Tuesday, December 08, 2015

It's freak-out-o-clock with nonprofit leadership

"Leaders don’t have time to do their jobs: A huge weakness of our sector is that we are turning brilliant leaders into brilliant fundraisers. Development is an essential element of our work, and some of the smartest and most talented professionals in our sector are fundraisers, but the balance is off. All of us are spending more and more of our time and energy freaking out about money instead of working with our teams to think about systemic issues and collaborating."

That's just one of a number of great points made by Vu Le, blogger behind Nonprofit with Balls. Read the full piece here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Some #GivingTuesday Online Resources

With #GivingTuesday being a little less than three weeks away, thought I'd share some of the helpful resources that I've come across.

Here are some highlights from their website's Tools page:

  • Logos - This actually includes not just logos, but "save the date"s, like the image above.
  • Toolkits - A social media toolkit, a PR toolkit, and more
  • Ideas - Ideas for Nonprofits, ideas for businesses, you get the...idea. ;-)
One thing with the logo, they have one labeled as a customizable profile image, which (in a program as simple as Paint), I was able to do this with the logo of the nonprofit I work at, taking our original logo:

 And did this:

Sorry for the resolution. The original was better, but that's on the work computer.

Anyway, here are just a few other resources.

Blackbaud's Giving Tuesday page on their website is pretty good. Their main offers are a webinar series which has recordings up, and #GivingTuesday trends report going back to 2012. Part of the quality of their knowledge is because they are a founding partner with the #GivingTuesday global movement.

Network for Good also provides free #GivingTuesday resources. These, they provide straight to your inbox, once you sign up. They say you will "Get eGuides, checklists, and webinar invites sent straight to your inbox and you'll be ready for the biggest giving day of the year."

And on Razoo's #GivingTuesday resources page, even though their primary pitch is to use their platform on this giving day, steps 4 & 5 has some great guids and tips you can use, even if you don't participate in #GivingTuesday through them.

My own personal tips, based on my own homework so far?

  • Set a goal for your effort this day.
  • Make it modest and achievable.
  • Use it to kick off your whole end-of-year fundraising efforts.

That's it, hope this was helpful. Leave any tips or resources you've found helpful yourself in the comments. As well as whatever organization you might be fundraising for, that day,


P.S. Just wanted to embed a great Twitter chat #GivingTuesday had yesterday, with the #MyGivingStory hashtag. There were a lot of great nuggets shared in it.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Take the Giving 15 challenge with me

Hey there,

So as I'm getting ready for end-of-year giving on the fundraising side, I was thinking of ways to ramp up my own personal philanthropy, which is where the Giving 15 challenge came to be.

The actual challenge is Giving 15/15/15/, which is giving $15 in '15 to 15 organizations, beginning on #GivingTuesday, through the end of year. And #GivingTuesday is December 1, which means spreading out $225 of giving over the 31 days of the last month of the year.

This is a little over $7.25 per day, or just about $15 every 2 days.

I don't have much disposable income, but I know I can budget at least that much.

So, the first step is identifying the 15 organizations you'd like to support. Here are mine, a collection of organizations I'm professionally affiliated with to ones I just personally love, in no particular order.

1) DC Alliance of Youth Advocates [I work here]
The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) is a coalition of youth-engaged organizations, youth and concerned residents formed to ensure that all children and youth in the District of Columbia have access to high-quality and affordable developmental opportunities. We accomplish this mission by crafting policy recommendations, providing structured advocacy opportunities for our members and allies, networking and empowering youth.
Donate to DCAYA here.

2) Story District [I'm on the board]

Story District's mission is to turn good stories into great performances, to be a platform for diverse perspectives, and to serve as a pipeline and training ground for new voices and talent in storytelling. Named the "gold standard" in storytelling by the Washington Post and nominated for the 2012 DC Mayor's Arts Awards for Innovation in the Arts, Story District reaches an audience of more than 10,000 annually through the production of more than 25 performances, ongoing adult education classes, and custom trainings and performances for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. We value storytelling as a space for people to listen and be heard, connect with others, embrace different perspectives, examine their own lives, and explore what it means to be human.
Donate to Story District here.

3) dog & pony dc [I'm working on a project with them]
dog & pony dc is an ensemble of artists who devise innovative performances that incorporate new ways for audiences to experience theatre.
Donate to dog & pony dc here.

4) Capital Fringe
Capital Fringe’s mission is to present the work of innovative performing artists; energize and expand audiences through dynamic accessible programming; serve DC-area artists by providing career-building opportunities; and create sustaining year-round outlets for experimental performance in the Nations Capital.
Donate to Capital Fringe here.

5) Whitman-Walker Health
Whitman-Walker Health's mission is to be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care.
Donate to Whitma-Walker Health here.

6) Atlas Performing Arts Center
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is home for adventurous audiences, artists and ideas — presenting contemporary music, film, dance, theatre and performing arts unlike anywhere in the city. An artistic anchor in Washington, DC’s historic H Street NE corridor, the Atlas is committed to its neighborhood and the arts community.
Donate to the Atlas Performing Arts Centere here.

7) Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Woolly's mission is to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC.
Donate to Woolly Mammoth here.

8) Dance Place
Founded in 1980, Dance Place builds a community of artists, audiences, and students through high quality performances, commissions, training and educational programs. We are committed to enriching the field of dance locally, nationally and internationally. Our thriving arts campus serves as an anchor in the development of our Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood in Washington, DC.
Donate to Dance Place here.
9) Synetic Theater
Synetic redefines theatre by blending innovative techniques and movement, investing in artists’ growth, and creating unforgettable visceral experiences for every audience.
Donate to Synetic Theater here.

10) Casa Ruby

Casa Ruby's mission is to create success life stories among Transgender, Gender Queer  and Gender Non-conforming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people. Casa Ruby's vision is to create a world where Transgender, Gender Queer, and Gender Non-conforming people pursue their dreams and achieve success in their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or Gender Identity/Gender Expression.
Donate to Casa Ruby here.

11) Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue for Philanthropy is Greater Washington’s trusted guide to local giving. Our mission is to create strong and vibrant communities by connecting caring citizens with worthy community causes.

Donate to the Catalogue here.

12) DanceSafe
DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 by Emanuel Sferios, DanceSafe quickly grew into a national organization with chapters in cities across North America.
Donate to DanceSafe here.

13) Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.
Donate to Fractured Atlas here.

14) Burning Man
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. The mission of the Burning Man organization is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world.
Donate to Burning Man here.

15) Foundation Center
Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.
Donate to Foundation Center here.

