Clay & Paper's Night of Dread Oct. 29

Night of Dread

Dufferin Grove Park
Saturday, October 29, 2011

4-6PM: Gathering

6PM: Parade

7:15PM – Fire Circle

Learn the fire circle chant:

“We laugh at fear, And we laugh at death, And we’ll laugh at you, ‘Til our very last breath, Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

8:30PM: Celebration with Lemon Bucket Orkestra

Dress Code: Black & White & Dreadful

Pay-What-You-Can/ $10 Suggested Donation

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Speaking up on behalf of aboriginal children

Today the Winnepeg Free Press reported that “Child rights’ advocates are hoping to shame the federal government into improving the treatment of aboriginal children.The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the ecumenical group KAIROS are asking the United Nations to ensure that Ottawa gives the same services to aboriginal children as it does to other Canadians.

In a report prepared for the United Nations committee on the rights of the child, the groups say government funding for health, education and child welfare is much lower on reserves than off.

As a result, they say native kids often lack the basic necessities of life.

They point out that Canada signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its performance is under review right now.

When I served on the Lieutenant Governor’s Steering Committee on Aboriginal literacy, I saw first hand the problems faced by Canada’s First Nations children. One of the first things I learned was that money was only a part of the problem. The fact that funding lags behind educational and social welfare funding for children in the rest of the province is a crime that must be addressed but in order for those dollars to be targeted and used accountably, there has to be an untangling of bureaucratic snarls and more transparency.

One of the truths that I came to understand while meeting with representatives of band councils while developing the first summer literacy day camps, and spending last season working with Equay-wuk (Women’s Circle) is that liberal white guilt about children’s welfare in First Nations colludes with right-wing priorities to result in a “do-nothing” outcome. Well-meaning child welfare advocates too often allow themselves to be silenced because they feel that as white people, they cannot address First Nations issues, even when they know that education or child welfare dollars are not being used effectively in a community. There is not one set of problems with children’s welfare in First Nations communities. Because these communities are self-governing, the picture differs from community from community and it is important for decision-makers and social justice advocates to understand that it is not a “one-size fits all” solution. It is messy and complex and if we care about justice for these children we have to be prepared to listen and also be prepared to speak out.

Sometimes it takes more than a village to raise a child when that village is failing the child. Sometimes it takes a nation to care and not to be silenced because of some ancient mistakes made by some of our ancestors.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Virtual Beading Circle

Fantastic use of the internet to share craft knowledge across distances.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Ottawa Days of Action to End Canadian Involvement in Torture, October 24-26

Join the CSI: Ottawa Days of Action to End Canadian Involvement in
Torture, October 24-26
We Cannot Let Canadian Individuals and Institutions Get Away With

In addition to many reasons already listed (see http://
), here’s three more good reasons to join us:

1. CSIS and the RCMP, which were found to be complicit in the torture
of Canadians Abdullah Almalki, Maher Arar, Ahmad El Maati, and
Muayyed Nureddin while all were detained in Syria, have been silent
on their ongoing relationship with Syrian Military Intelligence,
which regularly engages in torture and is complicit in the mass
detentions and horrific acts of torture and murder that have been
taking place for years and which have intensified during 2011 in
response to demands for democracy.

Leading up to CSI Ottawa and during those three days, we will seek a
public statement from both agencies that they have (or will
immediately) break all ties with Syrian Military Intelligence and
that they will apologize for their past relationship with such a
blood-stained agency (as well as to those tortured with Canadian

2. A Libyan-Canadian citizen who was imprisoned and tortured for
eight years by the Gaddafi regime says that agents from the Canadian
Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) were among foreign agents who
interrogated him. Documents confirming this were found by members of
Human Rights Watch. See

This is of course a common practice that CSIS will partner with
brutal, torturing regimes such as Syria, Egypt, and Libya and then
claim that they “did not know” or “did not have available to them”
publicly available reports of systematic torture.

3. On 18 October 2008, Ivan Apaolaza Sancho was deported from Canada
by special charter flight, manacled hand and foot, and handed over to
authorities in Spain. The deportation was a bitter ending to a
fifteen month campaign in which the Basque man was imprisoned in
Montreal, denied the right to apply for refugee status, and
eventually deported – all on the basis of information that a Canadian
tribunal recognized was obtained under torture.

