April 26, 2014 marks the 9th anniversary of the Temple of Poi Fire Dancing Expo produced by Temple of Poi, the world's first poi fire dancing academy based in San Francisco, CA. On this night, we will bring to life the 2014 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 Bay Area Dance Week.
It is important to note that the costs associated with this event (about $17,000 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 $8000 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 & 2013, this event was funded predominantly through the generous contributions of the Kickstarter.com community and we hope to repeat that again in 2014.
To ensure the 2014 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 a cast party (we have NOT budgeted for a cast party and they have cost hundreds of dollars in the past between space rental and a modest amount of refreshments after the event), travel stipends or to offset past debt and/or for next year's event.
This year's budget see's a small increase to cover additional assistance -- as the show has grown, so has the need for more support crew. Security needs continue to increase as the size of the crowd increases. In addition, we have more administrative support with the badge and seating process. The 2013 show saw an increase form 264 badges to closer to 400 badges. We anticipate a comparable number in 2014. As we are flying artists from around the country, Canada and Europe, we retain our travel budget of $2500.
We'd like to offer a special thank you out to Marcelo Aviles and the entire Union Square/MJM Management team for their support during the show as well as facilitating the space use (a total donation valued at nearly $8,000) and again including us in the Union Square Live program (UnionSquareLive.org). This contribution covers some permits, the rental of the space, sound equipment, staff and more.
Also, we offer special thanks to the past Kickstarter Donors, cast and crew of years past; to the unsung hero's of the crew, especially in the fuel depot missing the show; to all the photographers who donate their time and thousands of beautiful photos; and finally, the videographers who catalog the show in high definition, and specifically for his video contribution featured above, Mark Day.
$50 "Bindi Baby" Reward Photos
Risks and challenges
Having produced this show 8 time previously in Union Square, and this being our fourth Kickstarter effort, the most serious challenge we face is not getting funding. We can not and will not do the show without the funding and this would be a devastating blow to the alternative arts culture in San Francisco, a global leader in the flow and fire dancing communities.
While there are other minor issues -- better need for addressing seating, more efficiency with badges, more need for security on the plaza and perhaps more programs, we do not see any particularly challenging obstacles we can not handle this year.
In continuing with the success of the last few years and to keep costs low, this year we will continue to do as many virtual rewards as possible, attempting to gain most of the funds through the chairs in Union Square and, to a lesser extent, the 2014 Fire Dancing Expo T-shirts we will produce. This should offset the postage costs (which we did not budget for in the past). 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
- (21 days)