Monday, December 19, 2011

Sonic Bloom Fundraising Efforts. Thank you!

Hey everyone,
So many people have asked “What’s up with the CD recording Karen?”
These days it has been a balancing act between my phone solicitation job, freelance graphic design jobs, selling items for the holidays and gigs.
In addition to this, I have been working on an individual fundraising drive and applying for grants to support the recording of Sonic Bloom.

Great News!-Just this past week I received $250 in individual donations! So far I have raised over $1300 in individual donations. Thanks to everyone who has help make this seemingly impossible venture seem very possible! I would like to thank all of my donors so far, and everyone who has helped with time and talent, and moral support.

Just writing to let you know what progress I have made.  Hopefully this info will inspire you to donate, before the end of the year.
Since donations to support Sonic Bloom are tax deductible, its a WIN-WIN situation—because you can claim donations on your 2011 tax return as a donation to the arts.

Donate here:

Donate By Check: Make checks payable to: Artspire, A Program of NYFA.
Write “Sonic Bloom” in subject line.    Mail to: Karen Hudson, PO Box 272 New York, NY 10034.

There really aren’t any other artist that play my kind of music who are fiscally sponsored by Artspire (a program of NYFA). In the performing arts area its usually theatre, dance, classical and jazz musicians who apply for funding in this way. Consequently, there really isn’t a lot of funding available for my kind of music. Musicians of my stripe are likely to go with a Kickstarter fan funding drive, which is terrific, and has worked beautifully for so many. Of course, I HAD to be different and choose this route, mainly because, while I dislike asking friends for money, I am pretty good at writing grant proposals!

The timeline for recording:
-We should start in Feb. or March. I am hoping for a CD release by June.
- I would like to do a full band recording, but that depends on how much money I raise.
  If I raise $16,000, The Karen Hudson River Band will do the studio full band live studio recording and would involve 13 days live tracking at Cowboy Technical, which employs the producer and 2 engineers and a cavalcade of stellar musicians.

Plan B is still a good thing, maybe even better! That will comprise of half recording with Eric Ambel (the fabulous producer) at his home studio, and half with the musicians at Cowboy (Eric still at the helm) Either way it will sound like a fabulously rootsy rock record, and I consider myself honored to be included in his super busy schedule.

On the fundraising front:
Technically, I am not allowed to pay into the fund for my project through NYFA, who is handling the financial paper work, holding the donations I receive, and cutting checks for the vendors (the producer and the band).
But I can pay for things separately from Artspire. I will probably pay for a publicist ($1000), and maybe a radio promo person($1000), mastering ($600) and more.

-I am applying for a few more grants. The first one I received was for $5000 (!) from the Sparkplug Foundation. What a great honor! Their mission is to fund a very select political interest in the middle east, grassroots community building programs and—voila!-- music projects.

-I also received $250 from New York Foundation for the Arts, (Strategic Opportunity Stipend, or SOS). The criteria for that grant is that I have to describe my
 “unique” opportunity, which, for me,  recording with Eric certainly is, since my last 2 CD’s were self produced. I applied for $1500, and received $250. That is how the game goes.

-In Jan. I will get an ASCAP Plus check for $150.  ASCAP has a large fund for artists like me who are members, and don’t get much radio play.
 I just have to apply, along with many other songwriters, and tell them when and where I have been playing my music, and they almost automatically send out $150 to those who do. Sadly, any other funding they do is for “young” musicians. That counts me out, being a woman of a certain age.

Thumbs down...
-I did however apply for a grant with the Open Meadows Foundation—The Patsy Lu Fund for Women’s Music Projects. I thought, that by the name alone, and my love for Patsy Cline, that it was an omen, and I was a shoe-in...not so! This is a small fund, and they had other obligations. Onward and upward!

This month!

-I hope to receive $2000 from Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, which funds “new work.” In addition, I have to promise to do a live performance of the work in the community, which should be fun! I proposed a songwriting workshop for kids at the Fort Washington Library. I will use the book I wrote “Songwriter Journal (Scholastic) as the basis for the lesson in creating titles, song structure, and rhyming. Please say a little prayer that this happens!

-The next 2 grant proposals I write will be for the Puffin Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.
 Puffin’s mission is to fund artists whose work would not normally get exposure or funding.
 Jerome’s is to fund those artists who are risk takers. This one is a long shot because there is a lot of avant garde art and performance that takes much bigger risks than I! Weird artsy stuff!  But they offer large monetary values (ahem, BIG money). Cross your fingers!

Anyway—thanks for reading thus far. I hope you found it somewhat interesting!
Please consider being a part of this exciting opportunity!

I will let you know when recording begins.
Karen Hudson

Many thanks,
Karen Hudson, musician
Fiscally sponsored by Artspire, a program of the New York Foundation of the Arts