Volunteers

Public art with a message about energy saving and renewables

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

transition-sculpturesIn Newton Abbot in United Kingdom, five tall ‘Energy sculptures’ have been up for six months now, with a sixth on its way, to highlight a debate about energy and how it is at the heart of the economic and environmental challenges facing humanity today.

A group of volunteers in a Transition Town group in Newton Abbot wanted to create something tangible and visible around the ideas of energy saving and renewable energy that would spark a discussion in their town.

Not always smooth but in the end successful, their journey to raise five three-meter tall sculptures in a number of settings in and around the town started in 2009 and turned out to be “long and interesting”, as it is described in this blog-post on the home page of the Transition Network.

The sculptures use wood from a 150 year old cedar tree that needed to come down in the district. They are adorned with symbols representing five sources of renewable energy, which are based on 35,000 year old cave paintings.

This summer, the artists plan to organise a sculpture guided walk “to show-case the town and the use of energy past and present and give food for thought.”

Press about the sculptures:

9 November 2012:
Sculptures are fanning out around town

7 November 2012:
Energy Sculptures to expand the mind!
E=X=P=A=N=D YOUR MIND on ENERGY. Strange but beautiful structures have appeared this week in and around our town. Where are they from? What do they mean?

5 November 2012:
New transition sculptures have landed in Newton Abbot
Public art in Newton Abbot highlights our relationship with energy

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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New opportunity to make green theatre

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer!

We’ve been planning things for the future of the Green Theatre Project and we are very excited to announce our next project and our new name!

We are excited to announce a new, small-scale project that will take place in September. We hope to announce an even bigger project for the autumn taking place around October to December time. So if you can’t participate in this project, hopefully you can be involved in our autumn one.

We’ve received a bit of funding from V volunteer organisation to do a small devised outdoor performance around principles of the Olympics, namely culture and environment. Unfortunately, the funding stimulates the participants must be volunteers between the ages for 16-25. (Sorry to all our more seasoned performers, but the autumn project should be open to everyone.)

The Project:

We will be devising a piece to be performed at King Henry’s Walk Garden (www.khwgarden.org.uk) in Islington for their Flower and Produce Show on September 25th. It will be an interactive piece, spread out in the garden and forest space. It will look at celebrating the work of KHWG and urban gardening in general as well as looking at issues of food production, localism, biodiversity, beekeeping and the history of green spaces in London. We are keen to take inspiration from a variety of places including songs, games, stories, history, literature and real life accounts. We will also be experimenting with unconventional forms of theatre for this piece to really play and have fun with the audience. King Henry’s Walk Garden is a really interesting and beautiful space with loads of potential. It is all run by volunteers and set up as a community green space where people can grow their own food or just enjoy nature. This is a unique opportunity to work on an intimate but exciting new piece and explore relevant issues in a fun way.

We are looking for 5 performers/devisers as well as 3 creatives (designers, dramaturgy, etc.).

We will be able to pay travel expenses (a travel card a day) and provide refreshments at rehearsals. We also have a small set/props/costume budget as well as marketing and rehearsal space budget.

The rehearsals will be the following:

  • Thursday, Sept. 2 6:30-9:30pm at KHWG
  • Saturday, Sept. 4 12-3
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept. 9 6:30-9:30
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept. 16 6:30-9:30
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21 6:30-9:30
  • Thursday, Sept 23 6:30-9:30
  • Performance 25th September, 11-6pm

Most of the rehearsals will take place in a meeting room at KHWG, or a location in the Islington/Hackney area.

If you are available and would like to be involved, please email us at greentheatreproject@gmail.com by FRIDAY, AUGUST 27 by 5:00pm.

In other news….

To match our new phase of development we have a new name: Green Stage! Look out for a website soon!

Thanks!

-Lisa and Rosie

158 Lifeguard Towers to Begin their Transformation into Public Art – LAist

Starting Sunday April 25th and lasting through October, the regions biggest public art project will begin to take shape. By Mid-May “Summer of Color” will have turned 158 lifeguard towers on 31 miles of California coast into vibrant floral pieces of public art. On Sunday, volunteers will paint tower railings with one of five colors: yellow, rumba orange, sweat pea, Toronto blue, and crocus petal purple. If you want to volunteer, sign up here.

via 158 Lifeguard Towers to Begin their Transformation into Public Art This Weekend – LAist.

Arcola Meets ‘This is Rubbish’

Reprinted from http://www.thisisrubbish.org.uk/?p=357

This is Rubbish are very pleased and excited to be collaborating with The Arcola Theatre and Pangolin’s Ark. On Sunday the 11th April The Arcola Theatre, This is Rubbish and Pangolin’s Ark will host a day of sustainable food themed talks, activities and workshops, followed by a fine food waste and sustainably sourced feast.

