Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well fudge.

The Tom Lopp project did not get funded.

The exact phrasing goes: "Unfortunately, your application final score was not high enough to receive a grant based upon the amount of available funds."

I don't feel too bad about this. I am overwhelmed by projects right now, and making forays into romance, and while I feel like I'm ready for the "next step" on the road to making this book a reality, I would honestly feel rushed, trying to "fit it in" right now among other commitments.

Or maybe that's just me rationalizing this rejection.

Also, as I posted earlier, state arts funding was cut (by 25%). The IAC received 209 applications and could only fund 33 of those (whoa). So I'm not too surprised that I did not get a slice of the pie.

As far as the project goes, I'm still reading and researching and fact-finding and waiting and thinking and eventually, writing. I also reconnected with an Inupiat/Eskimo I have worked with in audio theatre, and he pointed me toward some resources and websites I had not discovered. So I'm not done yet, not by a damn sight. I'm continuing, unfunded, like before.

I also had been reconsidering the travel destination for which I originally requested funding: University of Oregon, where Tom Lopp's papers and journals are collected. It made (and makes) sense to want to go there and hold his writings in my own hands. But several people have suggested (and before I discovered the Lopp Collection, I originally had planned) that I actually go to Point Barrow, maybe even retrace some of the route of the Overland Expedition of 1897. When I reapply for next year (hell yeah I am), I might write that in instead. I think by then I'll probably have a much better idea of the "on paper" Tom, the white man's perspective of the journey. Maybe what I need to fund is an exploration of the Inupiat/Eskimo perspective, which is what I am most in need of researching anyway.

And maybe in the grand scheme of things (I'm such a grand-schemer), this is the universe's way of redirecting me, away from libraries and "serious research" and whatnot, and toward the stark environment where the story I hope to inhabit actually played out.

And let's face it: I work too much. No thaving to deal with this project too does give the rest of my 2009 some breathing room. Room I surely shall fill up, right quick, with something else, no doubt. But rather than another project, I think now I can refocus a little:

* Actually make a move and talk to some financial people about buying a house in my 'hood.
* A couple of dear friends in Maine have invited me to come visit this year. I had been figuring on postponing -- just not enough hours in a day (or vacation time in my bank). But now it seems quite doable. In October. This would include a visit to mountains, I'm pretty sure, which is also on my Big Ol' To-Do List for aught-nine.
* Ease up a touch on the research and work on new material for the fall Dogwoods tour.

So yeah, no funding. No joy there. But it's just funding, not the project itself, that took a hit here. At least that;s how I see it. Everyone I have talked to, including my Inupiat/Eskimo colleague, has reacted favorably to my description of it, as hair-brained as it seems (to me, sometimes). So on I go.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Funding Woes

"Dear Grant Applicant,

Due to the recently announced Indiana Arts Commission state appropriation, which is 25% less than last year, the Commission must convene to ratify a new budget for FY2010. We are trying to schedule an emergency Commission meeting for the week of July 20, 2009. Once the new budget is established, we will proceed with FY2010 grant announcements.

You will receive an email regarding grant decisions as soon as more information is available. We appreciate your patience until this time.

Best,

**********
****************
Indiana Arts Commission"