Once again, short sleeve weather is upon us, we have daylight until after 6 pm, and our Element 11 artistic community is starting to heat up for the season. The Art Grant Committee spent the month of February pouring over all of the applications and had an extremely hard time whittling down about $60,000 in grant requests to the $32,000 we are able to award this year. A big THANK YOU to everyone who submitted an application this year; your visions are all amazing, and we wish we could fund them all. If your project was not offered funding this year, we hope you're not deterred from creating the wonderful things you want to make, and can't wait to see what you might submit in the future.
The diversity of work being brought to Element 11 this year is greater than ever and will set the stage for quite a spectacle at Stargazer Ranch this year. Some of the awarded projects are familiar favorites which are being reworked or refurbished for 2017 including the Tree of Light, H.A.L., and Auric Heart. The Crypsters will be adding to the great old-timey-with-a-twist atmosphere of their Saloon, and the JenkStars are busy making a brand new Solar Saucer 2.0. We're excited to see these stand-out projects continue to progress and can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves for 2017.
In addition to familiar projects that have become fixtures at Element 11 and elsewhere in our local scene, of course we're excited to see some awesome entirely new things on the way! The city will have a couple of new sound camp stages, a new social space or two to chill and make new friends, a couple new fire-effects artworks, even one project that makes artistic use of water! A huge marionette gorilla named Jungo Blizzard even will be seen rolling around the city.
I want to give a special mention to our youngest ever grant winner, Jaeden Plant, age 9. Jaeden is making and installing an optical illusion he's calling The Circle of Hypnotism. It's superb to see kids in our community getting involved in creating, and Jaeden is doing a great job. He puts in a lot of volunteer time too. Keep killing it Jaeden!
The first public announcement of our award winners was made on March 19th at stART, Element 11's annual Precompression event. We throw this event every year to give winners an opportunity to show their projects off to the community at large, recruit volunteers and collaboration, and to gather donations to help propel their ideas to the Big Time! We also unveiled our winning theme art contribution, provided this year by Tara Scape. Congratulations to her, and all our grant winners
listed here. Element 11 - Orpheum is shaping up to be an incredible event, and it's built entirely on the dreams and imaginations of everyone who contributes their incredible talents. Let's get to building!
- Matt Vagabond