October 30, 2008

BizArts: Arts Lovers in Business Suits

If you've been following the San Francisco Bay Area Arts & Business Partnership Feasibility Study blog (say that ten times fast) you'll know that we're building momentum towards getting like-minded folks together. Last week we had a reunion of Business Arts Council/Business Volunteers for the Arts alumni which was a wonderful success! Following on that gathering we've launched a meetup.com group called BizArts.

Are you an arts lover in a business suit? Want to meet San Francisco Bay Area artists? Sign up here and be notified about our upcoming events. http://www.meetup.com/BizArts/

October 28, 2008

Mount Baldy Mount Climb Fundraiser Photos

Here are some of my best shots from the Mount Baldy hike in LA. I am still feeling the pain and the elevator is down in our office building so the pain is growing. Why are stairs so much harder than climbing a mountain?

Holly and Dylan preparing for the hike. They are official adrenalin junkies which is pretty obvious considering their career choices of Documentary Director and Cinematographer. This should have been the first clue that the hike would be, well, super difficult.

This green ski hut was the half way point of the climb. Imagine hiking this in the winter with all your gear and skis.

A fantastic twisted, fallen tree.

The Summit and a view of the surrounding mountains. The surface looks a bit like the moon but boy did I feel the gravity.

Here I am lounging on the Mount Baldy aka Mount San Antonio sign at the summit.

Holly doing a cheesecake pose. She was certainly at her happiest having concurred the mountain. Now to head back down.

Here's our group: Nancy (Producer) Dylan (Cinematographer), Holly (Director), Wendy (lawyer and triathlete), Rob (Holly's brother, cinematographer) and me (photographer).

Mountain men Dylan and Rob. They have that cinematographer looks. One of their recent projects was photographing Alaska.

Dancing with the Stars

OK, I know this probably went around via email but it cracks me up. So well composed - both the dancing and the photoshop job.

October 25, 2008

Don't Panic

That's my learning from this LA weekend. I totally pushed myself way beyond stretch goals into panic and despite the extremes I was able to concur all.

Vising Holly, my roommate from Sophomore year of Ithaca College was the first hurdle. We hadn't seen each other in 20 years. The funny thing is that we both still look 19 and even a bit alike with our long blond hair.

The next challenge was camping out as we prepared for our early morning ascent of Mount Baldy. I do not enjoy camping: tents, dirt, bugs, cold, no bathrooms, no light, and weird sounds, I have turned into an urban girl. But the camping also worked out.

Then the greatest challenge, climbing, for it was not hiking but actual steep climbing, Mount Baldy. Holly taught us a fantastic way to stay energized. She calls it the rest step and what you do is every five steps you rest for a moment with all your weight on your back foot. As the killer climb pushed us to our limits the five steps became my mantra. Holly kept insisting I rest but I was in a groove. Plus, if I stopped I worried I would never start again.

The climb down pushed me to my limits. The terrain is all tiny marble rocks on totally steep paths exposed to the elements. The trail was called The Devil's backbone. We climbed along the narrowest ridges with just this crazy marble surface and sometimes trees and bolders to anchor our steps. The views were both amazing and terrifying. One wrong move and you were taking the fast route down.

The final challenge was the chairlift that brought us down the final 4,000 ft. I shared a chair with Holly's friend Nancy who is my hiking hero. she proved she could climb the mountain and her strength inspired me not to be scared on the chair.

I'll post photos when I get to a computer. We're driving back to Holly and Dylan's place for showers, drinks, hot-tubbing and kabbabs...and giving my blisters some TLC.

We Did It!

10,064 ft up Mount Baldy! Can you say challenging? Take a look at the terrain. That's what we hiked both up and down. Pure rubble.

October 24, 2008

Dazy in Heaven

Here's Holly's dog Dazy who is living in heaven in this Studio City home. It is certainly a dog's life in LA.


Arrived in LA at the Bob Hope Airport. Warm and sunny. I can feel the appeal.

Down here for the Mount Baldy fundraiser hike for my college roommate Holly's Mount Kilimanjaro documentary film. I am nervous about the 10,000 ft. Hike and also camping out tonight.