So that's it. And even if you might not be able to give $15 to all 15 organizations, how much do you think you CAN give? $10? Maybe just $5? Maybe all you can do is spread the word among your own networks, throughout December.

Whatever you do, just do something. And I would encourage you to start by looking at 15 organizations that are a part of your own life, that you believe in and support.

In case you didn't know:
  • 30% of all giving occurs in December.
  • 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year.
Just some fun nuggets of info from this blog post at Network for Good.

And that's why I wanted to try and do something a bit special this year, not just to support the organizations I love, but to encourage my friends and family to support them to. Because you never know if that one email, tweet, or Facebook post might be the one that encourages someone to support an org that might have already been thinking of it, or might not have even know about it but fits with their own values perfectly.

Some might ask, why not just support one organization with the entire $225. Personally, the first reason that comes to mind is because my life is too multi-faceted to be able to pick one singular thing that is THAT much more important than the others. Another reason is I'd like to believe that spreading it out AND spreading the word will have more of a multiplier effect among my own community and network, because different friends of mine will have affinities for different organizations.

So will you join me? Which 15 organizations will you support in '15 with $15 each? Let me know in the comments.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

Conversations to join in the DC area this month

So I was looking at my calendar, and noticed there were a good deal of conversations to join this month. Wanted to list them here, in case anyone else was interested. While I mentioned one of them in a previous post, regarding my agenda for the month, others were not included. And there were enough I thought it warrented a dedicated entry

Just a note, most of these events only have Facebook event pages with their information. If you're not on Facebook and would like more information, send me a message and I'll shoot it over to you.

Here we go:

Beyond Blackface: A conversation on cultural appropriation
in entertainment and popular culture

Sunday, November 8
5 pm to 7 pm

Busboys & Poets
1025 5th St NW

More information at their Facebook event page.

[Re]Organizing the Arts | Fall Colloquium

Friday, November 13
3 pm to 6 pm

Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

More information at their Facebook event page.

A TedxMidalantic Salon:
Everyone Values Equality

Monday, November 16
5:30 pm to 9 pm

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D St NW

Imagine a future free of gender roles and stereotypes, where anatomy doesn’t influence one’s destiny and women can make career, family and personal decisions without societal pressure, stigma or discrimination. In this future, we understand that equality is not about bolstering a gender or group into a position of privilege, but instead about liberating both women and men, by eliminating gender norms, fixed roles and the judgment that comes with living outside these societal constructs.

More information on their website.

Kojo In Your Community: "Black Lives Matter" in Prince George's County

Tuesday, November 17
7 pm to 9 pm

Busboys and Poets Hyattsville
5331 Baltimore Ave

More information at their Facebook event page.

And yes, I am hoping to make it to most of these.

Hope to see you at one of them,


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Two Ben Carson interviews that went south

Honestly, I can't even...

I'm just going to let the clips speak for themselves.

Just when you think it couldn't get worse.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

My November agenda, so far

Hey there,

While I'm trying to wrap my head around what's going on this month, I thought it might be a good opportunity to share. So here it goes:

Thursday, November 5

Kleen City: Sunrise Yoga, Wellness, Art & Dance Party at Penn Social
Join Us Thursday, November 5th, 6am to 10am. We are beyond excited for our new location at the cavernous Penn Social in Chinatown/Penn Quarter. This is going to be an event of epic proportions so don't miss out on the coolest event in DC!
Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

Naughty Snowball tickets go on sale at 7pm!!
It is a time of holiday Mischief. Striking from Santa's secret North Pole Base, Rebel Toys have descended upon Washington, DC on a mission of mayhem and merrrymaking. Set blasters to full and celebrate with us at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC.
More information on Facebook.

Kostume Karaoke: Fall Back for What, begins around 8pm
Come out and celebrate the end of tyranny from over the weekend, aka Daylight Savings Time, with your KJ for the night, me!! Sing and rejoice with all your heart, and forget about that dreaded day we have to Spring forward. Fire up that mic, another round of songs, Fall back for what!!
More information on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 10

If I Were You: Stories about giving and taking advice
Story District's Our monthly storytelling series -- their first program -- has been taking place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month in Washington, DC since 1997. Over the years, they've added tons of other shows and events, but their monthly show remains Story District's backbone. Tonight's show, like all of their shows, will feature a mix of eight to ten first-timer storytellers and regulars, who will take the stage to share their twist on the night's theme.
Disclaimer: I am a Story District Board Member. More infromation on Facebook.

Thursday, November 12

Avenue Q with Constellation Theatre Company
Avenue Q is a laugh-out loud musical that tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who arrives in New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He moves into a shabby apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, a neighborhood full of mischievous and raunchy puppets, as well as other colorful characters.
More information on their website.

Monday, November 16

TedxMidAtalantic Salaon: Everyone Values Equity
Imagine a future free of gender roles and stereotypes, where anatomy doesn’t influence one’s destiny and women can make career, family and personal decisions without societal pressure, stigma or discrimination. In this future, we understand that equality is not about bolstering a gender or group into a position of privilege, but instead about liberating both women and men, by eliminating gender norms, fixed roles and the judgment that comes with living outside these societal constructs.
More information on their website.

Friday, November 20 to Sunday, November 22

Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War
On Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6pm on the NW-side of the Washington Monument, a vigil for healing the chasms and scars of the drug war will begin. We invite you to join us for a multi-day Vigil on the National Mall. This Vigil will offer space for community building, information sharing, art, music, healing, and celebration. An art installation, The Temple of Essence, will stand as a monument to honor the victims of the drug war. It is a peace-building structure focused on the communities impacted by this conflict and the mass incarceration of our citizens. This Temple will bring people together and create a space for reflection and healing.
More information on Facebook.

That's it for now. But it's just the beginning of the month. Who knows, I might do a mid-month update, as other things pop-up and/or are confirmed.

Hope to see folks out at any of these happenings!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What Pew Research shared during Democratic Debate

Whether or not you watched the first Democratic Debate of this presidential election season, last night, you might be curious to know what the Pew Research Center tweeted in real time with the debate. If you're not, you should be.

That is to say, these are things they themselves know, supported with facts and figures and studies and, well...research, about issues brought up over the course of the evening.

Here are ten highlights, the most retweeted ones as of the time of this blog post, in chronological order:
For the rest, you can just check out their Twitter Feed (sooner than later). While I appreciate the debate format, I know I personally need to ground myself in the contexts of the various topics being discussed so I don't get emotionally wrapped up in what can sometimes be a somewhat theatrical, if not dramatic display of our body politic.

