronto City Budget Recommendations – ten percent cuts across the board  – culture division, the majors, grants you name it – nothing is sacred. If you read no other post here today, read this one and its companion piece.

About Red – playing at the Bluma, courtesy Canadian Stage. Go and see it.Pieces like Red are part of he reason the posts above and below it are so important.

How To Make a Deputation: A Message from the Toronto Arts Foundation – part two. If the post about the cuts worked you up enough to go and say something, here’s a handy primer from the TAF on how to say it well.

In other quick news – Saw VideoCab’s The Life and Times of Mackenzie King yesterday afternoon – they are the perfect part of an awesome Saturday. Go and see it, if for no other reason that to try to figure out who RB Bennett reminds you of.

Have a good Sunday – those clouds look suspiciously determined so I’ll sit tight here and finish my deputation and business plan.

 

 

 

December 2, 2011

How To Make a Deputation: A Message from the Toronto Arts Foundation

CALLING ON ARTS SUPPORTERS  SIGN UP TO SPEAK AT BUDGET COMMITTEE
PROTECT TORONTO’S ARTS FUNDING

On November 28, the City Manager presented the 2012 Operating Budget to the City’s Budget Committee.  The proposed budget recommends a 10% cut to arts grants. If passed, city arts funding will be reduced by $1.94 million.

Clearly, this would affect Toronto’s cultural vitality and reduce or eliminate arts programming including performances, exhibitions, festivals, readings and events that are vital to Toronto residents and visitors.

To help encourage Toronto City Council to reverse this decision, Toronto Arts Foundation and Friends of the Arts Network are calling on all arts supporters to speak at the City’s Budget Committee.  Guide including information and messaging follows:

Public Deputation Guide – Budget Committee Meeting Dec 7, 8, 2011

Toronto’s Budget Committee will hear deputations from the public at its meeting taking place on December 7 and 8, next Wednesday and Thursday.  The meeting will be held at City Hall, beginning at 9:30 am and concluding at 9:30 pm both days. For those unable to attend in person, it is possible to send a written submission to Budget Committee, buc@toronto.ca.

Deadline to register to speak:  December 6, 4:00 p.m.

How to register:  Call 416-392-7340 or email buc@toronto.ca.  Give your name, address and phone and let them know you would like to speak at the Budget Committee meeting that begins on December 7.  Ask them to let you know your approximate number on the list which will give some indication of when you will be called.

How long is a deputation:  The usual public deputation speaking time is 5 minutes.  However, when the list of speakers is long, the committee can choose to reduce the speaking time.  We recommend you prepare a speech of 2.5 minutes.

Who Should Speak:  The most effective speakers are volunteers.   Volunteer board members, sponsors, donors, and local business owners make excellent speakers, as do those participating in programs.  Children and youth can be effective speakers.
NB:  the person whose name is on the register must attend, or you will lose your spot on the list.   However, if you sign up your own name and you’d like your board chair, or a program sponsor to speak, it is possible for both of you to go up to the podium.  You then introduce yourself, introduce the other speaker and share your time at the podium.  You will not be given extra time just because there is more than one person.

Who is Listening:  The Budget Committee is made up of 7 Councillors (Mike Del Grande, Chair, Michelle Berardinetti, Frank Di Giorgio, Doug Ford, Chin Lee, Peter Milczyn, John Parker). Other Councillors will likely be in attendance as guests.  Note that all these Councillors are spending very long hours listening to public concerns.

Effective Deputations:  Many Councillors are looking for public support to help them make tough decisions.  Essentially you want to offer them compelling reasons to do the right thing but not to critize them for the City Manager’s budget.  The most effective way to do this is to be respectful and offer positive stories and facts on the value of arts programming.  NB: Practice your remarks; make sure you can fit what you want to say into 3 minutes. If you have a talent – poetry, spoken word, storytelling – don’t hesitate to use it; Councillors respond well when the message is delivered creatively.

Arts Messaging for 2012 Budget:
Possible Messages (remember there will be lots of speakers; there is no need to cover all messages, select the one(s) that resonate with you):

  • The impact of a 10% cut – what programming will be reduced or eliminated; how will Toronto residents be affected by this cut.
  • Why 10% is more than 10% – ie. a cut of 10% can spiral into loss of even more funding if it prevents fundraising, reduces staff and financial capacity or means fewer programs leading to reduced sponsorship or government support etc.
  • How this cut will affect local businesses (restaurants, arts supply stores etc)
  • Toronto’s arts organizations raise $17.75 from other sources for every $1 invested by Toronto.  This cut to grants will lead directly to a loss of $25 million to Toronto – this will have a significant impact on jobs, tourism and economic development
  • On November 29, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby presented a Friends of the Arts petition signed by over 20,000 Torontonians living in every ward of the city, requesting City Council to maintain its support of arts funding.
  • Toronto City Council voted unanimously in May 2011 to approve Creative Capital Gains which recommends increasing (not decreasing) arts funding to $25 per capita.  The proposed budget reduces Toronto’s arts investment to just $17 per capita, much lower than all our competitive cities (Chicago at $26, New York at $74, Montreal at well over $30).
  • On November 23 the European Commission proposed spending $2.4 Billion as part of a  Pan-European goal to stimulate the economy through cultural enterprise.  As other economies invest even more in culture, Toronto will fall further behind.