Buy tickets for the feast here

We are currently scheduling the workshops and a detailed program of the day will be released soon. Tickets for the feast will also be on sale in the very near future. Watch this space!

If you fancy getting involved with a crew chopathon and baking session, we’re looking for volunteers to help prepare and cook the food on the Saturday, and volunteers to help prepare and serve the food during the evening event on Sunday. The soil service (waitresses and waiters) will be dressed up as soil particles, salad and vegetables and service will be very interactive and incredibly earthy!

Give us a shout if you are interested on helping out on day that is set to be super soily and sustainably wonderful.

info@thisisrubbish.org.uk

poppy@pangolins-ark.co.uk

Go to the Green Theater Initiative

Technology, Arts, and Fringe

This is reposted from the Hollywood Fringe Blog. It originally posted on December 8th by Ben Hill, Director of the Hollywood Fringe.

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/learn/article/157

Modern business has gone very far leveraging technology to market, promote, and produce their firms and products. It stands to reason that the arts could easily do the same, even with comparatively fractional technology budgets .

Several organizers of your first Hollywood Fringe Festival happen to hail from technical backgrounds. It’s been fun applying these skills to our first love (the arts). Key to our strategy is this thing called “cloud computing”. Without getting too technical, all applications supporting the festival – accounting, project management, email, etc – are provided through a number of small, web-based services.

Making our strategy a reality took a lot of time, thought, and trials – so to save those of you seeking technical solutions some time, we have provided this little post with the hope it will help you streamline and modernize your arts organizations.

Enjoy!

Ben

_

THE WEBSITE
the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org that we use to book shows, match venues and projects, collect volunteers, and promote the festival is a custom-built system using Ruby on Rails, a popular website development framework. We have big plans to export this technology to other festivals as well as provide a year-round service for venues seeking interesting projects to book. The website took two full years to develop and a lot of love, thought, and time. We have a many plans for it so keep your eyes on coming developments. In the next few months alone, you can expect

  • A Fringe bulletin board
  • A significantly enhanced volunteer section
  • The ability to sell tickets directly form your project
  • Enhanced features to market your project on other social networking platforms

…ideas are always welcome, so feel free to email us with your thoughts.

TICKETING
We made the decision early that we would not reinvent the wheel in the area of ticketing – instead we partnered with the good people at OvationTix. Plans are afoot to develop a few customized integration features between the OvationTix and Fringe systems. Ideally, you will be able to run pre-sale reports without any hassle whatsoever.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
We would be nowhere today without collaboration tools. As this is the first year, ideas come at a lightning speed. Plans require buy-in and assistance from our staff, advisers, board, and core company members. There are millions of to-do’s, deadlines, musings, and digital assets. Where to keep track of them?

This is the job of a project management tool, and ours is one of the best available. Meet Basecamp. This little program has been the key to the organizational success of many a project. Working collaboratively with others online, you can post messages, mark and organize tasks, collaborate on documents/lists, track milestones/dates, and keep track of files.

And most importantly: It reduces your meeting/conference call overhead. I personally hate big, regular meetings and basecamp renders them mostly unneeded; if you keep on top of basecamp and the emails it generates, everyone is in-the-know. Easy.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)
CRM is a big, ugly term. In a nutshell, it is a way of keeping track of everyone you know and meet that could help you. To do anything of worth, generally you need more than just you and your ideas, you need to leverage the many stake holders in your community interested in your cause. You want to keep track of conversations, email addresses, phone numbers, job titles – and ideally you want to share that information with your whole organization. So if the director of the NEA needs to talk to someone in your organization and you are on a beach in Nice, France – someone local can come up-to-speed quickly by researching the history of that relationship in your CRM system.

There are tons of solutions to fulfill this problem – many of them are expensive and clunky.

We went with Batchbook.com – about which I can’t say enough nice things. This is a very flexible and open system, and they have been known to give discounts to nonprofits. Using batchbook, you can keep track of contact information for humans and organizations, log communications, and create lists of contacts that have something in common. For example, we maintain our press list in batchbook. Thanks to its handy integration with other popular applications, when we want to send a press release, it is as simple as exporting our list of press to our email newsletter application. It take 3 minutes and the moving target of press contacts becomes much easier to manage.

EMAIL
If you are starting company ABC Theatre, and you are still sending emails from Myname@hotmail.com – you may want to consider using your own domain name instead. Not using a custom domain name in your email address is an instant signifier of a non-professional organization. Good news is that it is free and relatively simple to create custom domain emails…so you can send emails from MyName@ABCTheatre.org, for example.

The solution is Gmail – in our humble opinion, still the greatest online email client on the market. Our friends at Google have provided a service (no charge) to use their popular Gmail interface for any non-gmail domain to which you have the rights. Check out this link for more information, I think you will like it.