So I thought I'd share. Curious to see what you think about any of this. Please leave a comment,


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

FY18 Funding for the DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities

So...come FY18, which begins in about 2 years, funding for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is going to be a little different.

Have you heard of the Arts and Humanities Enterprise Fund? If you're like me, the answer would be no. I came across this while doing work related research on arts related city legislation. When I came across the code, I thought I should take a look at the letter and word of what makes the DC Commission tick, in the eye of the law.

Anyway, I wanted to highlight these:
(a) There is established the Arts and Humanities Enterprise Fund ("Fund") to be operated by the Commission.
(a-2)(2) Notwithstanding § 47‑392.02, beginning in fiscal year 2018 and for each fiscal year thereafter, except as provided by paragraph (4) of this subsection, 1/23rd of the sales-tax revenue reported in the prior fiscal year Comprehensive Annual Financial Report shall be deposited in the Fund.
(f) Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the Commission shall be funded entirely from moneys deposited into the Fund.
Definitely check out the rest of the code concerning this Fund at dccode.org, "An open source, searchable, linkable platform for the DC Code by the Open Gov Foundation".

Or check the official code as posted on LexisNexis.com. The only problem with the latter link is that you'll have to search for this particular code, because different sections aren't linkable. Which is why dccode.org was created.

Anyway, would be curious to see what others make of this fund. Is this saying exactly what it seems to be saying? I'd also be curious to see if the next strategic plan would be taking this into account.

It should be noted that while the Fund became effective back in 1998, (a-2) and (f) were among  a number of items introduced in a 2013 ammendment.

Also, stay tuned for future posts regarding grants and public art regarding the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and DC Code.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I came out in high school, in 1997

Happy National Coming Out Day!

I wanted to reshare this story from Story District's 2011 Pride show at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, for those that might not have seen it already, or for those who have who might want to share it with someone.

I told a story about coming out at my all-boys school, St. Albans, my junior year, and (I believe) being the first student to bring another guy to his senior prom in '99. I was fortunate to not just have awesome classmates in the class of '99, but a sincere brotherhood that never questioned, never judged, never made me feel like I was anything other than the classmate I'd always been before coming out. Maybe some of them knew already, but whether they knew or not, all of my class of about 75 other guys just didn't seem to care. I had an awesome class, and while I was the only out guy in the school at the time, I never felt alone because of them. Maybe it was because we were too busy just trying to make it together through the day, from classes beginning at 8am until lunch at 1:30pm, filling time with extracurriculars from 2pm-3:30pm, mandatory sports from 3:30pm-6pm (except for one season our senior year), and then other extracurriculars (aka theatre for me) after dinner until around 10pm. For whatever reasons, I will always appreciate how blessed and fortunate I was, being in the class of '99.

Also, I will say, while there was a rough patch with my parents in the story, we are closer than ever, almost two decades later. They truly love me, uncondtionally, and vice versa.

Anyway, there it is. Check out this story if you've got about 7 1/2 minutes.

So I thought I'd reshare this story that I told for a pride show with Story District, formerly known as SpeakeasyDC.

JR Russ tells true story on SpeakeasyDC stage from Story District on Vimeo.

To anyone who hasn't come out yet, just know that you're not alone. To those who've just recently taken that first step into the light, congratulations. Just because it's more common to see LGBT people in the media and maybe even in your community, I can only imagine it is just as hard, if not harder, to still take that first step yourself.

To take a leap of faith in your friends and family, or even to mentally prepare yourself for the worse but wanting to deal with that more than living an inauthentic life...that's not an easy choice. Of course, for some, it's not even a choice.

Regardless, I hope hearing my own story helps.

With love,


Friday, October 09, 2015

Transcript of Live Chat with DCCAH Grants Specialist

Earlier this afternoon, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) had a live chat session with a grants specialist from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Steven Mazzola, DCCAH Grants Director, was also online to assist answering questions as needed.

A recap of some FAQs from the chat will be posted shortly, but in the meantime, here's the entire transcript:


LaToyia Hampton: This special live chat session will be hosted by Latoyia Hampton-Grants Manager from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to assist with completion of required documents for compliance with FY16 DCCAH grant awards. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to ask questions about successful completion of required paperwork during the live chat session. The session is not designed for programmatic questions and/or questions about FY16 funding recommendations.

LoLo Smith: My insurance company indicated the grant agreement should include a statement requiring a subrogation clause.
Fatima Scott: Yes, all agreements will include an insurance subornation clause.

Anne M. McCaw: Can you elaborate on the insurance requirements that awardees will need to obtain grant funding? Also, Fractured Atlas can help with event insurance, but they need a different document from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities outlining what is needed. Can you assist with that?
Fatima Scott: No worries, DCCAH will provide a sample of COI to follow as it is pertain to requirements. The document will be provided on Tuesday

Anne M. McCaw: We are having an issue with renewing our status as a vendor. If we can't resolve it by October 16th, should we forgo our grant award?
Fatima Scott: We will need to determine what the renewal issue are, please explain.

On First Source do...: On First Source document what is Employer Contract award?
Fatima Scott: The employer contract award is the amount that is listed on your conditional contract package.

Amanda: Are there other versions of the forms that can be filled in electronically?
Fatima Scott: Most forms are fillable.

Drew Anderson: Hello. Thank you for taking this time to answer our questions. I am a grateful recipient of an Artist Fellowship award. I sent in my documents on October 3, but I didn't get an email confirming that they were received, so I just wanted to make sure they were. Also, I wanted to be sure that I completed Attachment C correctly, or indeed whether AFP recipients needed to fill out Attachment C at all.
Fatima Scott: You should be hearing back from the DCCAH staff next week. Thanks

Rina Rodriguez: HI. Thanks for doing this. I am asking about the Individual Fellowships - do I need to keep receipts, and submit an interim and final grant report?
Fatima Scott: At this time we are focus on the procurement process and your grant staff will answer the questions going forward.

Madeleine Odendahl: Regarding the First Source Employment Agreement - can you let us know why this is now a part of the DCCAH's attachments? Is our grant award contingent upon the submission of this document with the grant agreement?
Fatima Scott: The first source agreement is a citywide first source legislation and only required for $250 or less otherwise mention in legistion

David Lloyd Olson: I assume you're going to get a lot of the same question from AFP awardees, so I apologize if my question is redundant. For the grant agreement, is the proposal and budget section required? If so, does it matter how much detail we put into those sections?
Fatima Scott: The short answer is yes and the long version will be provided from DCCAH next week.

