Monday, August 26, 2019

The State of Stone Soup, 8-26-19

TL;DR: Stone Soup's FINAL gathering at the Cathedral of Saint Paul will be this Thursday on August 29. 

Stone Soup gatherings will start up  again every WEDNESDAY starting on September 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Assemblage Gallery at 70(a) Sleeper Street, a part of the Fort Point Arts Community. Email me if you want to be a part of that first day.

It has been over a year since any "official" report on Stone Soup Poetry. I haven't had much I've wanted to share. Until today.

For all my hopes, and all the church did to make us feel welcome, our St. Paul location never became a "hot spot" for poetry. Not with our spot being inside a church basement. Reading in one of the cathedrals was nice when it happened, but it could never happen enough.

Even with featured poets, our audience never grew beyond our few but proud regulars. If only that would have paid the rent.

For all my work last year, I allowed other people to take on other duties. That alone is not a problem, but I also didn't take time to have anyone explain to me how the new system worked. A couple of months ago, I finally found out that not only was the rent higher than I first thought, but that the colleagues who were responsible for finding this location were also paying for the rent partially out of their own pockets.

This was unacceptable. I took what was the left of the Stone Soup "bank" to pay off my friends. So Stone Soup started with a clean slate (i.e. broke) yet again. But in our current location, with barely enough money to cover rent (thanks to generous donations by dear friends), we haven't had enough to bring in feature poets, which has caused our venue to stagnate quite a bit.

This should all change next month.

The picture above me is the Fort Point Arts Community's Assemblage Gallery. This will be Stone Soup's new home, starting Wednesday, September fro 6:30 to 8:30, continuing every Wednesday until further notice.

It's less than ten minutes walking from South Station and is near at least one bus stop. If you need a marker, it's directly across from the Barking Crab restaurant.

The inside of the gallery is wonderful and spacious, filled with art from Fort Point members. It's an exciting location, and it will feel good to read poetry in a gallery once again. I can't wait to share this place with you next month.

I spoke at length with Kelly Pedersen Fort Point's Director of Marketing and Operations. Throughout our extensive Q and A, all the right boxes were checked.

Stone Soup events will be free to the public, though we will ask for donations to pay the poets.

Stone Soup will be able to keep all our equipment there.

There are plenty of chairs already purchased for audience members. They even have a back kitchen and fridge if we ever want to hold special events.

We will be able to use whatever equipment they have (chairs, audio hookups, projector screen, etc) provided we clean up after ourselves.

Given that the gallery is located in a business district, street parking should be available most days after five (especially as the summer ends).

Fort Point's people want us to be as involved with the gallery as possible. There is an open arts studio later this year, which I want Stone Soup to be part of.

They offered us Monday nights, but in the last few years, Mondays have become bad for me. This is why we are moving to Wednesdays nights from 6:30 to 8:30 for the first three months before Kelly and I meet up and see if this is working out for us.

There is a chance that our Wednesday meeting may have to be moved to a different day if someone offers money to rent out the gallery. If this should happen, Ms. Pedersen should let us know about a month in advance.

Best of all, Fort Point will help to promote our events to the public. if all goes well, this will be the first time I have support in online promotion since I first took on Stone Soup in 2005. Of course this excites me the most.

I would like to hit the ground running in September and have features again, but with no more "bank," this may be tough. I've considered starting a Stone Soup Gofundme just to get a few hundred dollars to get us going again. But if enough people want to come and check out the new space in September, I may not have to. Please let me know if you're interested.

I appreciate everyone trying to keep up with Stone Soup's constant moving since 2018. I hope this new move excites you. I hope you want to be involved. I hope to see you in the audience on September 11 at The Assemblage.

1 comment:

nancy morgan-boucher said...

Good Luck, Chad! Sounds right!
Nancy Morgan Boucher