3 venues, 2 bands, 9 speaking engagements... and counting.
Over four days in June, Fort Worth Exposure will showcase the artists, musicians and creative people and organizations that call our city home. We know hundreds, if not thousands of creative people call Fort Worth home as well as the arts organizations that support them. We'll put names to faces, faces to art, and art to the podium as we hear stories about the works produced right here in Fort Worth.
How this idea came about
Last Fall, as Fort Worth City Council neared its vote on the city's budget, passionate individuals made the case to sustain the current level of funding for the arts. Numbers and statistics stood for convincing. Numerous people packed City Hall chambers to take the floor to persuade with stories. However, the Council voted 8-1 for a budget that included reduced arts funding.
At the time of the debate, I was reading Richard Florida's "The Rise of the Creative Class, Revised." In it, he argues that creative individuals, and jobs related to the arts, are a better path to economic growth. Essentially, those that create, make or do art--give life to your city, and a city that appears alive attracts AND retains companies, jobs, and pushes up tax revenues -- essential to a balanced and sustainable budget.
City Council's vote should be respected. It was hard and council members must weigh trade offs for all. Meanwhile that Fall, XOXO Fest, held in Portland, sparked an idea.
What if, or an opportunity
Fort Worth calls home to a number of arts events, music, dance, and more. What if, there existed an event that was about the people of Fort Worth who make the art? The people who, according to Richard Florida, give life to our city? Let them show their talent, and let them talk candidly about their work.
Enter, Fort Worth Exposure. A showcase of Fort Worth talent and who they are. And the arts are about making a connection to the world in which they exist.
What's been done
To date, planning, scouting, communicating and confirming have been done. Three venues reserved. Two bands agreed to perform. Nine speaker committments from the arts community.
With this vision in mind, take a look at how FWX is shaping up.
Fort Worth Exposure June 13-16, 2013
Thursday, June 13: @ Amphibian Theater, movie/film night -- will include drinks. (Spots still open for film makers to present - email email@example.com, if you'd like to show your work) Exclusive to festival pass holders.
Friday, June 14th: @ Amphibian Theater, music night -- will include drinks. Foxtrot Uniform and Los Noviembres will each perform a Storytellers-like set. Exclusive to festival pass holders.
Saturday, June 15th: @ Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Arts Fair. Anyone and everyone is welcome to visit with local artists and arts organizations and find out what they're all about.
Sunday, June 16th: @ 809 Vickery, Conference -- including snacks and lunch from Z's Cafe. Nine speakers (with more to be confirmed). Exclusive to festival pass holders. An attendee swag bag is also in the works.
Speakers thus far:
Wesley Kirk, local artist
Jeremy Hull, prolifically involved bassist with many bands, Calhoun, Holy Moly & more
Julie Cox, founder of Project Success 1, non-profit that develops at risk kids via art
Deborah Jung, founder of Kids Who Care, a non-profit that develops children through theater (and more)
Casey Mack, runs Fort Live, big proponent of local music scene
FW Public Art will commit a speaker, speaker TBD
Elaine Taylor, Gallery Manager for FWCAC
Amber Bailey, art teacher and organizer of a forth coming event held in conjunction with the national art educators conference
Sam Brodsgaard, music therapist
Funding: how Kickstarter (and you!) can help
Funding is needed to pay for the venues, web developer, graphic artist, videographer, and to put together the attendee swag bag. Kickstarter provides an opportunity for Fort Worth Exposure to come to life.
Here's how Kickstarter fundraising works: Individuals "back" a project (in this case, Fort Worth Exposure) and backers receive rewards in exchange for their support. Kickstarter projects are all or nothing. Payments are handled by Amazon.com, and if the funding goal is met, Amazon will process all pledges. If the goal is not met, no money is exchanged and no one is out of pocket.
The goal & rewards
To put Fort Worth Exposure on, $35,000 will bring the event to life.