MBS: The award email indicates that we need to complete a lot of new paperwork that we've never seen before including the First Source Employment Agreement. Can you provide us more information about this particular document and what it means in plan terms.
Fatima Scott: The first source agreement is a citywide first source legislation and only required for $250 or less otherwise mention in legistion

Ryan Durgin: If my organization is exempt under the First Source Employment Agreement, do we still need to fill out the employment plan?
Fatima Scott: The first source agreement is a citywide first source legislation and only required for $250 or less otherwise mention in legistion

Yoko: Hi! I am a Artist Fellowship recipient. Do I also need to complete Attachment C: Budget Revision Form, or not?
Fatima Scott: DCCAH staff wi;ll follow next week

On First Source do...: In the Employment Plan what is the District contracting agency?
Fatima Scott: Who they is receiving the award from?

Ali Rahmaan: In the email regarding the grant agreements and all the forms that are now required, it says that for grants of $10,000 or more, organizations must complete and submit a First Source Employment Agreement with DOES. However, within the First Source Employment Agreement, it says that the Agreement is for projects of $100,000 or more. I am trying to figure out which information is correct.
Fatima Scott: The first source agreement is a citywide first source legislation and only required if project is over $250 or less otherwise mention in legistion. Please disregard if project is less.

Jess Leskin: For the First Source Employment Agreement if my organization has less than 50 employees do we have to submit the agreement?
Fatima Scott: will need to provide letterhead letter they you have 50 people or less.

Anne Marchand: Does the portal allow changes to the agreement upload. I have changes in the agreement.
Fatima Scott: This is a question for the DCCAH team and will response next week

Colin: I have a question about the First Source Employment agreement. It says that non-profits with staff of 50 or less are exempt and those receiving grants below $100,000 are exempt. Is that correct?
Fatima Scott: will need to provide letterhead letter they you have 50 people or less.

On First Source do...: what is our vendor number?
Fatima Scott: it is the 1 plus your tax ID number (which is stated on document)

June Yang, Washing...: The form I have the most questions about is the First Source Employment Agreement. I assume that the contract number is our grant number, yes? Also, we intend to work with guest artists and others on a consultant basis, rather than make new hires. Do these contractors
Fatima Scott: yes, your contract number is your grant number. Please list only employee and not contractors

JBeels: I accidentally uploaded the grant agreement only (for Artist Fellowship Grant), without the other required attachments. How do I delete it so I can upload the proper zipped pdf file?
Fatima Scott: DCCAH staff will get back to you next week

Rina Rodriguez: Hi, do artist fellowship grantees need to save/submit receipts and submit interim and final grant reports? thx.
Fatima Scott: DCCAH staff will get back to you next week

Anne M. McCaw: We are having an issue getting a letter of good standing from the Commonwealth of Virginia, where our nonprofit was established. We're not sure what the problem is, and it will require deeper investigation.
Fatima Scott: In order to be eligible with this grant you have to be in good standing with the district and its agency and IRS, etc...

Ursula: 1.) Is direct deposit now a requirement for all awardees, or is receiving a check still an option?
Fatima Scott: Effective Oct. 1, FY16DCCAH will be requiring a ACH vendor form. Our agency will be transitioning out of paper checks.

Drew Anderson: (Not sure my question went through, so resending:) Do Artist Fellowship awardees need to complete Attachment C? If so, what is the appropriate way to complete it?
Fatima Scott: Again, question for DCCAH staff

Julia Malecki: How does the Employer Contract Award differ from the Project Contract Amount? Or are they the same?
Fatima Scott: yes they are the same

Hi, I did not rece...: Hi, I did not receive paperwork in the mail, but saw online that I had been awarded funding yesterday. When is the paperwork due?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: 10/16 at 5:00

Colin: with the First Source document are non-profit orgs that have staff of less than 50 exempt?
Fatima Scott: Please supply a letter on letterhead stating the number of employee

T.Paperny: The Arrest and Conviction Statement is worded for organizations. Do individuals still need to fill it out and/or modify it?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes, you do

Amanda: Thank you again for your help--I saw the question about the proposal section of the grant agreement below, and I am now curious how detailed the proposal needs to be?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: This should let us know how the project is amended know that you are aware of your conditional award.

Yoko: Is it mandatory to fill out ACH Vendor Payment Form? Is it possible NOT to receive the payment via direct deposit, and instead, elect to receive the payment by check?
Fatima Scott: Effective Oct. 1, FY16DCCAH will be requiring a ACH vendor form. Our agency will be transitioning out of paper checks.

Catalina Talero: I sent a question 15 minutes ago. Is my text visible? Is this getting through?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes, we do

Rachel: I am an artist fellowship recipient. Where do I find the arrest and conviction statement and statement of certification?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Check Managing Your Grant Award at www.dcarts.dc.gov

Regie Cabico: Good Afternoon, As a 2016 Individual City Arts Project grantee, Do I need to purchase Special Event insurance by the grant agreement deadline which is due Friday October 16, 2015. If so, I do not have the funds to do that now but will through the grant
Fatima Scott: You must have COI insurance.....DCCAH can advise next week

T.Paperny: If we don't fill out the "ACH VENDOR PAYMENT ENROLLMENT FORM" and the direct deposit information, will we just receive a check?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes but checks are being phased out

Ali Rahmaan: So if we have less than 50 employees, then instead of the First Source Agreement, we need only submit a letter on letterhead stating that we have less than 50 employees. Is that correct?
Fatima Scott: Correct

Kate: Where can I find my contract # for the First Source Employment Agreement
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: This is the three letter grant program and five digit award number

CentroNia: Attachment A is blank. Is this where we would write a narrative as to how our program has been revised?
Fatima Scott: We will follow up next week
Fatima Scott: Yes.

Julia Bloom: When I submit the paperwork, will I get confirmation from the DCCAH that I have submitted everything that is required?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes, we will let you know if paperwork is needed no later than 10/23/15

LoLo Smith: So, can we expect to receive an amended grant agreement to include the requirement for the insurance policy to have a subrogation clause, by next Tuesday?
Fatima Scott: yes,

Julia Malecki: Also on First Source Employment Agreement, page 7, is the District Contracting Agency DCCAH, or is that our organization?
Fatima Scott: yes

Amanda: Do we need to submit the ACH form if we have received direct deposit payments in the past?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: No.

