I sat down with my Campaign Action Force yesterday for a nine-hour meeting. While fine tuning the original 12-step program to recovery into more well-developed and practically shaped policies (which will be released soon), we began to discuss how we would go about raising money for a New York City Opera in financial straights. We will need to raise money, and we will need to do it fast and well.
But NYCO’s most recent fund-raising initiative, “I Am City Opera,” is highly problematic, and, as we’ve said before, embarrassing.
Now, my Campaign Action Force, knowing that it will be necessary for our administration to ask for money–it isn’t the ask itself that is offensive, it’s how the ask happens in this video–we thought it would be a fine idea to make a good faith effort to raise some money for NYCO in a way that might be more passionate, less manipulative, and, in a word, more real. So, taking a cue from the Obama campaign, we set out on a text-message fund-raising campaign. Each member of the action committee sent out a text message to anyone in their cell phone address books. We have already received…$156.15 in pledges, and we expect more to come in today! I assure you that every dollar raised will be paid to the New York City Opera.
HOWEVER, some of these pledges are conditional, you know, on all those things that give us assurance that our hard earned money is not going to go to waste on an organization that can’t get its shit together.
Below, please find some of the responses we’ve received from our own personal constituents:
“That’s intense the NYCO is having troubles, I myself am having my own little recession, I don’t think I won’t be able to help.”
“Ask NYC ballet for some money! JK ill C what I can…”
“One hundred bucks if you can show me it’s gonna do something.”
“Who is this? And how did you get my number?”
“R u kidding me? They fucked through a 20 million dollar endowment with their executive director. Get all the facts.”
“Thank you for this sweetie. I hope you aren’t mad@me. U know I serve on several arts committees and boards. My information is pretty straight away. Sorry. But I admire, respect, and am amazed by your activism.”
“Hey Babe. It is horrible about NYCO. I am out of town – will do what I can on my way back.”
“I got no cashish; flat broke & need a job!”
“I offer creative support! I will do a one-man version of ‘einstein’ for the upcoming season!!”
“What’s going on?”
“I’ll give you ten dollars when next we meet! Cast me mother fucker”
“I’m good for $20. Afterall, I am city opera.”
“I can perform outside ask for money from onlookers and give it to the theater?”
“Depends on who’s in charge”
“But NYCO needs to give reasons why it should survive. As of now it has no clear vision, mission or leadership.”
Since I am New York City Opera, I intend to restore that vision and leadership, and a mission, to the company. Your money, your passion and your faith in NYCO will not be wasted if I am appointed director.
Please post your responses. Give us your feedback. We want to make sure that a City Opera that is truly of/for/and by the people is listening to the voices of the people.
Let us know. We are listening.
The Counter Critic
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