This week

One of the reasons we wanted to pull the trigger on telling our story now is that we have a Big Week on the calendar and want to be able to update you as it all goes down. (If you haven’t read our intro post or the catch up to where we are now yet, please do. Go now. We’ll wait.) We have three things we’ve been anxiously awaiting:

Thing 1 – The grant we spent 6 weeks scrambling to assemble the pieces to apply for is a whole super formal fancy process thing. Stage 2, that happens right before the Give People Money to do a Cool Thing stage, is a public review meeting of the grant applications by the committee. The meeting is Tuesday (tomorrow!!!) morning at the Phoenix City Hall. We can attend the meeting, but are not allowed to speak or give any further information. We’ve been given an agenda and it looks liked they’ve ordered them alphabetically, so our project, entitled Desert Aire, is second in line.

I’ve never written a grant before, so of course I will be there to hear what feedback they have. I wonder if I should wear a special outfit? What is the proper attire for attending a formal review of your grant to make an art? Like Elle Woods’s outfit the first day at Harvard Law? But with a gag, right? Also, do you think bringing the review panel donuts is against the rules? I’ll look into it.

One of the reasons I was so interested in applying for this grant is that in past years (this is the third year Phoenix has been awarded this money from the National Endowment for the Arts to disburse) it hasn’t been super competitive. They have $50k to dole out, and with pretty specific guidelines, so if you meet the criteria, there is a strong likelihood you’ll receive some money. That said, we already know they’ve had some questions about the feasibility of our project with respect to our budget and raising additional funds. This is something we have solutions for, but I potentially did not adequately address the solutions in the original grant proposal. So that could knock us down some notches and cost us some money.

All of that said, I have really come to enjoy the process of applying for grants. I love both the structure of the process, and the opportunity to communicate my passion for this project. There’s a sense of fairness and justice to the whole thing that speaks to my world view. It’s like Dumbledore is in charge here, and I have my chance to plead my case. I just need to assemble the right potion and pronounce my spell with the correct syllabic emphasis. Also, if we don’t even get anything, I’ve learned a lot (including, since we’ve announced this, that there are several people I know who probably could have assisted in some way if I’d known to ask them). And there’s always another grant, and another grant cycle.

Thing 2 – Coincidentally, the November meeting for the Laveen Community Council is also Tuesday, at 6:30 PM. If you remember from my dramatic retelling of the incident where they rejected our proposal to pair with them for this grant and then reconsidered, one of their big stipulations was that we send a representative to their monthly meetings so we can update them on our progress and also get feedback on our event from them. As this is our first meeting, we’re really hoping to make a good impression. I feel like a special outfit and pastries are probably also in order for this one. Hopefully we’ll have good news from the grant meeting a few hours earlier to pass on. Or… it will go the other way. In that case we’ll wear black.

Thing 3 – THIS IS THE FUN ONE!!!! If you’re not a circus person, you probably don’t know that the largest circus school in the country is in Vermont, and it’s called NECCA (New England Center for Circus Arts). Next weekend is a Workshop Weekend at NECCA, where they have a ton of classes, shows, speakers, and book signings.


We are. Yep. I know. Don’t be jealous, just be happy FOR us. Well, three of the four of us, at least. Amy’s sitting this trip out, but someone had to stay in town and hold down the fort in case there’s any important local circus emergencies she needs to take care of.

Atelotorque is super excited to take in all of the training and shows from other circus professionals and bring it back to enhance our project. That said, the high is supposed to be 26 degrees on Friday, so if you have tips on what we should do about that, please feel free to send them over. Again, I feel like it’s an outfit problem that needs more research.

Stay tuned for updates this week on how all of that goes. You’re probably also going to want to check in on how our outfits panned out. Definitely follow our Instagram for that one @atelotorque, natch.

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