June Yang, Washing...: I hit "return" and inadvertently sent my query before finishing. Do consultants/contractors count as new hires under the terms of the First Source Employment Agreement? Also, if we have received multiple grants, does the $100,000 baseline for required completion of this form apply to each individual award or to the cumulative total?
Fatima Scott: yes, culumlative total

Anne Marchand If I filled a previous direct deposit do I need to resubmit the form?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: No

Christine H: Insurance carriers. Do you really mean carriers or do you mean brokers? We have two brokers with multiple carriers associated with each.
Fatima Scott: Sample of Certificate of Insurance will be provided next week

MBS: If our questions are not being answered on the screen does that mean we should contact DCCAH staff instead?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: This forum is for questions regarding compliance documents such as arrest and conviction, first source and EEoE documents. Questions about your agreement should go to the program manager at DCCAH

Jason Gebhardt: First, I want to thank the Commission for awarding me an Artist Fellowship!! I've competed and submitted the Grant Agreement and am awaiting to hear from the Commission for the next step in the process. Am I correct that this is all that is required of me at this point as a Artist Fellowship awardee? Thank you again!!
Fatima Scott: at this time if any information is needed you will hear from DCAH next week

Colin: I did not see anywhere that we are required to supply a certificate of good standing. Is that a requirement that I am unaware of?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Colin, we are pulling this for you and will alert you if we receive word that a certificate of clean hands is not available for your organization.

Yoko: I am also a little confused about "Arrest and Conviction Statement" and "Statement of Certification" - do I need to have "Authorized Representative of Applicant"? Can I sign these myself? (I have no record of arrest and conviction, fyi)
Fatima Scott: If you are the recipient of the grant and the signor to sign the grant, then the answer is yes.

Emma Moores: The Washington Chorus just moved offices and are awaiting our new insurance policy in the mail. We expect it any day now, but if we describe the issue in our submission, can that portion be submitted late?
Fatima Scott: The COI will be need to process the grant. Will provide additional deadline next week.

Lauren Bilich: Apologies if this was sent twice. We received notice that we were flagged for non-compliance with tax and revenue; however, when we contacted them they said there was no issue. They are sending our statement showing that we are up to date. Will this account statement be sufficient to prove we are in compliance? If not, what documentation do we need to provide?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Lauren, we will let you know if additional documentation is needed once we receive the certificate of clean hands

Jess Leskin: For the Cultural Facilities Project Grant, the revised budget chart no longer has a category under Project support - Consultants, instead it is Artist and Teaching Artist fees. If we have consultants for the project, how do we categorize them if they are for project support not administrative costs?
Fatima Scott: DCCAH will provide an answer next week
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Write on top of that to indicate consultants

Julia Bloom: Do I need to fill out the Budget Revision Form for an Individual Artist grant? (I haven't had to before.)
Fatima Scott: Under the FY16 our agency is strengthen our requirements and must be filled out by all.

Hi, I did not rece...: What are the insurance requirements for individual artists?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: This is only required for City Arts Projects: Individuals and not fellowship recipients

Dwayne Lawson-Brown: For Individual grant CAP grant, has anything change in the confirmation process?
Fatima Scott: As we beginning FY16 through our grant process everything is contigent upon our required documents

CentroNia: Will these Q&As be available after this session?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes, we hope to publish these on our website and at art202

June Yang, Washing...: Thanks so much for taking these questions. I have one more about the First Source Employment Agreement. If we are not hiring new full-time staff, what categories of information would you like us to provide in the justification statement?
Fatima Scott: Each grant recipant is unquine, please fill all documents to the best of your knowledge. If any other requirements DCCAH will reach out

Jill Strachan: Our broker has requested the endorsements but it could take up to 7-10 days. If the underwriter flags it as a rush then that will put a red flag against it and it may take even longer. Your guidance please? I sent this earlier but didn't see a response.
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Jill, email me and will discuss how to fulfill these requests given your schedule. Hang in.

Amanda: Thank you for your help! The forms I received via email are not fillable. Can you direct me to the links of those that fillable?
Fatima Scott: Will follow up with DCCAH to help
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Not all forms are fillable at present but check Managing Your Grant Awards for the forms and we'll update as we can.

LoLo Smith: Is there a difference between subrogation being waived and subornation?
Fatima Scott: The response is longer than a chat...Will reach out next week to chat

Ursula: I am confused by the First Source document in its entirety, as we received a GIA for general operating support. How should I go about filling out: project contract amount, project name, employment plan, etc.?
Fatima Scott: Feel free to schedule with DCCAH next week to go over paper work

Kate: For Sister Cities, is the insurance documentation required?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: If you are hosting yes. If not, indicate why one is not provided.

Beverly: Please share status of how additional insured should be placed on certificate of insurance when grants are awarded. Is the DC Commission the additional insured and not the locations that the awardee is performing in?
Fatima Scott: yes, the additional insured is DCCAH will provide sample COI next week

Lauren Bilich: My organization was told that there was an issue with our taxes that needed to be rectified, when we spoke with Tax & Revenue they said that we didn't have any issues and they would send up a statement of our account showing that we are up to date. Will that be sufficient to prove that we have rectified the issue?
Fatima Scott: yes, please obtain an certificate of clean hands to move forward in this process.

Catalina Talero: Am I right to assume that all receipts must be dated after the start of the grant period?
Fatima Scott: All grants are conditional until executed by agency therefore the date will be listed on grant agreement
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes. All spending and programming must be within 10/1/15 and 9/30/16

MBS: Can you explain what the First Source Employment Agreement requires in more simple terms? Does all hiring need to go through DOES? How does this requirement impact our hiring of performers? Additionally, the document lists various exemptions including that contracts of less than $100,000 are exempt. If we received a grant of less than $100,000 are we exempt from the requirements of this document? Thanks.
Fatima Scott: Please feel free to schedule time with DCCAH to go over this document

Sandra Y. Johnson: Why are grantees now required to sign Conviction Statements and other new documentation?
Fatima Scott: Effective FY16 all district grant making agencies are required to supply these documents in order for you to receive an award.

Anne M. McCaw: Should I contact your office to explain the issue we are having renewing our status as a DC Vendor? We certainly don't want to overwhelm you, but we are trying to be as transparent as we can and comply with all requirements. Perhaps this isn't the right forum for a very specific question?
Fatima Scott: yes please schedule meeting Steven to discuss
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Anne, draft an email and I will discuss with appropriate parties. Please submit close of business Tuesday. Thank you.

J.M.: In regards to the First Source Employment agreement does this refer to our contract musicians (whom we will not hire through DOES) or administrative positions? Thanks
Fatima Scott: Contractor are exhibited

Jill Strachan: Our broker says that endorsements could take up to 7-10 days, which would take us past the deadline of 10/16. If the underwriter flags it as a rush then that will put a red flag against it and it may take even longer. Your advice please.
Fatima Scott: Will provided sample of COI that will take 5-10 min from insurance company

June Yang, Washing...: For the Statement of Certification, should the person authorized to negotiate with DCCAH be the highest-ranking official at our organization or the person most likely to have regular contact with DCCAH over grants? Also, I presume that it would be acceptable for our second highest-ranking official to sign this form, yes? Thank you.
Fatima Scott: We recommend first or second authority making person to sign .

Emma Moores: Regarding the First Source Employment Agreement, we are undergoing an Executive Director search (current ED announced that she is retiring at the end of the season). Do these requirements apply to this search, even though the position isn't being filled specifically for this project?
Fatima Scott: yes it does..

Rina Rodriguez: Okay, thank you. I was also going to ask about the part of the Budget Revision Form instructions that says that the grant 'will not cover pieces of equipment over $500' and I'm wondering if that applies to Artist Fellowship awards. Is that another question I should ask the grant staff instead? Many thanks.
Fatima Scott: yes please ask the DCCAH grant staff
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Please check-in with Regan Spurlock who manages AFP

Kate: Hi, thanks for taking our questions! How do I find the contract number for the First Source Employment Agreement? I don't see a grant # in my paperwork
Fatima Scott: Grant number will be provided upon execution of grant agreement
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: It is FY16 the three letter grant program code and the five digit number following.

Rachel: Hi, I am a grateful recipient of an artist fellowship. I see that I need to return the budget form, but I did not submit a budget with my application. Do I just leave that blank?
Fatima Scott: DCCAH will provide a better answer
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Just indicate the grant award and sign. No need to break out expenses for a fellowship grant

J.M.: Steven, you wrote that the insurance requirements are only required for City Arts Projects: Individuals and not fellowship recipients, but I received them with each of my grant award info. Can you tell me if I need it for GIA or Upstart?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: You will for GIA and UPSTART. All organizations are required to submit these documents

MBS: I apologize but I don't understand your answer to my question about First Source. If our grant is $250 or less, it does not apply to us? Or do you mean $250,000 or less?
Fatima Scott: $250,000 or less

June Yang, Washing...: Thanks. To follow up on my questions about the Statement of Certification, should the person authorized to negotiate with DCCAH be the highest-ranking official at our organization OR the person most likely to have regular contact with DCCCAH?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Hi, June. Please indicate the Director of Grants

sgb: Artists who received the individual fellowship gants also need to fill out the budget revision form?
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Yes but just indicate the award amount and sign. No need to break out expenses

Madeleine Odendahl: RE: "The first source agreement is a citywide first source legislation and only required for $250 or less otherwise mention in legistion" - can you explain the $250? $250 being the award amount? Or a payment? How is an organization exempt from this agreement?
Fatima Scott: $250k is the award amount

Anne M. McCaw: Thank you for clarifying that the DCAAH will provide more instruction. In what form will that be provided? Will there be a similar opportunity like this to follow up with questions?
Fatima Scott: They will follow up next week.
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Latoyia and her team have graciously given us this hour but as this was a successful format we anticipate doing more of these on different topics down the road This is their last direct access period at present.

Kate: I'm sorry. I don't understand if my organization needs to submit he First Source Employment Agreement. We are a staff of 4. And a grant award under $100,000.
Fatima Scott: I forward your information to DCCAH

MBS: Can you explain again the circumstances for submitting the First Source Agreement. You've said that if our grant is less than $250 we do not need to fill out the agreement. I'm fairly confident that we have all received grants larger than $250. Do you mean, perhaps, if our grant is larger than $250,000 we do not need to fill out this document?
Fatima Scott: please schedule a meeting next week so we can discuss

Ursula: Following up on T. Paperny's question: does this mean all staff and BoD have to fill it out/modify it, or just the signature of the Executive Director?
Fatima Scott: Signatures of the Exective director

Kate: SO if we supply a letter on letter head saying we have less than 50 employees, we don't have to fill out the First Source Employment doc?
Fatima Scott: document will be reviewed and a determination will be made

MBS: Will all questions be answered, or only selected questions? I too have sent through questions that have not been answered. Thank you.
Fatima Scott: We are answering the questions as we receive them
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: You can always follow-up with DCCAH staff. If we don't know right away, we can follow-up on your behalf

MBS: If our organization has over 50 employees but we received grants totaling less than $100,000 do we need to fill out the First Source Paperwork?
Fatima Scott: No..

Bridget Z: Re: the First Source Employment Agreement: Our grant project will NOT create new jobs or require new hires. Is it necessary then, to complete the agreement? Do we fill out the the “Current Employees” section, with those already employed to implement the project?
Fatima Scott: yes

Madeleine Odendahl: Are we required to submit the First Source Employment Agreement for grants under $250K?
Fatima Scott: no

Ursula: When can we anticipate seeing COIs from the commission next week as paperwork is due a week from today?
Fatima Scott: Samples will be provided to avoid delays.

Bridget Z: Would you please make all forms available on either the DCCAH website or GDG portal, and ensure that they're fillable? The link to the "Statement of Certification" for example, is not fillable and prints with “click here to enter text”, blocking areas meant for required information.
via·24 minutes ago
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Hi Bridget. We will. These are new for us as well but we will work very hard to ensure they are fillable in the near future.

MBS: A) If an organization has received grants totaling less than $100,000 does it need to complete the First Source Paperwork? B) Is that same organization required to go through DOES when hiring actors and administrators?
Fatima Scott: No

Lauren Bilich: How do we get about getting a clean hands certificate? Who do we call or see in order to obtain?
Fatima Scott: Instructions should have been provided in conditional award letter. Reach out to DCCAH next week
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: Lauren, we are doing this for you at present. We will let you know when and if there is an issue for you to rectify. This process will be updated for FY17.

June Yang, Washing...: Just to be entirely clear, organizations with 50 or fewer employees may submit a letter on letterhead to this effect *instead of* or *in addition to* the executed First Source Employment Agreement?
Fatima Scott: Hi June, Yes please submit a letter on your organizations letter head for review.

