Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October wrap-up

October was a busy one... started the month with a few shows with Step Afrika, as part of the Ellington Jazz Festival. We reinvented "Nxt/Step" to incorporate The WES Group, a jazz quartet led by saxophonist Will E. Smith. They were great, and scheduling problems notwithstanding, the project was fun. We did three shows in the big theater at Atlas Performing Arts Center. One daytime show for kids, and two evenings. Turnout for the first evening show was light, it was the same night as the VP debate.

Cameron and I took a quick trip with my folks to Florida to visit my grandmother. We got to spend an hour or so on the beach, which was nice. I haven't been in the ocean since I don't know when. I saw a picture of my great-great-grandfather. I think I'm going to get a copy on the computer someday... but I'm not holding my breath on account of the older people using the internets and everything... When I do get it, I'll be sure to share. He was a grocer in Brooklyn, and it's a great picture of him in his shop.

On a Saturday afternoon, we rode our bikes the entire length of the Sligo Creek Trail (plus the mile or so from our house to the trail). Turns out it's slightly uphill the whole way up to Wheaton... but at least that made the return trip easy (and fast).

This past weekend we carved our pumpkins. The next day, I found out about Oh well. I still like ours, it's simple. Nothing wrong with simple.

I did an informal show with the PlayGround at Joe's Movement Emporium last Thursday. Looks like they've raised some money to build out the theater there. I have mixed feelings. Joe's is a great community resource - but I'm not sure about the potential for quality performances. Oh well. The Meyer Foundation people love to put their names on buildings, so now they'll have a little community based theater space. This show was not our best, but audience was small and supportive. We're doing Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center on November 17th.

This morning I went down to NPR for an interview with Neda Ullaby. She's doing a story about the "DC experimental music scene." Marc Masters' piece that ran in the last issue of Signal to Noise magazine made a good impression, I guess? I got a quick studio tour after the interview, and being an NPR junkie myself, I thought it was really cool. I saw cubicles with the names of familiar reporters on them, and I saw where the Morning Edition and All Things Considered people work. I think I caught a glimpse of Corey Flintoff? He's my favorite. The little production studio where we did the interview had three Neumann U87's. Nice. When I find out when the piece is going to air, I'll post something...

Other news from October was the big grant proposal blitz. There were loads of deadlines around Oct. 15 and Nov. 1 so I spent all my "artist" time this month writing proposals.

  • One for-hire on behalf of Washington Musica Viva sent to the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (they love to reject my projects, hopefully this one will fly)
  • One for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' "Small Projects Program;" on behalf of Low End String Quartet (LESQ), to hire an educational consultant and develop an in-school interactive concert program.
  • One for the Sparkplug Foundation, for the same LESQ project.
  • and finally one for the Maryland State Arts Council, also for LESQ - but this one is for our upcoming collaborative concert series with Washington Musica Viva. The rules for what the state arts council will and will not fund seem very strange to me. I couldn't ask them for money towards the in-school program, which I'm hoping will be like crack to arts donors
Hmm, that doesn't seem like so many in retrospect. Too bad it took so much time to do the work.

November is shaping up to be heavy on the bookkeeping. I've got a sweet project from Cameron's employer, but I've got to get it done by the end of November so I'm selling more of my time for dayjob stuff than I'd prefer. I figure I should take the work while I can get it... and I want to stash some money for our Costa Rica trip coming up in February. There's something to look forward to!

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