FEAST: gourmet food meets art project crowdfunding

As the event announcement states: “FEAST hamilton is a new community micro-funding event and is looking for Artists Project Proposals.  FEAST  (Funding Engaging Actions and Sustainable Tactics) is a series of community dinners and micro-funding events that bring people together with the aim of supporting local projects through funds raised at each FEAST event.

Jen and I went and it was a really fun event – and I learned a lot about how artists present and saw how some strengths and weaknesses influenced the final vote. I’ll talk about those in a sec. I took some photos, posted below, and I apologize for my name being in the bottom right. That was an oversight from a new process.

Grazyna Ziolkowski

Artist and ceramic art studio owner Grazyna Ziolkowski presents her work in support of working with kids and growing beans.

Each one of us received a list with six artists names, who would be presenting projects we could vote on at the end. Aside from costs, the entire funds raised went to the artist and the organizer’s anticipated $500. The actual amount ended up being just over $800.

Marco D'Andrea

Audio artist Marco D’Andrea presents his project at FEAST 01. It was a very cool vintage equipment sound installation in a car and presented at the “Electric Eclectic Festival”. I may go.

It was fun sitting with some new people and even a couple of the artists. This sort of format and social funding in the arts here has not happened before and there was an excited buzz in the air, and an excited rumbling in our stomachs as the food was in the next gallery over. Tickets sold out for this, and I think this sort of format has a very bright future within the arts community. OK, I know it sounds like a cheesy quote from the Hobbit, but I really got a  “jolly fellowship” vibe from the whole thing.

Andrea Carvalho

Hamilton Artists Inc Director and FEAST 01 co-organizer Andrea Carvalho explains how things work. 10 Minutes per presentation. That’s it. No questions.

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What we noticed about some of the proposals is that there never a complete “who, what, where, why, when” picture of the projects. Even if you don’t have confirmed place, you should specify a date and place that is the goal of the work being supported. There was some nice overviews of some studio work or other successful projects, but no “and this is exactly what we are going to do with it with the money you give us”.  In terms of the audience judging this, that seems worthy and genuine but it’s too broad.

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It’s was of no surprise to me that Chris McLeod won – he has a great deal of work done on a crazy-ass steampunkish bicycle power water purification contraption. He stated he wanted finish the machine with some specific materials. He was going to take it to festivals and concerts so people would be able to connect to our use understanding of water. That was a the clearest, most demonstrable and destination / time-frame specific proposal of the night.

Jon Grosz

Jon Grosz

I must admit I was imagining my own proposal and what I would say and show in 10 minutes. They say they’ll have two a year, and I suspect it will be even more popular – especially to present. I hope I still get a chance and would think more events like it should pop up on the landscape. Hopefully.

Jon Grosz

It was interesting that two of the names on the list were representing a collective of artists. Jon Grosz showed us the work of his colleagues.

Chris Fergusan from HAVN

Chris Fergusan from HAVN

Congratulations Chris McLeod!

Congratulations Chris McLeod!

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