True, we were not going door to door with donation cans, but the vigilance it took by so many of you, to encourage your friends and colegas to pledge, to keep sending out the word, posting and posting, felt as demanding as that. And I thank you. I thank all of you here who have supported this campaign. Some of you, I know, really pledged beyond your budgets. It meant a great deal to me, to us.
In our *52-*day campaign (the NEW FIRE number), we raised over $27,000! And, in the process, you have helped to fund actual jobs for people of color artists — musicians, visual artists, designers, and choreographer — in a Xicana/Indigenous/Queer project. (There is a kind of timely and connected importance to this, I think: this show of an alternative approach to capital-raising in solidarity with young people in Oakland hell-raising in opposition to capital greed.)
What has been most moving to me about this campaign is to have a concrete way to witness the network of support NEW FIRE was generating even before the work has been even fully produced. Amazing. This tells us as artists that — contrary to popular belief — there is an audience for the culture of these ideas, images, and inquiries; and that this public expression of it has been a long time in coming. (Celia Herrera knew this from the beginning.) I, for my part, am awed by the challenge, it’s a lot to live up to; but in true collaboration, it’s all possible. As playwright-director, I enter this process with a cadre of inspired and committed artists, deeply grounded in shared aesthetic and political vision.
In closing, I want to thank the cihuatl productions board for their engaged support; Adelina Anthony for her steady humor and for designing the Kickstarter campaign strategy with creativity and constancy; and Emily Encina, our videographer, who created the video portraits of the New Fire artists that served our campaign so powerfully.
And all we need to do now is to leave the virtual world and move into the actual theater. We begin early rehearsals this Friday and we look forward to seeing you in those theater seats with familia and friends in January. Please continue to stay updated on our play process, the line up of post-show speakers, the special group offers, etc. by visiting our cihuatl productions fan page or website: https://cihuatlproductions.org/. And mark “attend” on the “New Fire” Event page on Facebook.
En gratitud, Cherríe
P.S. The photo is of our choreographer, Alleluia Panis, celebrating at Teotihuacan the success of the campaign!