Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Practivist of the Week - Updates on Ongoing Campaigns!

You may remember that Zestyverse has featured several opportunities to help worthwhile artists and organizations.  We decided to check in and see how they're doing.


The Forest Cafe is moving forward with fundraising, despite some glitches in the matrix. Their current building has been sold. So far, they've raised half of their 50,000 GBP goal!

Harry Giles, the Forest’s Fundraising Officer, said:
“This is an opportunity to run an even more amazing free arts space, so there’s no better time for people to get involved with The Forest. The collective welcomes people to help and actively decide Forest’s future by finding a new premises. This is a chance to develop new arts projects."
For more information and TO DONATE - CLICK HERE!


went to Glastonbury!  They raised enough funds to cover flights for everyone!  If you want to donate to help them cover the costs or accommadations, ground transportation, and pints, you can DONATE VIA PAYPAL or you can do it the old fashioned way - mail a check to Ellyn Maybe P.O. Box 10363 Marina del Rey, CA 90295-6363.


So far Sandbloom has raised over $2,300 in cash donations and $2,000 in in-kind donations for the project.  That puts him about 20% of the way to his original goal.

Says Sandbloom:
"So many people wanted to help in so many ways -- engineers wanting to lend studio time, designers offering artwork, etc. It just raised awareness about the project on the whole. Couldn't be happier."
The online campaign has ended, however, you can still donate - CLICK HERE TO SEND SANDBLOOM AN EMAIL!


True to their vision of excellence, persistance and spontaneity, BAZ Productions is changing their approach to fundraising now that their initial approach to the Arts Council was not granted.  With 13,000 GBP left to raise, they are stepping their game up by re-applying for a smaller amount to the Council, looking at corporate funding and continuing their efforts to fund through their network.

You can still DONATE TO THEIR CAMPAIGN VIA PAYPAL, or by check as follows:

Baz Productions LLP,

17 Ferris Road, London, SE22 9ND
LLP no: OC348492

Micro-financing and crowd-funding can work to help artists achieve their dreams of creating worthwhile projects which are meaningful to their communities.  Their have been many successful campaigns.  What's truly empowering about these is not only the financial support, but the acknowledgement by the community, or the audience, while the artist/s are creating the art, that this art already has meaning and should be sustained.  It's very buoying to know that your process itself is appreciated.

It doesn't matter if you can only donate $1 or $100 - it's getting in on the action that counts.  Being there at the inception of something great.  Sharing a vision.  Giving a hand up.  Knowing that these artists won't give up until they have expressed what is inside them and given it to the world.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Quote of the Week - Camus

"Being able to remain on that dizzying crest:  that is integrity, and the rest is subterfuge."
- Albert Camus

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New tracks up at Pedestal Mag!

Very excited to be featured in the June issue of Pedestal Magazine!  I've got two fresh tracks up - take a listen!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Quote of the Week - Wilde

From the Cult of Beauty exhibit at the V&A

"Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot.  In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."

- Oscar Wilde

 Never a bad thing to keep in mind.  Have a great week!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Poet's Corner - LA YOGA Magazine

I'm excited to have a piece in this month's edition of LA Yoga Magazine!  It's one of my favorite mags, and always a must read for me!

If you pick it up, look for the Poet's Corner.

You can also check out the digital edition!


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Practivist of the Week - Dan Tsu

Practivism = Pragmatic, proactive, promotable activism.

Dan Tsu
Practivism Questionnaire

How old are you, if you don't mind?

I'm 30 years old, I feel 25 years old, but I see the world like a 12 year old.

What is the main focus of your practivism at this time and how does that manifest?

The focus of my practivism is Lyrix Organix. It's an organic movement that explores the roots of Hip Hop - specifically lyrical music with a positive message - through Spoken Word, Hip Hop, Soul and Folk music. It's about reinvigorating live music, bringing lyricism to the masses. It's about discovering amazing talent and challenging artists. It's about cultivating young creatives, from graffiti artists to film-makers. Above all Lyrix Organix is a place where artists spark and audiences tingle.

The consciousness of the project coarses through Lyrix Organix's veins, manifesting itself in our strong charity partnership with international humanitarian aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, or MSF). The clearest and most ambitious realization of our practivism is the Glastonbury Festival project, where Lyrix Organix has launched a groundbreaking collaboration project with MSF. Together we are hosting two stages to raise awareness of this incredible charity.

What route did you take to get here?

I've been promoting live music for years with various collectives, but I really wanted to launch an independent project that spoke to people's consciousness and opened their minds, musically. I began to realise that promoting was driven by money, which disinterests me. So I decided to focus Lyrix Organix on charity, to communicate positive messages with music and to take money out of the equation. I chose to approach MSF, who have a very grassroots ethos with regards to charity - donations are not squandered on excessive marketing or celebrity events. Instead they are directed to the frontline (where they should be). This has been a beautiful partnership as we have helped to raise MSF's profile to new younger audiences, in new ways, that they wouldn't have been able to achieve otherwise. I feel I'm making a real difference. That's what practivism means to me...

