Gemini 24°

Question No. 2: What do you think might be the most effective words you could muster to send to a dozen Boston/Cambridge busineses (who don’t know you) to convince them to make a donation, to (becoming a Missionary Sponsor of) the new Glow Festival you’re starting in just five weeks time?

I would say:

Hello Friend,

I wanted to let you know that we are starting a new non-profit progressive performance Glow Festival in Cambridge this summer, July 27-30 at ART/Oberon which we hope in time to grown to the proportion of an Edinburgh fringe, for example. We are starting small with a handful of performers including Justin Vivian Bond and Penny Arcade. As of this moment we have no sponsors to speak of and I am seeking to raise what is a fairly small budget of $15K to cover the full breadth of our expenses. I’m hoping to raise this through all small donations year one.

For a tax deductible donation of $100 we are offering to friends who can attend the festival 20% off all tickets (if you donate you’ll receive a special promotion code to use online when buying two tickets). This “Sparkler” donation also puts you on the guest list for opening night pre-party festivities (for two!). Of course if you’d like to donate more and become a Sponsor, by all means do!

And you don’t have to be in Boston or Cambridge to give. You can just do so to help me create this new festival which we can grow into something special. In a world of for-profit real estate and big ticket prices on theater and performance, non-commercial progressive, emerging and evolving stage artists need festivals of this sort to perform. They provide a safe space for experimentation and sustenance for developing works.

Cambridge once stood as a bohemian outpost for progressive performing artists, but gentrification and other factors (greed) have contributed to the slow demise of stage artistry in our city. To boot, more fringe performers from other cities around the world haven’t felt as warmly welcomed and celebrated in Boston-Cambridge as they have in other places like New York, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Austin, Toronto, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Sydney, Paris, Berlin or even Zagreb.

Those of us who live in New England know what I’m talking about. And we know that there is an appreciative progressive audience in Boston-Cambridge which would very much appreciate our town playing host to staged works by innovative artists, many of whom live not so very far away in New York City. With my work with the Afterglow Festival in Provincetown (the birth place of the modern American Stage!) and with my Glowberon series at Oberon/ART, I have aimed to keep the spirit of progressive performance alive. And with this new Glow Festival we feel we are at the start of something big, literally: That Cambridge we have the opportunity to grow a festival that might one day rival the size of the Edinburgh fringe and make Boston-Cambridge synonymous with smart, exciting and transformative live theater and performance.

Something like that. Or I can just say HELP!