CALENDAR
Along with email, users of Google’s service also have access to branded, dedicated, organizational calendars using the popular Gcal application. When you sign up for your email account (above) you will also be able to pass around a calendar you all can share. For those of you who work in the business world, you might be used to creating an event and sending invitations to members of your organization. Google’s calendar solution provides this service (free!).

DOCUMENTS
And yes, we also use Google’s document service. For those users signing up for the above service – good news is that you, too, can have a custom space for your organization’s documents. For example, if I needed that press release we sent a few weeks back, it is sitting in docs.ABCTheatre.org waiting for me. Our budget worksheet is handles thought Google’s online spreadsheet application. As a personal hater of MS Office and its significant limitations when it comes to collaboration, this is a godsend.

WIKI
We don’t host a “public wiki” – like wikipedia, but you’d be surprised how useful a private, organizational wiki can be. For example, say you are working on a big proposal to close down Wilshire Blvd. for your huge arts event. You want a lot of people involved in that proposal – your Exec Director, your Dev Director, your outreach guy, your Producing and Artistic Directors. How awful is passing around a word document for everyone to edit? I shudder at the thought. Changes are lost so very easily.

Your private wiki can help. Have your principal owner for the project create a new wiki page and take a stab at a first draft. They can then post on your project site (basecamp, for example) that they need all-hands to help bring the proposal home. Everyone can make their changes and additions on your wiki page. If your wiki tool is any good, all changes will be tracked…so you can see who changed what, and easily revert any unwanted amendments.

There are millions of wiki solutions out there, here’s our favorite: WikiSpaces.

NEWSLETTER
Still sending your organizational emails to a bunch of contacts in your email program? You may want to check out some of the many email newsletter solutions out there waiting for you. Our favorite is Mailchimp. Using this program, you can manage lists, expose sign-up forms for your website, create beautiful, graphical emails, handle unsubscribes, and keep ahead of spam laws. You can even get a list of who has opened your newsletter and how many times they read it. There are about 10,000 features in this program, 9,986 you will never need. Still, it is very affordable, easy to use, and designed to give you a professional edge.

SUPPORT DESK
We take support very, very seriously at the Fringe. Key to grassroots community building is making sure people know where to go when they have a problem and ensuring they receive prompt guidance when they need it. There are scads of solutions out there, here’s our hands-down favorite:ZenDesk.

Using ZenDesk, you have a beautiful solution to email support. Support seekers can go to a url and fill our a form with their query, or simply send an email to an email address you specify (Zendesk will suck up that email and create a support ticket for them). You can run a myriad of reports and develop zillions of business rules if you want to get complex. At its simplest, it shows you what tickets are open, and gives you a chance to respond and close them.

As a fun aside, both Mailchimp and Zendesk talk to Batchbook. That’s something we call “convergence” in the tech world, and it’s a very good thing.

ACCOUNTING
Quickbooks (a non-cloud application running on your computer) is the default tool for small business accounting. It’s good, don’t get me wrong – but sharing data with others in your organization and your accountant can be a pain.

Enter Xero. It’s all online (“in the cloud”) and very simple…even fun to use. Who thought accounting could be fun? It is simple enough for a layperson to use, but provides the business-class accounting framework your CPA needs to do your taxes. The folks behind Xero are just getting their act together for US service – we have been using it for a bit and loving it!

So there it is. There’s much more, for sure; this is a great start. Almost all of the services listed here are free or have free trials so give them a spin!

Actors wanted | The Waste Ed Roadshow

Waste Ed Roadshow, charity creating educatioinal tools for young people, is looknig for two actors for pilot project

We are a registered charity creating exciting educational tools for teaching young people about ecology. Our new project – The Waste Ed Roadshow – is looking for two actors – male and female – to perform a 20 minute humourous dialogue about waste and how it effects ourselves and the environment.

Suitable people will be 18-25 years old, lively and confident, have some acting experience, and be genuinely interested in ‘green’ issues.

The performance will be part of up to 5 pilot runs of the roadshow, from end of May through June. Rehearsals will be led by our Project Leader (a professional actress). To keep travel expenses to a minimum, we are looking for volunteers from the West Greater London/Woking/Ascot area.

If you’re interested in getting involved contact us with a bit about yourself, your experience, and a photo if possible.

You can also visit www.waste-ed.org.uk for more information about the roadshow.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Heather & Ivan Morison | The Black Cloud barn-raising


The Black Cloud in production at Spike Island, Bristol from situations.org.uk

Heather and Ivan Morison’s The Shape of Things To Come: The Black Cloud barn-raising takes place on Saturday July 25 in Victoria Park, Bristol. Continuing their run of pavilions for a fragile future that, includes I’m So Sorry. Goodbye at Radical Nature, they’re creating a shelter for public performance and debate, based partly on the shabono communal huts built by the Amazonian Yanomamo – the “fierce people” of the Amazon. More about that on the Situations website. Situations are still looking for volunteers to help record the day.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology