Hello friends and fans of the written and performed word. If we haven’t met already, I’m Justin Hudnall, the Executive Director of So Say We All, and I’m coming to you this winter for the most important of reasons: we want presents.
One of the biggest challenges to running an arts non-profit has been learning to ask our community for financial support. However, as my Board of Directors likes to incessantly remind me, we’re suffering from a distinct lack of trust funds.
Thanks a lot for being a working single mother, mom!
But I’ve come to realize over the last five years of doing this that asking for money from our community is actually a very important part of how this non-profit arts thing works, or is supposed to work. Because besides the fact that we love presents, this exchange is one of the ways that let us know if what we’re doing is relevant to you and your happiness.
If only taxes worked the same way, am I right? That’s the extent of the political humor portion part of the pitch.
So because I believe in our mission so strongly, I’m going to make the case without the use of so much as a cute animal to manipulate your emotions. Ready? Here goes:
So Say We All is a nearly entirely volunteer-run organization, maintained by people who genuinely beleive their lives are made better by having us a part of it. That’s important, because non-profits by their very nature are supposed to serve the public interest, and while some do this better than others, this is something So Say We All does very well.
Each and every month, we’ve produced VAMP and Long Story Short storytelling showcases, Greenroom Writers Workshops–all of which ANYONE, and we mean, ANYONE can participate in and all of which are absolutely completely free–worked to help connect local writers to fellowships and publishing opportunities, and supported other organizations whose work we believe in like Combat Arts and Rising Arts Leaders.
We’ve built partnerships with San Diego Public and Oceanside Libraries to launch the Veteran Writers Program and Masterclass series, and hosted the Fillipino American Writers Showcase. We’ve cozied up to Southwestern and City Community Colleges to bring our programming to their students. And we’ve even begun talks with KPBS to try and bring more original local programming to public radio.
Which brings me to why it’s so important to support So Say We All: it’s not just about keeping us going–although my cat Lana would appreciate it if I can continue to provide her with the one specific brand of kibble numnums she’s willing to eat–it’s about what kind of city you want to live in.
We believe a truly great city doesn’t just have stuff for its residents to shell out cash to go see, it’s a place that strives to be known for making great art and supporting the people who make it. That takes a community to supports its artists and help connect them to the larger, scarier world beyond. That’s the foundation of what we provide, because good art starts with a good story and you are our partners in this venture, not just our audience.
So please donate, help spread the word, and as always, thanks for making San Diego a city we want to live in.
PS: If nothing I just said motivated you in anyway, one last thing. I’m going to keep my cat wearing a pair of plushy reindeer antlers, which she hates, until we reach our goal. So if you love animals, give to So Say We All.