Emma Moores: On the budget revision form, the top block is formatted differently this year. Are individual donations and earned revenue no longer eligible to meet the matching requirement? That space is not fillable.
Fatima Scott: Steven at DCCAH: They are but we are just interested in how spending will occur so please the matching amount in the top box and then break out expenses which is what we will track during the year

Kate: how does one get a written waiver of subrogation for insurance paperwork
Fatima Scott: Through your insurance company, they will provide

Fatima Scott: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us. As we are at 3:00 p.m., we are going to conclude this discussion. You may continue to contact the grant managers at DCCAH with additional questions and we will work to answer as soon as possible. Thank you for your participation today and patience with some of the new documents. We look forward to working with you in FY16. Steven Scott Mazzola

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Ben Carson on bullets, bodies, and bereavement

So first a friend on Facebook shared this Gawker piece, which quoted Ben Carson as saying this during a Fox and Friends interview, on whether or not he'd visit the families of victims from the recent mass shooting in Oregon:
Probably not. I mean, I would probably have so many things on my agenda that I would go to the next one.


And then Facebook suggested checking out this Rolling Stone article, which quoted Ben Carson's view on gun control, which he shared on Facebook:
There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking, but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.

I think I just heard two nails in the coffin of his campaign. Yes, a rather dark metaphor considering the topic.

But I'd be surprised if he makes it much further, at this point.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Burning Man's event page for 2016 on Facebook

Because it's not official until it's up on Facebook.

Burning Man just created the event page for 2016.

If you're on Facebook, RSVP and invite you friends.

And keep an eye out for tickets in the spring!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

3 reasons to work a 6 hour work day

Filimundus, a Stockholm-based app developer, moved to a 6 hour work day last year.
The thinking behind the move is that because the working day has been condensed, staff will be more motivated and have more energy to get more done in a shorter period of time. Feldt reports that not only has productivity stayed the same, there are less staff conflicts because people are happier and better rested.
Not only that, but:
...we probably shouldn’t even be forced to clock on at 9am anyway, with expert Paul Kelley from Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute saying that society is in the midst of a sleep-deprivation crisis, because our 9-5 working hours are at odds with our internal body clocks.
While impressions of staff being happier and full of energy aren’t exactly scientific basis for declaring 6-hour work days as 'better' than the 8.7-hour work day endured by the average American, we do have evidence that what we’re doing right now isn’t working.
Anyway, these are just three quotes from a great piece at Science Alert, Sweden is shifting to a 6-hour work day.

I highly recommend reading it and sharing what you think in the comments below,


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why doesn't anyone at Burning Man 'look' like me?


Because I've almost never, EVER been around anyone who has 'look'ed like me.

I say almost never because I did recently meet this cute guy on okcupid whose mom was filipino, like me, and whose dad was black, like me.

But what does that even mean, people who 'look' like me, because we don't just mean looks...and the only one I constantly get is people telling me I look like Usher. Well, no, Usher looks like me. I know he's older than me, and that's not the point.

But I digress...

This whole, people hang around with people who look like them (I'm not going to debate how true it is or isn't) but we don't just mean look, we mean sounds, we mean appearances, we mean musical tastes, we mean so many more things than just "looks"...and I think we all understand on some level that "looks" means more than appearances.

Because despite how I look, I don't sound the way some people expect me to sound. And what's worse is that sometimes I've felt the need to qualify or explain it by mentioning that I went to a small, all-boys, private school (conversational code for predominantly white / not black).

But I'm so stuck in my head because I can't even honestly relate to that false cultural/racial/social binary because I'm so frickin' Filipino. And what's crazy, sometimes I can anticipate how much I have to defend/explain that based on the perceived background of the person I'm talking to.

Actually, no. I had one man (and I won't describe him by certain characteristics, because I wouldn't want to then be seen as generalizing and stereotyping all men who share those characteristics) who tried to tell me that I couldn't possibly be part Filipino. And he knew, because he actually lived in the Philippines for several years and knew what they (including my mom?) looked like, and I didn't "look" like them.

I didn't look like what he thought a mixed Filipino/Black man should look, which obvisouly trumps any genetic truth, not that race itself is anything more than a social construct. So yeah, what we "look" like is completely objective and not based on perceived stereotypes at all.

But I digress...

I've never been around people who looked, sounded, dressed like me.

Based on my background alone, I grew up with the assumption that I have absolutely nothing in common with anyone around me. And that was true, until fifth grade (or B Form) and the National Cathedral Boys Choir. I sang...I had that in common with all the choristers who'd ever sung there. I loved to sing...I had that in common with the  close to twenty other guys who I'd be singing there with. I was good at singing...I didn't realize I had that in common with the three others in my class who also joined the chorus that year.

And I realize that that is where I find the people who "look" like me, not the passive "look" referring to physical appearance slash all the other things we really mean when we say that, but the active "look" related to examining, considering, exploring the world around us, and ultimately the other...

And finding, despite this sometimes overwhelming gap between the self and the other, things like singing to bridge the abyss, to connect with others.

I have found people who "look" like me, and they look at a world of creativity and possibility, a world where we are shaped by our past and our environment, but bring our own intent and values to move forward. They "look" at each other, with all their sorrows and joys, the ones they can relate to and the ones that they can't. We "look" at ourselves, as we work on the best of us and hope others will see it too.

There is no one at Burning Man that looks like anyone else. To even make such a comparison is the beginning of a path that leads to generalizations and stereotypes. What Burning Man is full of, is people who look at each other...for the most part. And herein I realize the irony of making a blanket statement out of a specific observation and experience.

But I digress...

Why doesn't anyone at Burning Man "look" like me? Because I'd like to believe that most of the people who look AT me, get to know ME and wouldn't think I look like anyone else BUT me.

Except for the few that asked me if anyone's ever told me I look like Usher.

- Nexus

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fresh Talk at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Join the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) on Sunday, October 18, for their launch of "Women, Arts, and Social Change".

This is NMWA’s new initiative on women and the arts as catalysts for change and it begins with "FRESH TALK: Righting the Balance", which asks if there can be gender parity in the arts.

It is a topic I've been aware of since undergrad at College Park as a dance major. During our senior seminar, it had come up how despite the overwhelming majority of women in dance, the majority of Artistic Directors seemed to be men. That was only the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of a much larger conversation.

Anyway, one can only hope that the question, "Can there be gender parity in the arts?" is a rehtorical one, to which the answer is yes and the next question is what to do achieve it.

The event runs from 3 to 8 pm. Admission to the event is $25 for general admission, or $15 for members, seniors, and students. The price includes museum admission and Sunday supper.

View more information, at their website.

Hope to see you there,


Friday, September 25, 2015

DC projected to appropriate $22.30 per capita for its arts agency in FY16

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies put together a map of projected legislative appropriations per capita of its members, for the 2016 fiscal year.