Members of the Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture raised
Ivan’s case across the province in 2008. Now, he faces a trial after
three years of detention in Spain, and could be jailed for 30 years.
More at

The culture of impunity around Canadian involvement in torture is
widespread. Officials in numerous government agencies complicit in
the torture of Canadian citizens, refugees and permanent residents
continue to proceed with the dangerous assumption that when it comes
to torture, whether “direct or indirect,” they can get away with it.
While Canadians were rightly upset that the government did not arrest
visiting individuals who are proudly complicit in torture (such as
Dick Cheney and George W. Bush), we also need to focus on the fact
that officials here in Canada continue to engage in policies and
decisions which result in the most unimaginable of human rights abuses.

CSI Ottawa is an attempt to remind the public, and the government,
that they cannot get away with their involvement in torture, and that
our exercise of direct democracy and seeking accountability will not
end until permanent changes are made.

Join CSI Ottawa: Ending Canadian Involvement in Torture
Organized by Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture, a wholly realized
subsidiary of the Homes not Bombs network,

TASC mailing list

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Commonsense Social Media for Small Arts Orgs

A few Do’s and Don’t’s about Social Media for artists and small arts orgs

Do remember to include in your plan all your skills that are relevant to a successful social media campaign
You’ve been talking to your supporters, colleagues and audience for a long time and you know them and their interests better than anyone. You also are skilled at reaching out to them creatively and inexpensively. For pete’s sake, you are artists! Those skills will be key in making your social media campaign a success!

Don’t be phony in your social media voice
Social media is … well… social. It’s got a tone like talking to your neighbours about your work today. Your neighbours and friends will be delighted to hear your voice saying “here’s what we’ve been working at in the studio today” in your own voice. Having that voice delegated to someone outside your company will feel phony and insulting to them. If it feels like a trick in social media, people turn off.

Do have the confidence to run your own social media campaign
The best social media campaign is grass-roots, just like you started your arts organization.

Don’t feel you have to spend big bucks on a social marketing professional
No social media “guru” knows your art and your audience like you and your staff do. So what if they have 2,000 Twitter followers, are they relevant to you, or just other social media gurus all jabbering to each other with re-cycled tweets and links?

Do take the time to blog yourself
I know you don’t have the time, but you know the best blog-posts are short ones. Here’s some good tricks. A photo is worth 1,000 words. Snap photos with your cellphone or digital camera and post to your blog with a small comment. Tumblr is a great platform for quickie bloggers. If you are more of a talker than a writer, make brief voice recordings and ask someone to transpose them as blog posts. Or, make a time to sit down once a week with someone in your organization who does like to write and give him or her a list of things to interview you on. Or just have a chat and record it. A 30-60 minute meeting about what’s going on with the company right now should yield a week’s worth of blog posts that can be timed for daily release.

Don’t let a staff member turn the Artistic Director into a sock puppet
If a post is listed as being from the Music Director or AD, it really should be that person’s words. To charge a staff person to write on your behalf without input or approval isn’t fair to them or you.

Do make meaningful connections with colleagues and organizations with common-cause.
Guest write for your colleague’s blog and share your posts with organizations that will be interested for example your post on set-construction with an umbrella theatre organization or your post on financial planning with an arts administration website. Ask your colleagues to post to your sites. Include the news from other organizations in your tweets and Facebook updates.

Don’t be territorial in social media
If all you tout in your blog, facebook page or twitter stream is your own news, you will be preaching to the choir instead of reaching new audiences.

Do listen to your followers and engage with them
Social media is social, so a part of every social media campaign should be to spend a little time reading what your followers are saying: about you, about other arts organizations, and about things in general. Comment, re-tweet, and thank them for their favorable mentions of your organization.

Don’t be a broken record
You wouldn’t invite your neighbour to a party and then invite them again, and again, and again, using the same message, would you? So invite and follow-up in social media much as you would in other media.

Do use more than one social media that is relevant to your company
As a suggestion, pick one blog platform to share your news in greater length than a twitter post or Facebook update allows. Create a Facebook group for your followers to publicize events. Use a photo site like Flickr or Picasa to host photos & slideshows and a video site like YouTube for video snippets. You may or may not find the social aspect of the photo & video sites useful. But embedding photos in blogs and Facebook posts enlivens them. Finally use Twitter to connect followers in short news bursts to your content in blogs and Facebook. As you develop your social media campaign you will find other tools to use, but no one tool will make effective use of your social media time or effectively distribute your news.

Don’t get too enthusiastic about linking and automating your social media messages
As we’ve seen different social media platforms have different uses and formats. A 140 character twitter post sounds brief and possibly rude when repeated on Facebook, so be thoughtful about linking media. Auto welcoming followers used to be recommended but has become so prevalent that many people regard this as spam and will unfollow anyone who uses the tools. Services that spam followers with auto quotes are fairly universally despised and will lose you followers.