News flash: Spotting studio exec types here at the airport. Black suits, t-shirts and no sweat. Stay tuned!

October 22, 2008

Reaching New Heights

the elevator in out office building is out of service for the next three weeks. This morning I took the rickety, old freight elevator up to our floor. I was fully prepared to be scared and having to clench my eyes shut to maintain control. Turns out I had no fear. My heart didn't even skip a beat. Now to try the London Eye...

Oakland Arts Funding Preserved

Strength in numbers, that's my conclusion from last night's successful rally of Oakland arts enthusiasts who attended the City Council budget meeting and signed an online petition. We Saved Oakland Arts, for now.

Here are the outcomes:

Oakland City Council last night voted to fully reinstate all of the grants funding for this year (meaning we’ll have to fight again next year but will have more than three days to respond). Unfortunately, we lost a staff position, who is a treasured colleague and friend to many. We also lost parades and festival funding, and the public art staff now come out of the 1.5% for the arts which lowers the amount available for the art itself. All in all a victory!

We had 2776 people sign the petition, about 300 people showed up to the meeting and they had to open up an additional hearing room, the mayor addressed the council – which is fairly unprecedented at council meetings, and 200 people signed up to speak.

October 21, 2008

Oakland Arts Finds a United Voice

Here we are in the Council Chambers of Oakland City Hall speaking out against cutting the Cultural Arts Budget. There are hundreds of us and we are united to save the arts.

This is also a reunion of our Oakland Spokes of the Hub advocacy group started by "six women with an idea". Four of us are here this evening after a four year's absence. Girl power!

October 20, 2008

Save Oakland Arts

Well, as of tomorrow "there will be no there there" as Gertude Stein said of Oakland if the City Council follows through on their drastic proposal to cut 100% of funding to the arts and closing the Cultural Arts and Marketing Department. It would be the only city program completely cut and believe me you won't see it revived for decades.

What's the story with Oakland City Council members? Are they trying to kick this city in the heArt and soul?

Tonight we had an organizing meeting in preparation for tomorrow's City Council session. ProArts hosted and got 40+ plus people in the room with 24 hours notice. That's all the public got in terms of advance notice of the City Council's action.

Somehow I was pulled into facilitate the organizing meeting 3 minutes before it started. Tomorrow I'll be a point person for our Save Oakland Arts Vote No group. All this and I don't even live there any more...but I will always have a place in my heart for Oakland arts.

October 19, 2008

A Warm Lap

Here's Rachel with the cat at Julie's Cafe taking immediate advantage of a warm lap. This cat is friendly but I've never seen it cozy up so quickly and fully to anyone before Rachel.

October 18, 2008

Convergance of Science, Dance and Ancient Greece

Past, present and future all in one image. Greek dancers, classic architecture and nanotechnology converge.

Ancient Greece in Mission Bay

The final performance of San Francisco Trolley Dancers is deep inside UCSF Mission Bay featuring Epiphany Dance, the organizers of this dance festival. My co-worker Theron and his partner Elizabeth were part of this final piece and the reason why me and several co-workers made an extra special effort to check out the event.

This piece featured a woman repelling/dancing down a giant research building while Greek dancers and musicians worshiped science and knowledge below. A fantastic conclusion to the day.

Here's a photo of Theron with the choreographer Kim Epifano. Below is a dancer repelling from the roof into the scene.

Dancing in the Sciences

San Diego Dance Theatre, the original creators of the Trolley Dance production down in San Diego, danced us along the promenade of University of California San Francisco Mission Bay. This area is the center of biotech and nanotech research and not usually a destination for anyone but scientists. What a treat to make a visit and see...dancers!

Trolley Singers

What I loved most about The Trolley Dances was that it took us out to Bayview Opera House in Bayview Hunter's Point, an area of the city rarely visited. When we arrived there was a fantastic Obama voter drive with local folks listening to live music and collecting canned goods for less privileged families. The Emcee invited us over to the event and was delighted when we obliged, all 70 of us! We then visited the Opera House which is a hidden treasure. What a fantastic visit.

Bayview Opera House and an Obama Voter Drive surrounds the dancers!

Inside the Opera House we enjoyed Adigun Sipho Capoeira Angola - here two boys display their strength, flexibility and choreography. Fellow members of the Capoeira troupe provided live music.

Dancing on the Railing

More of the Scott Wells & Dancers. They were jumping, lunging and smashing into the concrete as we watched in amazement. This piece was performed along the Embarcadero Marina and close to the end a boat pulled up to the "set" and its passengers watched in amazement. In this photo the guy on the left is a dancers. Front row seats take on a whole new meaning.

Trolley Dancer

Now its fifth year, the San Francisco Trolley Dances features California-based dance organizations performing along the Trolley Route. This time the route was the Muni T-Third Line which took us out by AT&T Ballpark, University of California San Francisco and Bayview Hunters' Point.

The day was absolutely perfect for enjoying dance. Here is member of the Scott Wells and Dancers.

My co-workers Katy and Jessica display their good cheer for the arts. Both are dancers.

October 16, 2008

I Can See Russia From My House

Oh, maybe it is just San Francisco's Russian Hill.

The Politics of Email cc and bcc

Yesterday I facilitated a panel discussion called Managing When You're Not a Manager for Cultural Connections, a membership organization of Northern California museum professionals. In reality the session was about Managing from the Middle which is true for any position in a non-profit as there are stakeholders surrounding every post.

Our grand conclusion was that diplomacy and disclosure are essential to working across organizations. One comment was that you need to understand how each person wants to communicate (phone, email, face time, memo) and how much communication they want. This leads me to the politics of cc - carbon copy and bcc - blind carbon copy.

Do you ever get that pit-of-the-stomach feeling when crafting an email and thinking that maybe more people need to know about the content... or maybe not? That's the moment of email politics - diplomacy and disclosure. What does the cc offer? More people in the loop, accountability, evidence, covering your butt, making you look smart and busy, positioning you as a thought leader or maybe an over-informer? Do you ever get an email on which you've been cc'ed and think, "huh? Why me?" Too much disclosure?

The ultimate non-disclosure move is bcc. This is the act of sending an email and the recipient may or may not know that one or more people also received the correspondence. This is usually the case when trying to protect the names of many recipients such as in a mass emailing. But it can also be a way to cover your ass, politically and legally when making a bold email move that more likely should have been done in person, and documented on printed paper.

Perhaps we should change cc and bcc to ee and bee - email exposure and blind email exposure (an oxymoron)?

October 13, 2008

Paddington the Bear Turns 50 Today!

I love Google and their logo customization on special days. Here's the one for Paddington the Bear's 50th birthday!
Living in Paddington the Paddington the Bear statue at the Paddington Train Station was a landmark for meeting up with friends and family visiting London. It was also the last station I visited prior returning to the States. At that time I certainly felt as disoriented as Paddington. Not any more.

October 11, 2008

Creating Entrepreneurial Vision and Mission Statements

Today I am observing the first part of a fantastic seven session course to help artists be more entrepreneurial. It is presented by the Center of Cultural Innovation (CCI). I will be a Cluster Counselor for the final session in November.

How fantastic to be sitting here with over 50 artists from San Jose. The presenters, Nancy and Richard Walch of Walch Consulting are spectacular in that they are deeply engaging the participants I articulating their core values and writing a mission statement. Although I am sitting on the sidelines I too am participating in the exercises.

Framing your vision and mission statements is always challenging. Personally, I get buggered up in "speak", diluting my statements.

Here are some helpful suggestions from Richard and Nancy...

Vision Statement: This is where you see yourself in ten years. Talk as though you are in that place.

Mission statement: This is what I do.
This is why it is of value. This is who I do it for.

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October 10, 2008

Fw: News Alert: Connecticut Ruling Overturns Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

------Original Message------

From: NYTimes com News Alert

To: Amy

Sent: Oct 10, 2008 9:17 AM

Subject: News Alert: Connecticut Ruling Overturns Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Friday, October 10, 2008 -- 12:17 PM ET

Connecticut Ruling Overturns Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making the state the third to legalize such unions.

Connecticut's in the house!

