Seven of Seven

March 3, 2012

Dear Patronopolis,

Tomorrow is the Reserve & Green Benefit Party at Ten Spoon Winery. I’m excited, nervous, slightly crazed and mostly super stoked at the prospect of sharing new music and dialogue with you. For the folks who saw it in December: be prepared — it’s really different! And for the newbies — I’m excited to bring new ears into the circle, new minds into the mix.

As I prepare my notes for the event, I’m wanting to call attention to the coolness of what you are doing, of who you are as a community. Of the 190 current Patronopolis members, over half of you have contributed $50 or less. And all of you — from the largest donors to the folks who are able to contribute $5 for the year — are showing that communities really do care about home-grown, locally-made art, and that we can pool our resources, open up to each other, and truly engage in the creative process together. You are all Patrons of the Arts, democratizing the whole notion of patronage. You are pioneers. You’re building a new arts funding model. You’re really flippin’ bold. And I’m really flippin’ lucky to be associated with you.

And you are crazy, out-of-control, ridiculously generous! You’ve invested in me and in this work in so many ways. Financial gifts, gifts of time and talent, boxes full of food, ideas for slogans, words of encouragement, smart critiques, interest in my work. Around one-fifth of you have given more than once — several of you have given three or four times. You touch my heart.

The Patronopolis is here. It’s happening. It’s not a dream, or a far-off hope. It’s for real. It’s YOU. Thank you.

Form follows function. Process predicts content. How we do things has a huge impact on what we do, and what the results are.

What does this mean in this context? Making art in community means different art gets made. Your support is directly subsidizing the hours I’m spending in the studio. I’m literally nourished by your gifts. Teaching and the Patronopolis — these two things are my livelihood. It is simple math. The amount of support you give me is the amount of time I can spend generating new work.

Do you know how amazing it is, that you are funding that time? Do you have any idea what a gift that is to me?

The characters in Reserve and Green are living in tensions that we all feel — between isolation and togetherness, between protection and risk, between the connections we know and feel, and those we sense in the offing, and yearn for. They are trying to figure out if they belong. To each other. On the planet at all. And if so how, where.

Because of you, Patronopolis, I believe at least some of them will have the chance to learn and grow through this story, this process. Which means maybe I will too. And others.

Thank you,


P.S. Do you like getting these weekly letters from me? The seven-week experiment is up, so let me know your thoughts. I’ll keep blogging regardless, but I’d like your feedback on whether or not I should continue to send you my weekly missives. If you’d like to weigh in, just hit reply and say yay or nay (or whatever you want).