Monday, January 9, 2012

The Schedule

 From the GPL Book Arts Project:

My book art (and forensic) interpretation of the poem Little Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton.   I made this to use as an example for our Thursday's Build-Your-Own-Fairy-Tale Book Art demo in the Teen Zone.  More photos at the end of the blog.

Just a quick blog to get everyone up to speed:  Over the weekend, the Gadsden Times ran an article about the GPL Book Arts Project.

This morning, I did a promo for the Project on a radio talk show with some friends of mine over at 102.9.  My phone has been ringing pretty much all day with calls from folks wanting additional info and wanting to pre-register for classes.  There is no turning back now…

Here is our GPL Book Arts Project public programming schedule for the next three months:
January 5, 3:30PM-Papermaking for Children.
Pre-register in the Children’s Department, 256.549.4699, ext.118.
January 12, 4PM-Teen Zone Build-Your-Own-Fairy-Tale Book Art.  Pre-register in the Teen Zone, 256.549.4699, ext. 122.
January 26, 4PM-Teen Zone Papermaking.
Pre-register in the Teen Zone, 256.549.4699, ext. 122.
January 31, 5:30PM-Papermaking with artist Joan Robertson.
This class is for individuals 16 or older.
Pre-register with Carol at 256.549.4699, ext. 107.
February 7, 5:30PM-Letterpress Printing Demonstration.
Pre-register with Carol at 256.549.4699, ext. 107.
February 16, 5:30PM-Bookmaking with artist Hilary Blackwood.  Pre-register with Carol at 256.549.4699, ext. 107.
February 28, 5:30PM-Altered Book Workshop:  Folded-Page Art.  Pre-register with Carol at 256.549.4699, ext. 107.
March 1, 5:30PM-Poetry reading with author Irene Latham.
March 23, 5:30PM-Paper, Print & Poetry (P3).  Exhibition & Reception.
My outreach schedule is solid for the next three weeks, with papermaking, letterpress printing and bookmaking at local middle and high schools.  The following two months will be more of the same, but with some folded page art and some creative writing workshops thrown in for good measure.  I will be taking vitamins, drinking Emergen-C, wearing sensible shoes, and doing daily yoga to keep this schedule on track.  What was I thinking?!?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The End of the Grant Writing Info

From GPL Book Arts Project:
At the risk of putting folks to sleep, I am going to now return to sharing information about the grant writing process.  I know, I know.  Writing a grant is not the most exciting thing to read about, but it is a good skill to have.  AND I’ve made a solemn vow to share as much as I know in the hopes that someone will benefit from it.

The last section of the Alabama State Council on the Arts application that I addressed was Section C, so I’ll begin with Section D…which requested a list of “the primary artists, persons, and/or groups involved in the implementation of this project or activity and the qualifications of each person and/or group.”  This is merely a request for the names of the folks who will make the magic happen for the duration of the project, and the things that make them qualified to do so (degrees and institutions, please).  Simple stuff.

Next, the very thorough Section E requested a mass of statistical information for our institution, such as the year our foundation was incorporated, members on our board, the number of professional staff members, and our mission statement.  Additional information in this section included reporting “Performance Indicators,” meaning number of schools, youth, teachers, artists and individuals benefiting from our institution in the past year, the current year and next year (a projection).  Our library does a very extensive end of year report each year, so it was easy to track down figures for last year.  As far as this year is concerned, I keep track of all program statistics (in-house and outreach), so I was able to estimate what our numbers would look like at the end of 2011.  And I worked a little math to get the percentage of increase we typically see each year to project what 2012 would look like.  So there.  Done.

The section that I was most concerned about in the ENTIRE grant writing process happened to be the final section of the grant application, Section F.  Section F is the section of the grant where one must “describe how the proposed project/activity fits the general evaluation criteria specified in the guidelines on page 8” (of the ASCA Guidelines Book).  There were eleven General Evaluation Criteria in the ASCA Guidelines Book that had to be addressed concisely and thoroughly, so I had to turn off my stream-of-consciousness brain in order to write this section.  I added no frills, nor second spaces after my use of a period (the character count made sure of it…I think I had two characters to spare when it was all said and done).  Here are my responses to each of the criteria (I recommend that you look at the Guidelines Book to read the guidelines as they are stated by ASCA…then my responses will make more sense):

1)This project will provide free quality experiences for the community by featuring in-house lectures by artists and authors; demonstrations by letterpress printers, bookmakers, and papermakers; and educational community outreach at local schools and living facilities. We will also provide a venue for community members to share the creative results of their participation in the project (final exhibit).
2)Educational benefits include in-house lectures, demonstrations, and outreach. Educational benefits will continue after the project’s completion through continued letterpress and papermaking outreach.

3)Over the past six years, the GPL has built its free public programming and workshops from one program a week to almost five-hundred programs a year. Last year’s statistics indicate that 8,669 individuals benefited from our in-house and outreach programming (outreach consists of working mostly with the underserved populations, specifically with high-risk youth, the elderly, and the displaced). We currently receive support from and collaborate with all local schools (city, county, homeschool) and colleges, as well as the City of Gadsden, Downtown Gadsden, Inc., Etowah County Tourism, Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, Gadsden Museum of Art, and Red Cross of Etowah County.

4)The potential for long-term impact of this project is great. Equipment purchased through the grant will allow the GPL to continue with educational letterpress and papermaking outreach and in-house demonstrations long after the initial project ends.  We anticipate continued public book arts projects and collaboration on future book arts programming with the professional book arts individuals with whom we will be working.

5)All participating authors, printers, bookmakers, and papermakers will be encouraged to bring examples of their work for display and for sale, so that they may benefit from their visit while educating the public about book arts.

6)We will share Alabama’s living cultural heritage by providing the community with educational opportunities to meet and work with Alabama letterpress printers, bookmakers, and papermakers. We will strive to preserve Alabama’s living cultural heritage by continuing to collaborate with Alabama letterpress printers, bookmakers, and papermakers and by offering educational opportunities through library programming that will continue long after the grant project.

7)We anticipate all artists and participants to come from differing ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as from differing age and gender groups.

8) The GPL is fully handicap accessible and currently makes reasonable accommodations/modifications to its patrons with special needs.

9) We will create partnerships with local city, county and homeschool districts, thereby providing much needed supplementary educational opportunities for community students. We will also develop partnerships within the retirement/aging sector of the community by providing continuing education to those residents who are fifty-five or older.

10) The GPL was completely renovated and technologically updated in 2004-2006. It is a facility with ample space to accommodate the lectures, demonstrations, and workshops associated with this project. The main lecture room has the capacity to seat seventy-five individuals while allowing room for lectures, demonstrations and workshops.

11) The personnel involved in planning and implementation are all highly-qualified, mastered-level (or MLS seeking) librarians who are skilled at creating and overseeing quality programs and events.

Does that all make sense?  Is anyone out there still awake after this blog post?  If it is any consolation, my favorite response from someone proofing one of my grants came from my coworker, IT Guy.  His feedback consisted of, “I expected more action in your narrative, and I think you need more character development.”  Big help, he was.
For those of you who ARE still awake, I am now finished with the grant writing process portion of this blog.  I promise to keep future posts shorter and less technical…I think.