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October 9, 2008

Nice Portrait!

My work associate Lisa took this fantastic portrait of me sitting on the fire escape of our office in San Francisco's Mission District.

Note the eye makeup!

October 8, 2008

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

This is the first job I've had that provides managers with a team of associate support staff. Everyone in our office is a non-profit management over-achiever and you really appreciate that drive when it comes to the associates.

I am accustomed to setting up for my meetings and then cleaning up after. The associates are just too quick. It is a strange feeling, when you've worked most of your career in non-profits and it is all hands on deck, to be asked for the third time if you need any more help.

Sometimes I think we go too far, having associates make "coffee runs" to the local Java Detour. Is this really a good use of expertise? What values are promoting? Can't we take ten minutes and go ourselves?

Well, I went one step too far when I asked Jessica, one of our associates, if she could check my teeth for offending matter prior to a meeting. She oh-so-seriously looked at my not-so-pearly-whites and pointed out areas that needed help. As soon as I reflected on what was going on I was of two minds. I trust Jessica and consider her a friend. This "pruning" I reserve only for my closest friends and would do the same for her. However, this was work and she was doing her best job to make me look good. Couldn't I have just taken five minutes to check my own teeth in the mirror?

I can see how absolute power can corrupt absolutely. I've been on the receiving end of these inappropriate requests and it certainly doesn't feel good. I pledge to stop the train and take care of my own dirty business. Or, happily check Jessica's teeth in exchange.

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Berried Treasure of In-Kind Contributions

I'm contacting corporations to ask about t-shirt donations for the Mt. Baldy Fundraising Hike on October 25. This is like trying to find berried treasure!

Old Navy gave me their corporate line 1-800-old-navy. Funny thing is that I don't have a traditional keyboard on my crackberry. So, I've had to go to the internet, find a picture of a phone face and figure out the number which translates to 1.800.653.6289.

The helpful customer service person has guided me to Gap Inc's Social Responsibility page which has now guided me to an interesting non-profit called Gifts Inkind International which seems to connect non-profits with in-kind goods donated by corporations.

Hum, a fantastic organization but not exactly what I was looking to get. I'm more on the corporate sponsorship track. Back to the search.

Now I've typed in T-Shirt Donations into Google and found that Gap Inc does make donations of t-shirts. Unfortunately our timeline is too short, no surprise. They respond within six weeks.

October 6, 2008

Scary Peeps for Halloween!

More of my favorite peeps! The website has great music. Yummy.

Technology Breakdown

A few posts I sent over the weekend didn't make it to the blog because of a technology snafu with my Crackberry. All fixed now.

Speaking My Marketing Language

I am at the Theatre Bay Area annual conference sitting in on a panel discussion about marketing with new technology. Sorry Crackberry addicts but the iPhone is the device of the future.

Here's an interesting piece of advice: Email Marketing - Say it Like You're Talking to Mom. Don't send her the same bit of info more than once, keep it casual, personal and brief.

A journalist on the panel, who moved from print to online theatre reviews is now connecting with theatre folks via Facebook. Virtual networking I'm real time. The Facebook forum is allowing him to participate in dialogue that results in stories.

Also interesting is to create Facebook pages for yourself, for your business for every performance, character in your performance. Could you imagine the investment of time?

The lesson is that you need to connect with people in a way that they want to receive information and to make it personal.

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October 3, 2008

Ode to Tika the Cat

Tika the Cat and I were life partners for fifteen years. When I went off to London she moved in with my mom, dad and grammie in Connecticut. She has become Grammie's companion these past few years.

Poor Tika has lived with cancer for two and a half years. But that hadn't slowed her down. Unfortunately, it now has. Please think good wishes for Tika as she goes to kitty heaven with unlimited wet cat food, endless supplies of cat nip and lots of Grammie love.

Tika BooBoo, Mystiqua, you will be missed.


"Interior, Manor Farm" by Howard Phipps, wood engraving, 1991 (pictured above) from Rowley Gallery.

Don't Vote if You Don't Care

October 1, 2008

Morning Glory

These are the beautiful morning glories that thrive on a vine that has engulfed our house's front porch.
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