The rewards organized are as follows:
** $5 - Access to exclusive behind-the-scenes and updates as we make FWX happen. Read more about this reward level. ** $15 - Exclusive updates and a 3-card post card set made by local artist Wesley Kirk, encouraging you to "fail better" and keep trying. Post cards are only available here and can be used to send a friend an inspiring note. Below is a sample.
** $25 - Exclusive updates and a festival t-shirt.
** $40 - Exclusive updates and a festival poster made by Green Skates Screen Printing right here in Fort Worth. Measures 16"x20" and will be signed by artist. Limited to 50 prints for non-attendee backers.
** $40 - Exclusive updates and a book related to the festival. We’ll include names of all backers, special notes from conference speakers and more.
** $100 - Send a student to the day of event speakers. 10 backers can send 10 students from Project Success 1’s program to attend Sunday’s speaker session. The backer will receive the attendee swag bag. ** $250 - Attendee pass. Includes 3 exclusive events, drinks, food, tshirt, book, poster, postcards and some other goodies. There are only 100 passes for purchase. ** $3000 - We have 5 sponsor ship slots. Sponsors each receive 3 passes, a table at the fair, a page in the book, signage at each venue, logo placement on our website, mentions in the weeks leading up to the festival on our social media platforms.
A note on the passes
To keep this simple, a festival pass grants one person, and only that person, access to the exclusive festival events. I encourage all attendees to attend all nights to connect with everyone.
Rewards can be combined. Add the dollar amounts together for the total pledge amount. Example: Choosing a postcard set and a t-shirt will be $40.
Fort Worth is a community I love, ever since 1999, as a freshman at TCU. During my time here, I've gained experience putting on events and parties. Once, a band played in my living room to 40 people. On a Friday night last Fall, 45 people showed up for a whiskey and cupcake tasting. In my day job, I have led teams presenting to senior executives about social media tools and led a different team to redesign a website that serves 15,000 people.
I know how to get stuff done--for fun and for business. Fort Worth Exposure is both.
I believe passionately in the arts and want others to get the chance to experience what creativity can bring to a vibrant community like Fort Worth.
Thanks go out to my brother for his handy work in shooting the opening video scenes. Natalie from Amphibian for her help coordinating. Marla at FWCAC, Mary with 809 Vickery, Anna of Piranha Bear for feedback, Mary Kathleen and Kyle for editing my copy and all currently committed speakers, bands and design pros for believing in FWX.
Risks and challenges
This is a big task containing many moving parts. The risks are deadlines not being met to produce products on time. The line up could change due to unforeseen circumstances.
I have verbal agreements with all involved and have organized a budget to track expenses. I intend to hire an intern/assistant to help (who will be paid). Friends and family have already provided assistance and have offerred to provide more.
I have experience leading projects and getting things done on time and respecting all individuals involved.
Good question and fair to ask. Given the time, I reached out to a broad base of groups. Most were responsive and some were not. No hard feelings there. I hope to include a diverse sample of arts groups during the Saturday Fair day.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with what you'd like to offer or how you'd like to be involved. Currently looking for FW based film makers and organizations and artists who'd like to set up during the Fair day. Space is limited during that day.
Access to exclusive updates AND a 3 card postcard set made especially for Fort Worth Exposure. Wesley Kirk designed a post card set so you can send a little note of inspiration the old fashioned way--with a stamp. Includes U.S.A. shipping. $5 international shipping.
LIMITED TO 10 BACKERS. Each backer will fund a Project Success 1 students conference day attendance (Sunday). Student and backer will receive the festival swag bag of goodies. Also includes access to exclusive updates.
LIMITED TO 100 BACKERS. Only 100 festival passes are for purchase. Pass includes: 3 exclusive events (film night, music night and speaker day), a festival t-shirt, poster, book, postcard set and some more surprises.
ONLY 5 SPONSORSHIP BACKERS. Sponsors each receive 3 passes, a table at the fair, a page in the book, signage at each venue, logo placement on our website, mentions in the weeks leading up to the festival on our social media platforms.