April 27, 2013 marks the 8th anniversary of the Temple of Poi Fire Dancing Expo as well as the 11 year anniversary of Temple of Poi, the world's first poi fire dancing school based in San Francisco, CA. On this night, we will be producing the 2013 Fire Dancing Expo. The creation of this event is a tremendous leap forward in the efforts to legitimize fire dancing as an art form by taking it out of parking lots and putting it on landmark stages like Union Square.
The Expo celebrates safe, legally permitted, public fire dancing performance in honor of Bay Area Dance Week, an annual 10-day week of free public dance events in the Bay Area designed to showcase the dynamic diversity and critically acclaimed quality of Bay Area dance. The Bay Area fire dancing community -- one of the largest fire dancing communities in the world -- stands side by side with international fire dancing legends at this event where artists of all skill level are afforded an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their work.
This event is a not-for-profit event created with the intention of:
- Offering more performance opportunities for fire dancers.
- Giving novice artists who might otherwise not have an opportunity to perform in a public setting an opportunity in which they can invite friends and family to see them express their art.
- Increased exposure to flow and fire dancing art forms by creating a legally permitted public event at a San Francisco landmark location.
- Raise the awareness of fire dancing as a prestigious dance form by holding this event on the second night of National Dance Week.
It is important to note that the costs associated with this event (about $15,000 not including volunteer time which is an estimated 350 hours additional) make it a prohibitive experience on it's own for any one of the acts who appears in the show. It is through the power of community that we can even afford to make this show possible.
Despite the tough economic climate -- or perhaps because of it -- the event is attended by an estimated 3,000+ people and for some artists, this is the largest audience they have performed in front of -- an amazing opportunity all around!
At it's inception, Temple of Poi (and by extension, Isa Isaacs, the sole proprietor and founder of the school and community) has upheld responsibility for this event -- organizing, advertising, promoting, and funding from beginning to end. In 2009, we were lucky enough to start working in conjunction with Union Square Live who generously donates the stage to us -- an expense that would cost nearly $6000 in additional funding if we had to continue to fund this ourselves.
As the event has grown, the community has contributed funds to assist in offsetting the cost of permits, fuel, advertising and other expenses. In 2011 & 2012, this event was funded predominantly through the generous contributions of the Kickstarter.com community and we hope to repeat that again in 2013.
To ensure the 2013 show is just as impressive, we are running this Kickstarter to cover the cost of the expenses which are outlined in the budget below. Any extra funds, should we get any, will be used for addition travel stipends, to offset past debt and/or for next year's event.
This year's budget see's an increase to cover additional fees, mis-estimates of the ~$1000 shortfall from 2012 and new line items have been created to ensure the safety of the event and it's participants and audience members (the biggest being badges to support the security team's efforts).
Please note that while we had 264 badges in 2012, with the increase in seating, support staff and the addition of artists performing in the show, we anticipate between 350 and 400 badges.
Due to the challenges we have had with obtaining high quality, reliable videographers in the past, we have increased the videographer's budget as well.
2013 has an unprecedented number of artists. If everyone is able to show up and we can raise enough funds to transport everyone to the show, we will have 43 acts featuring 96 artists from around the North American continent. Artists will flock to San Francisco from NY, FL, MN, ID, KS, OR, NV, central and southern California as well as a duo from Canada.
We'd like to put a special thank you out there to Union Square/MJM Management for donating over $5,500 again this year by including us in the Union Square Live program (UnionSquareLive.org) and, as a result, covering some permits, the rental of the space, sound equipment, staff and more.
Risks and challenges
Having produced this show 7 time previously in Union Square, and this being our third kickstarter effort. we have come to realize there are some significant challenges. First, we have faced challenges with security. The addition of a security team in 2012 was invaluable. However, we did not have enough security and, beyond that, our badge creation system took way too long, too many printing resources, and many man hours to work create the badges than we hadn't budgeted the funds to accomodate. This year, we have put in a line item for the badges, which will increase, since we will be adding more reserved seating.
In addition, to keep costs low, this year we are doing as many virutual rewards as possible, attempting to gain most of the funds through the chairs in Union Square and, to a lesser extent, the 2013 Fire Dancing Expo Tshirts we will produce. This should offset the postage costs (which we did not budget for adequately) and put us over budget since the postage alone approached $200 and we only had budgeted $300 for the kickstarter rewards. We went over budget by nearly a $1000 because of our misestimates in terms of time to produce the items and additional outsourcing we retained for reward fulfillment. Our predominantly virtual reward model is designed to help offset that expense to keep us on budget and with less stress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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