2020: The year that has forced us all to reexamine healthcare, work/life balance, “essential” work, art—everything.
As we write this, our community is still sheltering in place to address the Coronavirus (COVID19) health pandemic. Families, small businesses, nonprofits, universities, K-12 schools, healthcare professionals, restaurants and retail—everyone is affected. At Play On Words, we’re hunkered down, trying to convert our in-person lesson plans to “virtual learning” and hiding out in the garage, working remotely while parenting small kids. It is at the corners of the day, the moments not dominated by news, work, or childcare, that we return to art as a salve. Netflix, yes, but also books, music, virtual museum tours, visual art—anything to remind us that humanity has survived so much already and we are capable of finding purpose and creating beauty, even in the hardest times.
Over the past few months, we have also taken this opportunity to shift our focus to longterm planning. Thanks to the support of Silicon Valley Creates, who referred us to a nonprofit consultant, we learned how to apply for fiscal sponsorship through Intersection for the Arts, a historic arts nonprofit that provides people working in arts and culture with fiscal sponsorship and resources to grow.
Part of Play On Words’ mission is to find ways to incentivize artists at all stages of their careers. Recent contributors know that we have been able to offer honorariums to participating actors and writers, thanks to our fall t-shirt drive. In 2015, a grant from the San Jose Downtown Association and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation allowed us to pay artists for two shows. By pursuing fiscal sponsorship with the Intersection for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) which allows us to offer tax deductions for contributions, this will also allow us to apply for larger grants in the future and gain access to artist resources.
We have often been asked by POW friends and fans how they can best support the work we do. Now, at last, we can point to you a central place where you can offer one-time or recurring donations. Any donations we receive will go toward future artist honorariums, space and equipment rental, administrative and technical resources (i.e. subscriptions to WordPress, DropBox, etc.
We recognize that this is a challenging time for the world and prioritize the health and well-being and of our community above anything else. If, at this moment in time, you are interested and willing in investing in our community, we gladly welcome your support.
When the world feels safer and healthier, we hope to return to regular programming in San Jose and beyond. If you have ideas for contributing your stories or art to the POWSJ community in the meantime, we are all ears. We’re open to guest submissions to this blog, visual art and music inspired by this historic time, links to livestreamed performances, etc.
We hope to see you all again, happy and healthy, from whatever distance is deemed safe, very soon.