I. What's Going On This Year?
This year's Solstice will be held on December 9th from 5pm to 8pm at the Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023.
To make sure we can offer cheaper tickets to newcomers, longtime Solsticegoers are encouraged to pledge at a sustainable level, that they'd be happy to continue donating at in future years.
The Story of Generations
This year, the tales that we tell will focus on one of the most universal themes of human experience: the passing down of culture and knowledge from teacher to student, from master to apprentice, from parent to child. Each generation builds upon the successes of their predecessors, and learns from their failures. We'll explore the methods by which this knowledge has been preserved, and how we can continue to do so for future generations.
Singing Our Way Through Darkness
Adrianna has been hailed as a “rising artist” by The New York Times. Time Out New York praised her solo debut at the Bang On A Can Marathon as being “triumphant.” Adrianna’s live appearance highlights include The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, performing at Carnegie Hall, simultaneous performances on stage at the Met Museum and the Met Opera (in an acting role), and many international tours, including dates in Europe, South Africa, and Southeast Asia.
A former America Swing Dance champion, aerialist, jazz singer, producer and all around showgirl, she adds jazzy flair to any event. She sings regularly with the band "$1.25 Quartet", and current hosts a fabulous cabaret show on the first Tuesday of the month at Sid Gold's Request room.
Nelson Lugo, The Charming Trickster, is a magician, raconteur, former ringmaster, retired burlesque impresario and burgeoning grifter. Known for heartfelt illusions and wry vaudevillian honesty he is a noted and celebrated performer in the underground New York City cabaret scene.
A Place for All
As in previous years, we will be partnering with the Society for Ethical Culture, who provides a dedicated secular space in their Upper West Side location. The building is landmarked on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Our event will take place in the grand auditorium, which seats over 700.
II. What Is the Solstice?
A Night of Lights. A Moment of Darkness
Solstice was founded here in New York City. Since then, Solstices have been held across the United States, Australia, the UK, and Germany. Some are huge community events with hundreds of people, others are intimate gatherings of friends. Here's how it tends to go:
Year after year, participants have gone away from this ceremony feeling inspired, motivated, and more connected to humanity. We've created a living tradition that speaks to what matters most to us: our communities, the truth we seek, and the ways in which we can shape the world.
III. Reaching Sustainability
This will mark our seventh annual Secular Solstice celebration. NYC Solstice has a reputation for high musical production value, and is co-sponsored by the New York Society for Ethical Culture, located at one of the oldest and most beautiful humanist buildings in the country.
In recent years, we asked $25 for admission, which was pricey for newcomers yet always required a few generous donors to underwrite the losses. This year, we're hoping to shift to a more sustainable, distributed load, while designing the event around the sustainable annual budget we have.
So. Our hope is for you to donate this year the amount that you'd be happy to donate each year, to ensure the NYC Solstice continues to thrive.
- $15 - Newcomer / Affordable option: If you're new, or you're not sure how much Solstice is worth to you, or finances are tight, you're welcome to come with a donation of $15.
- $35 - Sponsorship option: You attend Solstice, and you contribute a bit towards subsidizing others using the newcomer/affordable option.
- $25 Volunteering Option - If you're willing to put in roughly 3 hours of work (enough to do a shopping-spree for the afterparty, or show up early to set up, or help run the ticketstand, help clean up, etc)
- $50 and higher - Higher levels of sponsorship for those who are able. There are some backer rewards consisting of Solstice paraphernalia and chances to interact with / solicit advice from organizers. In addition, all pledge levels $70 and up get you two tickets.
Update: Did we mention that we have stickers for backers at higher levels? Check out these cuties, designed by Mulan Fu :)
IV. Stretch Goals
$7500 total - Full Band
Much of the cost of the event is hiring a full band to perform the music. This isn't trivial - this is one of the few opportunities in the world to hear (and join in) a beautiful, professional performance of music celebrating humanity's greatest accomplishments, our capacity for reason and goodness, looking towards the future we can build together.
If we don't reach the stretch goal, we'll need to curb this back a bit (probably to one or two performers with a guitar or piano)
Past that - Cooler Reception
Additional funding will go towards the reception following the event - more food, alcohol and decorations (in roughly that order).
Risks and challenges
After eight years of Solstices, we've built stable connections with our venue and our performers. Nevertheless, in the unlikely event that either is unable to participate, we have contingency plans. Even in the worst case scenario, all that is truly necessary to run this event is a sound system, a projector to display song lyrics, and people with whom to share this festival.
This year, in fitting with our theme, is a year of handing off, allowing one leader to step back and others to take a larger role in carrying on this tradition. Raymond is still heavily involved, and we are working to make this as smooth a transition as possible, and to ensure that the festival remains up to the standard of quality set in previous years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (10 days)