Learn more about funding for state arts agencies at http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Research/Funding/index.php
Source: State Arts Agency Legislative Appropriations Preview, Fiscal Year 2016
Washington, DC's is projected at $22.30 per capita, or for each resident. This is the most per capita for ANY State Arts Agency (SAA) in the country, with the closest runner up being Puerto Rico at $6.74 and only 11 other SAAs appropriating more than $2 per capita. Of those 13 SAAs, 6 are not agencies for states, but 5 of the 6 are U.S. territories, and the remaining one is the District of Columbia.

But some perspective on that $22.30 number for DC and where it falls compared to some of the others.

The population of the city, according to the most recent estimate from the United State Census Bureau which is for 2014, is 658,893. This puts the estimated budget appropriation at a little over $14,693,000, using last year's population estimate.

For the record, 2014 is also the year which this funding  report used in terms of population numbers.

The population of Puerto Rico is estimated at 3,548,397 for 2014. This puts the appropriation for the territory at a bit more than $23,916,000, so about 163% of the appropriation amount of DC for a population roughly 5.39 times larger.

California's population (the population of the most populous state in the U.S.) is about 38,802,500 according to the census estimate for 2014. Their total estimated appopriation is a little over $10,864,000. So with a population about 58 times larger than DC, they are getting about 74% of the total funding that DC is receiving.

And this is why per capita is such a good way to compare such things. So yay, wow!! DC in general is doing good, comparing apples to apples. But per capita often requires context to be able to make sense of such comparisons, as these kind of things are not that simple.

Have you looked at this report? What would you say about any of the numbers I pulled out above, or any of the other findings in the appropriations preview.

Share your thoughts and observations, conclusions and questions in a comment,

- JR

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Burning Man's Brainchild

So, this actually might be my favorite photo of those I took, of an art project at Burning Man this year.


by: michael christian
from: Berkeley, CA
year: 2015
Brainchild embodies two of the elements of creative exploration i love most- celebrating the inquisitive spirit of play and exploring the plurality of forms that can be expressed through biologically inspired shapes and patterns found in nature.
Read more here.

Anyway, just wanted to share.

Did you go this year? What were some of your favorite pieces?

- Nexus

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Burning Man's not just this thing in the desert

With all the commotion about that thing in the desert coming up, it's about much more than that. I thought this one part from the Regional Contact section on the Burning Man website spoke to this particularly well:

"It’s great to want to produce the next big Regional event, but there is so much more that can be done to help bring people together and share the Burning Man spirit and ethos in the world. We seek to work with Regional Contacts who have an interest in bringing local burners together to engage in social or civic projects that benefit the local community, for example – the sort of interaction that reaches far beyond parties or events."

So, yeah, we're taking ourselves there, to this temporary experiment of a city in the middle of nature, but it's just as much (if not more so) about what we bring back. Keeping this in mind as I think about throwing my own name in the proverbial hat, to be considered as a Regional Contact for the DC area.

- Nexus

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Wired warning abut Spotify's new privacy policy

Spotify logoDo you use Spotify?

Have you read the new privacy policy? If not, you might want to check out this piece at Wired, to get the cliff notes:
A new privacy policy that is now in effect, and it turns out that the company wants to learn a lot more about you and there’s not much you can do about it. 
We encourage everyone to read the whole privacy policy before downloading the update or checking off the “Accept” box, but in case you have better things to do, here are some highlights from it.
Read those highlights here.

Fortunately, the piece lets you know what you can do about the updates. Unfortunately, it's not too much.

Also, when I asked if you read the privacy policy? Yeah, definitely a rhetorical question for most if not all people. It's okay...it's not like anyone has the time to read every single privacy policy update for EVERY piece of tech we use. In fact, several years ago The Atlantic reported on research done to calculate how long it would take to actually read the privacy policies we should.

Guess how long: 25 days out every year...without sleep. It would take 76 days if you limited your privacy policy reading time to 8 hours a day. Granted this includes the privacy policies on however many websites people use in about a year, which I honestly didn't even think about until reading the article.

So, Spotify has a new privacy policy. BBE News reports that some users have already left Spotify because of this:
Minecraft creator Markus Persson, aka Notch, tweeted to his 2.4m followers that he has cancelled his account.
Read more about Spotify's reasons and users' reactions here.

And there you have it. Out of curiosity:

Any other thoughts you have on the new privacy policy? Share 'em in the comments,

- JR

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Ten Favorite Burning Man Videos

So, after sharing some of my favorite Burning Man videos with a couple of friends tonight, and with 10 days to go until that thing in the desert, I thought I'd share 10 of my favorite ones on YouTube.

Check 'em out, in mostly chronological order by uploaded date, except for the two from the "Spark: A Burning Man Story" documentary; those are in the order they appear in the film. And if you have about an hour and ten minutes, you can scroll straight to the bottom if you'd like to view a single playlist of all 10.

What - Burning Man 2011 HOME
Who - Stefan Spins
When - September 10, 2011
Runtime - 5:06

What - Oh, the Places You'll Go at Burning Man!
Who - Tedshots
When - January 6, 2012
Runtime - 7:09

What - DREAM - Art & Culture of Burning Man
Who - Spark: A Burning Man Story
When - July 2, 2013
Runtime - 13:44

What - Burning Man 2013 [by drone]: In the Dust, Above the Dust
Who - Tugrik d'Itichi
When - September 1, 2013
Runtime - 4:15

What - Burning Man 2013 - Burn // Ellie Goulding
Who - Kien Lam
When - September 17, 2013
Runtime - 3:56

What - Scene from "Spark: A Burning Man Story" with Original Song "Let It Go" by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Who - Spark: A Burning Man Story
When - December 17, 2013
Runtime - 2:03

What - Clip from Spark: A Burning Man Story with Missy Higgins "We Ride"
Who - Spark: A Burning Man Story
When - November 11, 2013
Runtime - 3:02

What - Charlie Goes to Burning Man
Who - jan beddegenoodts
When - August 20, 2014
Runtime - 15:36

What - Department of Mutant Vehicles :: Project LOVE
Who - Burning Man
When - May 12, 2015
Runtime - 5:27

What - Magical sunrises at Burning Man / "Dawn of the Burning Sun" sunrise concert
Who - House of Dayburn
When - July 28, 2015
Runtime - 9:51

Hope you enjoy this selection. Definitely not the 10 greatest videos, just the ones that I've connected the most with personally.

And IF you'd like to see them all in a row (as mentioned at the top of the post), you can do so at this playlist below.

What are some of your favorite Burning Man videos? Share 'em in the comments below,

- Nexus