For more arts benefits and funding impacts go to Toronto Arts Foundation’s Advocacy page.
Key Dates:
December 7 and 8; 9:30 am to 9:30 pm: Budget Committee Public Deputations
January 9: Budget Committee Final Wrap Up
January 17: City Council Approval of Operating and Capital Budgets

Thank you for your participation.

If you have questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email or contact Susan Wright at 416-392-6802 x211.

December 2, 2011

About Red.

The colour red and I have had a special something since I was three years old and needed my hats to be red, my boots, my everything. My mother didn’t understand. Last year I found a children’s’ book called Red Is Best in which Kelly”s mom doesn”t understand about red. Sure, the brown mittens are warmer, but the red mitts make better snowballs. And the red boots aren”t just for rain; they take bigger steps in any weather. And, yes, a red cup does make a difference… juice just doesn”t taste as good in a green one. No doubt about it, red is best.

I gave it to my Mom last year. She now gets it. Sort of.

And last night I went to see Red at Canadian Stage – and indeed – Red is best.

This is not a review, that’s not what I do here but you MUST go and see it.  Jim Mezon can be described no better than a bear on that stage – he is brilliant.  The discussion, the debate, the argument had between Rothko and his assistant about just what red is – is brilliant. And the canvas priming scene is amazing. Half the audience burst into applause. This should tell you something – if an audience is applauding a base coat – you need to see this show. I was enthralled.

I see a lot of finished art – in galleries, on friend’s walls and we talk a lot about art, and usually of the finished variety. To sit and listen to a conversation about why art is, who art is, can you get it, can you not, where are lives and how is changes – incredible. The program is a truly rich source of information, things to think about

I absolutely loved the show  – granted when I read the program after and saw that Kim Collier was at the helm I thought, “of course.” I’m going to buy the play – there was too much wordplay last night that I want to re-read so I can absorb it.

Go see. And yes I am wearing my cheerful red hat today – because Red is Best.

““`

Sorry I have to re-post this – but it’s too important not to:  A Message From Friends of the Arts

December 1, 2011

A Message From Friends of the Arts Re: 2012 Toronto City Budget Recommendations

Hello all,
Yes I have my own platform and today  I will use it.
By now you know that the 2012 budget recommendations include a 10% cut to arts grants. This affects you possibly directly, or possibly indirectly.  But it does affect you.
This affects the theatre company that gets the sponsorship that puts on the play  that the actor performs in that the designer designs that writes the original music that requires a program that needs the headshots that buys the advertising that takes transit to the theatre that has a drink after the show that pays the babysitter that gives the reviewer something to write about that launches the playwright’s career – and they all live in the house that art built.
I ask that you do three things:
1) read the post
2) forward, share, repost, retweet the post.
A Message From Friends of the Arts
The budget brought forward  on November 28 recommends a 10% cut to arts grants totaling $1.94 million.  Budget deputations will be heard on December 7 and 8, and the final budget will be approved by City Council on January 17.

Friends of the Arts and its 20,000 supporters from every Ward calls on all City Councillors to support sustained investment in grants to artists and arts organizations in the 2012 budget.

The impact of a $1.94 million cut (10%) to arts grants will be extremely serious for Toronto residents, arts organizations and artists while offering very little short-term savings for the City’s bottom line.  It will directly cause:

  • Reduced investment in Toronto:  for every $1 granted by the City, $17.75 is raised from other sources in support of arts organizations.  If a 10% cut were applied to Toronto’s arts organizations (large and small) it would translate into a $25 million loss of investment in Toronto, affecting jobs, performances, festivals and exhibitions.
  • Fewer arts projects in neighbourhoods across the city:  TAC currently supports 250 arts projects annually with grants totaling just over $1 million.
  • Fewer individual artists will receive support: TAC currently supports 200 individual artists including writers, composers, visual and media artists with grants totaling just over $1 million.

Over 20,000 Torontonians from every ward in the City have signed the Friends of the Arts petition, calling on Toronto City Councillors to maintain investment in the arts.

In May 2011, Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of the Creative Capital Gains report recommending increased support for the arts to $25 per capita.

The current recommendation would reduce the city’s support for the arts to just $17 per capita, much less than competitive North American cities.

Arts and culture are essential to Toronto’s economy, generating $9 billion every year. The city achieves this economic return on a relatively small arts investment.

130,000 people work in the sector – and many more depend on related businesses, including those in hospitality and tourism.

Toronto’s arts scene is a big part of what makes Toronto a great place to live, work and visit – yet Toronto invests less in the arts than other major cities; City Council has been working to change that, and it must stay the course.

—–

Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations:  Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, BeautifulCity.ca, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation, Urban Arts.

Here’s the official budget document if you’re so inclined.

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