Hello my friends, backers, and all,
Time to post another update! I see from the little crawling graph that we have crossed the 50 K marker a few days ago and are now at $54,000! This is rather astonishing and really encouraging! Please keep spreading the word, we are going to do this thing.
I will have an important update in a few days. Coming down the pike will be some major changes in the incentive structure, to give backers even more reasons to back the project. Also, to be announced shortly, will be a mechanism for 'substantial backers' to make their pledges tax-deductible, by donating through a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. Of course, you are all 'substantial' backers; no disrespect meant to those pledging $35, $70, $100 and in that range; in fact this is where the bulk of the funds are coming from. But in this context substantial backers are those who may wish to pledge $1000 or more, but also want to take a tax deduction if such is possible. It is possible, and I'll be posting details by the weekend.
In the meantime I have some more entertaining tidbits to share with you. I was in New York City in December to give a talk to the National Arts Club. Stayed with my friend Alex Tannous (a wonderful man of great learning and erudition, not to mention kindness and generosity) and while there, he arranged for me to interview with a friend of his, David Ellenbogen who hosts an evening radio show, Studio A, on WKCR (89.9 FM - NY and on the web at http://www.wkcr.org). For those who may not know it, WKCR is Columbia University's student run, non-commercial radio station. We had a free-wheeling conversation and you can now download the podcast or listen online at the Psychedelic Salon: http://www.matrixmasters.net/salon/
If you don't find it on the homepage, search for Podcast #266. My thanks to Lorenzo Haggerty for making this available and to David for the interview and the good publicity.
I've been in Hawaii for the last few days, attending and presenting at the 2nd annual Alchemeyez Visionary Arts Congress, held at the Hilton Waikaloa on the Big Island. It was a great event, very sweet, and sadly not as well attended as it deserved http://alchemeyez.com/ However, organizer and chief visionary Rio Gordon did a great job, and deserves our recognition and gratitude. Everyone who did make it seemed to have a great time! I know I did; and thanks Rio to you and all your team for pulling this off. You may not have made a profit but you created a lot of goodwill and made many folks happy. May the next one be even more awesome and beautiful, and hopefully, profitable. Thanks for inviting me, I was treated well and am a happy camper (if that word can be applied to such an opulent venue as the Hilton Waikaloa! Which, by the way, is worth visiting if only to view the amazing art collection on display there).
Among the highlights of that event for me was the chance to reconnect and hang out for a little while with my friend George Douvris, his wife Stephanie, and their son John and daughter Nicolet. George is known to many in our community as he is an inveterate (some would say obsessional) networker, blogger, and connector, and he keeps us appraised of what's going on in the global tribe, and what's going on in the world in general (sometimes whether we want to be or not! but we love you anyway, George). His semi-nomadic lifestyle, his migrations, immigrations, and peregrinations in countries that most of us only wish we could see, and the travel and adventures of his amazing family that he has shared openly with the community, have kept a lot of us entertained. George got to know my brother Terence in the mid-90's and occasionally spent time with him in various venues. We had a few minutes to share a beer and memories at the conference, and he was kind enough to let me video part of our conversation. I've posted some segments below for your enjoyment. Subsequent segments are posted in updates #13 & 14 respectively.