Do use buffer apps to time distribute your posts.
You may want to do all your social media posts at one time of day and all your blog posts one day a week, but many posts at one time will bore your audience and also not reach some potential followers. Twitter streams are one place where people only are likely to see the posts made in the last hour, so use a buffer to send your tweets over the day (twitter is probably the only social media where you can repeat a key message like an event reminder). Facebook posts can also be spaced through the day. (I use ) and you can choose whether blog posts will be published now or at a future date.

Do remember that the message of your company is important
Probably only the artistic director and/or senior management can really articulate key messages about projects, mission and artistic direction of the company. Identify the person or people within your company who will craft the social media messages. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the plan and will follow-through.

Don’t give the social media job to the intern
The intern may be able to Facebook up a storm about their keg stand at the party last night but that doesn’t mean they know how to tell your story to your key audience. Interns can help but don’t leave them in charge of the process or be prepared to accept the results.

Do use your grassroots skills in building up your number of followers
Hey you built your mailing list & email list from 0 to thousands, right? How? By asking people who visited your website to join the mailing list right? By capturing Box Office data, by asking people to enter contests and by asking people to save money, save the trees by signing onto your email list instead. When you have events, that’s the time to ask pe
ople to join your Facebook group or follow you on twitter. Make it easy with slips of paper they can take away, inserted in programs or available in the lobby on info tables.

Don’t get greedy
Don’t try to build followers by following hundreds of random individuals. They won’t stay and aren’t relevant to your success. In the worst case scenario you could lose your account through being listed as a spammer. Having 100 followers who actually come to your events is better than having 3000 followers with only 25 actually coming to your events.

Do give incentives
You know how to do this! Give potential social media contacts incentives by running contests for free tickets or other goodies available only to Twitter followers or Facebook Friends (but don’t make these goodies valuable enough to annoy other contacts).

Do evaluate your social media plan
How are you doing? Did you sell out a show using just Facebook? Are you getting more re-tweets of your news? How many lists is your twitter stream on? How many mentions did you get on Twitter last month? How many blog visitors have you logged (Google analytics or site-tracker have good tools).

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away
A good social media campaign is not going to happen over-night for most of us. It is slogging work like building a mailing list. If you are not seeing results after a few months you may need to fine-tune your plan, discover why your blog posts and updates are not engaging & growing your audience.

Do remember the goal
You want to deepen the engagement of your existing audience with your company so that they will be more likely to support you by increased attendance and financial contribution. Plus, you want to reach new audiences– while spending less money on advertising and postage. You also want to be able to brag about how efficient and green your company is in achieving these goals.

That’s pretty hot stuff so it’s worth some work, right?

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

Metropolitan Opera Company breaks fundraising record

The New York Times reports: “In the warren of Met administrative offices, the people who run one of the world’s busiest opera houses had something else to applaud: a record amount of contributions for the fiscal year that ended in July. According to preliminary figures released for the first time, the Met hauled in $182 million, an astonishing amount in a tough economic climate and 50 percent more than it raised just the year before.”

In arts offices around the world, questions are being asked about this outcome. Is this an endorsement for the Metropolitan Opera’s revolutionary electronic distribution in theatres; a vote of confidence for their current artistic direction; or simply the effect of donor behaviour–backing core arts groups in hard times?One major donor David Knott agrees with the electronic distribution policy saying it was a decision that “if we can’t bring people to the opera, let’s bring opera to the people”. He put his money where his mouth was in making a $500,000 one-time gift and pledging a bequest to the company through it’s planned giving program. Electronic distribution certainly seems to be a way to follow the market. In its 2003 study “The Magic of Music”, the Knight Foundation found that while 60% of Americans listened to classical music, only 5% had ever entered a concert hall. Listening to classical music is not declining, going to concert halls is declining. Smart, business-minded donors like David Knott will be more inclined to invest in arts organizations that make decisions soundly based on audience trends, it would seem.

In a time when 2 out of 3 arts organizations have sustained a decline in income, the phenomenal success of the Metropolitan Opera in increasing its donations has to be seen as tied to the most significant new part of its program, the electronic distribution of opera in theatres. This fact should be an encouragement to those trying to pioneer new methods of distribution and electronic outreach initiatives. From my own work in virtual music, I know that resistance to new forms of distribution seems like a brick wall at times, but smart donors are rewarding those arts organizations bold enough to break through to reach their audiences outside the concert hall.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers