Here begin my notes from the December 3rd meeting of the JPFolks Indy Chapter. Any omissions, errors, political incorrectness, and other blunders expressed herein are solely due to the incompetence of the reporter, and should not be construed to reflect poorly on JPFolks nor the attendees.

Mike, Arminta, and Kit were present, joined by Robert Scott (aka "Indys Strolling Minstrel"), and this reporter. Robert treated us to his professional insights re. grant funding, as well as some classical canto in italian, accompanied by his mandolin. Luckily the weather was tolerable, since he had to park his gondola in Broad Ripple, and walked the ten blocks from the canal to 52nd street.

Discussion included old topics, such as finding a venue to revive the JPFolks Showcase, funding for video production to capture showcase performances, and to distribute the video as multimedia webcasts, via local cable providers, and other TV channels.

The stated purpose of capturing JPFolks Showcases is to promote local songwriters and their works, the venues where the showcases are held, and the host community as an entertainment destination, in this case Indianapolis. What better place to promote "Indy" music.

The possibility of applying for funding from existing "Arts Councils", as well as the City of Indianapolis ("Peterson Plan") was mentioned. The goal of promoting performing artists and venues locally and regionally is aligned with their mission. Also, colleges and universities were brought up as possible supporters. They have existing activities budgets for student entertainmet, and a "built-in" audience for events.

Robert pointed out that the foremost priority is to develop a solid plan to explain the intent, benefits, and costs required to carry out any program that may be submitted as a grant proposal. Expenses must be complete and realistic, such as costs for administration and overhead. Specifically, accurate estimates must be included for hiring local service providers to carry out:

venue liason

audio and video capture

simultaneous live data feeds

post-production editing for broadcast

archiving and licensing of multimeda

distribution for other promotional uses

A question came up regarding raising funds for the plan development process itself, and Robert said it is not customary to receive such funding "up front". However, it is not unusual to have a grant writer / project manager participate in developing the original proposal "on spec" (speculation), and to be hired as a paid administrator once funding becomes available.

Also regarding administration, Robert suggested approaching existing agencies with a closely aligned mission, such as the Indiana State Department of Tourism, Department of Commerce, or Indianapolis Metropilitan Parks and Recreation. It may be possible to recruit an experienced administrator to take on the program management function as an additional responsibility within the scope of their existing salaried position. In other words, some of the "work hours" of an already funded staff person could be dedicated to "running the project". That person would take on the role of executive to carry out scheduling, hiring expertise, and authorizing payment for services, etc. In effect, the executive role would be "loaned" to the project, since the showcase and video production will achieve goals that are part of the mission of the agency where the person is on staff.

BTW, I have since found out that the Indianapolis Marion County Library has considerable resources re. the grant process, and offers introductory training on using the materials.

Enough for now, more soon,
Emmit Sycamore