Click to follow Lyrix Organix on Twitter

Click to get involved with Lyrix Organix

Upcoming shows:

Jun 14 - Old Queens Head, Islington
Very special collaboration with world famous beatboxer Shlomo, alongside Joe Driscoll, Dizraeli, Kal Lavelle, Z-Star & Aruba Red. Entitled 'Relay Loop Sessions' it's an experimental, non-stop voyage through beatboxing, Loopstatioms, MC's and acoustic musicians. All profits donated to MSF's appeal for Haiti.

June 22-26 - Glastonbury Festival
Collaboration with MSF including live exhibitions, workshops + music across 2 stages from Ed Sheeran, Shlomo, Toddla T, Example, The Boxettes, Dizraeli, P-Money, True Tiger, Abandoman, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and many, many more!

July 9 - Rich Mix, Bethnal Green
Jehst (spoken word exclusive), Random Impulse, Kaya & Kay Young + DJs + VJs + art/fashion stalls

Monday, 6 June 2011

Quote of the Week - Emerson

"Self-command is the main elegance."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes.  Make the most of yourself.  Keep it simple.  : )

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Practivist of the Week - POPse!

Friday's theme
What's a POPse!?

A pop-up social enterprise think tank, of course!

Practivist Mark Walton told me about a new venture.  In the wake of redundancies and restructuring of organizations, some smart and talented people got together and decided on a proactive course of action.  POPse! was created to take a collective, collaborative approach to identifying the needs of the community, the individuals, the skills and talents available and marrying those with purpose.

What makes POPse! practivist? The idea of not sitting on your hands, embracing doldrums or bitterness, not misusing or thwarting your own energy, but adding it to a pool of other energies and stirring.

For 5 days POPse! inhabited an old Subway shop in Exmouth Market. They invited groups in, had a daily theme, and hoped to pull in curious people from the street outside.

I wanted to check it out, but didn't know what I'd find.  As the afternoon session began, I felt a little out of my universe.  The vocabulary was as foreign to me as it would be to any of the people there if walking onto a film set.  Jargon, abbreviations, not to mention the language barrier between English and American!  Still, I was able to parse the spirit, and ask silly questions about what I was pretty sure I didn't understand.

I made a conscious decision not to bring my computer - I wanted to be as live as possible for the event.  Ha.  As soon as I got there, I realized I was the only one not connected to some piece of technology!  
Men at computers - and chicks, too

It was blogger central as people were tweeting to the POPse! account, posting simultaneously and instantaneously to their blogger, and checking Facebook.  Between iPads, iPhones, MacBook Pros, and possibly 2 PC's the place was buzzing! At one point the internet went down, which quietly threatened the electronic proceedings, though happily went unnoticed by those in the session.

The theme for Day 5 was Trust and Transparency.  With members of On Purpose present - a leadership training program - the discussion got underway quickly.  One issue that came up in different forms was the disparity of perception between an enterprise that is doing good, and one that looks like it's doing good.  I've worked with and in and alongside plenty of not-for-profits and one big issue always seems to be that the ones actually changing peoples' lives and communities are not always the ones receiving funding and garnering public awareness.  It's the kind of issue I've not heard brought up before, and the kind that POPse! was not shying away from.

A session at POPse! facilitated by Nick
In fact, shying away is not POPse!'s style.  My first observation was that the people in the room were of one clear demographic - white, middle-class, 30's, mostly male.  I was encouraged to ask about this, so I spoke to Sarah about it. As far as age, she described the risk vs. opportunity ratio to consider, which might involve self-selection within the group of those currently embarking on a new career path.  She expressed that to some degree, the lack of diversity could be attributed to both the social enterprise world, and perhaps even moreso, the think tank world, and might not be specific to POPse!

It was surprising to me, because it's really different in the US, with the non-profit world attracting minority populations, and in many cases, a female majority.  Sarah said, "some of these agendas don't resonate with other communities...they want to become professionals."  This makes sense to me - cultures new to a country wanting a clear path to success.  Service to the community at large does have a long tradition in the UK, and perhaps the tradition has been solidified in some communities and not yet in others.   I'm grateful to her and other people at the event for sharing their thoughts candidly and being so open to whatever came up.

The main thing that seems to have come out of POPse! for most participants was when the next event was happening.  Overall, it's a start to a long, free-form dialogue, a small step in building a new community and a beginning of sharing success models across platforms.

There is such good and thorough reporting on the POPse! site, it seems silly to do anything but direct you there to learn more!

Yes, I think it is!

Follow POPse! on Facebook!

P.S.  Sorry this blog took so long!  It's been a topsy turvy couple of weeks, especially where internet is concerned!