Capricorn 23° (January 13)
Sometimes when I have a lot of writing to do I like to double duty (especially as I’m playing catch-up after a long drama-if-not-trauma induced hiatus). Here is a letter I’m drafting for returning Sponsors to my Afterglow Fest.
To Whom It May Concern
With just a few weeks of winter to go, I hope this finds you happy and optimistic. It’s been a time of daily societal drama, yet I can’t help feeling that some righteous good is being galvanized in the process, and sometime ringer, we’re being put through. So we persevere and pursue the realization of our own good intentions as best we can.
Careful not to itemize all we’ve done under the Afterglow aegis, I want to keep this letter short and just spotlight a few things. We are now entering our eighth year of festival. Last spring we very unexpectedly lost our venue of the previous five years which sent us scrambling rather late in the season. A blessing in disguise: as our original first choice, the Art House in Provincetown, with its two stages, cleared their schedule for Afterglow week, welcoming us, and we enjoyed our best attended shows ever in our history. We return to the Art House, September 20-16, 2018.
The third year of our collaborative series with the American Repertory Theater at their Oberon stage in Cambridge (for which, thankfully, we needn’t fundraise) has gained ever more steam. We credit the uptick in our Provincetown, audiences, actually, with the increased press and promotion and awareness generated by this partnership, as many festival goers this year were Boston and Cambridge folk. Our collaboration with A.R.T. is modeled on our pre-existing relationship with Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York City where Afterglow has produced both solo works and promotional variety shows.
We staged the first mini Glow festival, too, at Oberon in Summer 2017 which scored us high-profile features in the Boston Globe and coveted coverage on the PBS/WGBH program Open Studio, which mainly and happily focused on our mission and the Afterglow Festival in Provincetown, which is at its core. Moving forward, Glow will become “a moveable fest”, funded (fingers crossed) by state and city grants, allowing us to move and develop work, originated at Afterglow, throughout the region.
That’s enough news. Now, the reasoning for this letter coming to you earlier than typical in the new year: The highly function Art House venue works further in advance than our previous host and, as things go, is a pricier enterprise for us, overall, but so worth it. Though we landed safely and softly into the arms of the Art House, being left scrambling last spring hit home the fact that we need to begin our planning earlier each year. That and the fact that too many would-be sponsors have told us that, by the time we approach them, they are tapped out from other commitments.
So, here I come to you with my not-so-metaphorical begging bowl a tad earlier in 2018 to solicit support this year. We realize that our supporters might still prefer to cut actual checks closer to festival and that is still absolutely a-okay with Afterglow; what we are simply asking for now is a pledge to do so for x-amount so that we can better put our cart behind the horse in planning the programming and to pay for all that is entailed in staging the Afterglow Festival, which you’ve helped build into a formidable and important name in the non-profit arts world.
I will save my rant about how Afterglow honors Provincetown’s birthright as the birthplace of modern American theater, being a spritual “Save Provincetown” compaign, of sorts; or how we have preserved sacred stage space (now considered another form of valuable real estate here) for the pure creation and expression by the most influential and progressive performing artists on the planet today, whom you first saw or heard of at Afterglow (though many have moved on to wider exposure and success); or how we culturally and commercially enrich our community; or why, with Provincetown becoming the most sought-after, gentrified and increasingly exclusive place to live or visit, the preservation of Provincetown’s priceless theatrical and performance heritage can only be achieved by such a non-profit endeavor. Or will I?
Enough soapboxing. Please let us know if we can count on your support again this year and, if so, at what level you’d like to participate. With that knowledge we will be empowered to plan and pay all necessary deposits and so forth to pave the way for The Eight Annual Afterglow Festival. I like numbers as you might know; and I really thought of year seven as the completion of a cycle, the naissance and early childhood of our enterprise. Eight, the shape of which is called the lemniscate (a symbol of Infinity), does inspire provide a sense of solid footing and something of a forever feeling. We have made great inroads thus far and I can feel that proverbial wind beneath the wings of this non-profit enterprise in many ways. I believe we have together created something crucial and enduring. Touch wood.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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