For a second straight year, Sezio has been denied funding by San Diego County. Now we know the city and state have been hit hard with budget cuts, but we think we have a pretty strong case for a $5,000 dollar grant out of a 2.5 million dollar pot. Let me explain further:
Earlier this year we applied for San Diego County's Community Enhancement Program, which seeks to fund
"Cultural activities, museums, visitor and convention bureaus, economic development councils, and other similar institutions/organizations, including County programs and projects, which promote and generate tourism and/or economic development within San Diego County.
The project or "cultural activity" we specified in our application was a four night concert series held in East Village / Downtown San Diego. Those of you who attended last fall or saw one of the many videos, know this was not your average music series. Set in a 3,000 square foot warehouse turned giant living room and art installation, Four Day Weekend hosted intimate performances from eight emerging California-based bands (5 from San Diego, 2 from San Francisco, and 1 from Los Angeles).
The performances were available to all ages (a very rare thing in San Diego's music scene). They were affordable, priced between $10 and $15 dollars. The total event drew over 1,000 people (each night had a 250 person capacity), but was seen by hundreds of thousands more. The above video, which was produced by Sezio's extremely talented media team, was featured on Pitchfork.com, the world's largest music blog. "Dodos: Live in San Diego" right on the top of Pitchfork.com's home page. This brands San Diego internationally. This is how Brooklyn became Brooklyn and how Portland became Portlandia.
Above that, we played the TOT game. The Transient Occupancy Tax, which funds the community enhancement program and also the city's commission for arts & culture, is funded by hotel rooms purchased in San Diego County. Sezio brought Hotel Indigo on as an event partner, we put the bands up at the hotel the night they played, and the hotel offered discounted rates to in-town and out of town attendees of the festival. We made sure to get press from Los Angeles-based blogs to let all of Southern California know they were welcome in San Diego for the weekend (see here). We also supported the local economy, hosting after parties at East Village establishments like Bar Basic.
So we thought we had a pretty strong argument asking for $5,000 dollars to host the event again this fall. We were mistaken. 2.5 million dollars was split up between anything that contained the words Museum, Theater, or Chamber of Commerce. Take a moment to browse the distributions list here. Many of the funded organizations are the same ones that contact us on a weekly basis, asking us to help them promote their events, partner with them on openings and performances because they recognize that Sezio has a direct connection to youth that are interested in arts & culture in San Diego.
We've gotten our peers to notice our service to San Diego, we've gotten the institutions to notice, now it's time for the government, the council members, the donors, and the foundations to take notice, and to help us continue our crucial role in San Diego's burgeoning creative community.
Here's how you can help! Please take the time to email four people for Sezio this week. Explain to them how much you love and rely on our website to experience local art and music. How much you've enjoyed attending or performing at our one-of-a-kind events. If these four people receive a couple hundred emails from Sezio supporters, they can't help but fund us when the next grant opportunities come around.
Ron Roberts - Supervisor, District 4 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Cox - Supervisor, District 1 - email@example.com
Todd Gloria - Councilmember, District 3 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Faulconer - Councilmember, District 2 - email@example.com
Title your email "Funding Request for Sezio, Inc.", and write them all at once. Copy firstname.lastname@example.org on there too...
Thank you sincerely for reading this, for taking the time to email in a petition for Sezio to be funded, and for reading our website, coming to our events, and for supporting art & music in San Diego. It means an incredible amount to all of us.
- Zack Nielsen (Sezio's Founder & Business Director)