Recently, San Diego-based arts nonprofit Sezio applied for a grant to help fund its massively popular Four Day Weekend event, but got the cold shoulder from the county.
According to a blog post on Sezio’s website,
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…
…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)…
…We thought we had a pretty strong argument asking for $5,000 dollars to host the [Four Day Weekend] 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.
Organization founder Zack Nielsen is asking interested parties — and there should be a lot of you — to email two City Council members and District Supervisors and tell them — nicely — how Sezio has helped you access the arts in San Diego. Nielsen’s hope is that next year, when Sezio tries for the grant again, it won’t be as easy to reject their application:
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 – email@example.com
Greg Cox – Supervisor, District 1 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd Gloria – Councilmember, District 3 – email@example.com
Kevin Faulconer – Councilmember, District 2 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Title your email “Funding Request for Sezio, Inc.”, and write them all at once. Copy email@example.com
In a comment to his blog post, Nielsen says, “My hope is that the city, county and foundations realize that they are overlooking an entire demographic of creativity in this city that needs support. There are dollars put toward youth education and inspiring kids to create, and then no means to support that creativity during their formative years… So one in a million makes it to the symphony, or gets to show work at MCASD? Sezio is the in between.”