Friday, May 6, 2011

Grace notes

The day begins with Ted and Mim and Steve Goodman with some of his board members from the Educational Video Center. The more we talk, the more we realize that their program of teaching young people to use video equipment to film documentaries of their neighborhoods and their lives is exactly what we want our Centre to be about. We are aware that we’ve got a finite amount of space and that sooner or later, choices will have to be made. We can’t keep offer the same spaces to different people in what Ted calls a kind of Madoff scheme. We actually start to explore different financial models. It’s time to move to making something happen.
The board members want to see the space, so I do another tour. Since Danielle has come, my schedule has grown very tight, so there’s little room for error. As we walk through, it’s easy to imagine classrooms, screening rooms, workplaces. Imagine the young people, their cameras, films.
I have to race to move my car. When I get back, Rochone is there. Time to dig into the June concert series. Time is very short. Stakes are high. We’ll have to sell 7-800 tickets to make it work. Need to focus on getting the word out.

Reality: we may have enough money to make it through the summer. Then..... I have to believe that pouring ourselves, pouring my self, into this must be right, will work. 
As we’re finishing our conversation, Stephen arrives to negotiate the agreement with Woodshed. Can we manage to get Woodshed and the Sacred Center in at the same time? Woodshed has produced an intriguing teaser video for the performance they want to produce here. As well as open a speakeasy in the back yard. While we’re negotiating, Rochone has brought in sound people to make an estimate.  
An older man and two women from the neighborhood walk in. Another case of never been in here before. But they fully understand and are sympathetic to exigencies, complexities and ambivalence of landmarks designation.  They marvel at the semi-ruined beauty. Wish us well. 
I take a deep breath. Start making phone calls, lining up musicians, hosts. Pulling in partners. The concerts to demonstrate what we intend to be, not just raise money. 

And in the middle of all this activity, a diminutive young woman from China and her mother have walked in.  She is auditioning for Juilliard tomorrow afternoon. She sits down at the Beckstein. Loves its sound. And for the rest of the afternoon settles into serious practicing.  Bach’s Little Minuet, Mozart’s Turkish Dance, a Beethoven sonata. Fingers going over the notes over and over and over again. She is the first to play the Beckstein since its been back home. her notes fill the air, becoming part of the space.  Her name is Grace. 

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