Leaves of Grass - Illuminated by Patrick Scully
Fundraiser for Springboard for the Arts

Patrick raising money for Springboard for the Arts

Getting Patrick's show into the world! Especially Minnesota

From New York to Minneapolis, people love Leaves of Grass - Illuminated! *** 
Now is the time to get the show to smaller towns and cities!
I plan to go to 24 communities across Minnesota on the 2017/18 tour of Leaves of Grass – Illuminated.
The following year promises to be even more!

I am now setting up a second year of touring in 2018/19. I just put the word out, looking to find communities that might be interested in that tour. Within a week I have heard from 36 libraries (36!) that want to bring the show to their community on that tour, and people are still getting back to me. I may have to turn some requests down.

I have dedicated my life to performing work:
  • that gives LGBT people room to live our lives freely and openly.
  • that builds bridges between communities.

This touring project is more of that work. If you are reading this, you probably know this about me, either from my work as a performing artist, or from the work I did at Patrick’s Cabaret. I am asking for your help.

Here is how this particular touring project works. This summer I will apply again to the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) for support to tour Leaves of Grass – Illuminated in Minnesota, outside of the metro area, in 2018/19. Assuming I get funded again, the MSAB pays 75% of the tour cost.

So, the simple numbers: I charge $1000 for a show on the road, (that covers my performing fee and all my expenses: gas/travel, meals, motel/hotel, materials…). The MSAB requires their 75% to be matched with 25%. The 25% can come from anywhere: Me, the town, even you! When I applied last year, I raised almost all of that 25% myself, through efforts like this, asking my community for support. I managed to raise 24%. That leaves each venue to pay only 1% of my fee to perform there on the 2017/18. *

I hope to repeat this again now for the 2018/19 tour. To do that, my goal is to raise $240 per town, since it looks like I will have requests from at least 40 communities, I will need to raise about $10,000. I hope you will help me.

I use this "24%" strategy for 3 reasons:

1.     For venues: Charging such a low price for a highly regarded show makes this show extremely attractive for small venues around the state: like libraries, and independent bookstores. (Equally important in some cases, when considering local politics, that price makes it hard for anyone in town to argue that a “more conservative” or “family-friendly” show would be a better deal for the community.)

2.     For the application: Coming to the table with funds already raised from a broad community of supporters makes the application stand out when reviewed at the Arts Board. The MSAB application asks about support in the community. This shows a kind of support that surprises panelists, in a good way.

3.     To engage the communities I visit: In addition to asking you for support, I will ask 2017/18 tour audiences to make a donation, not to pay for the show that they are seeing, (somebody else already paid for that!) but to help pay for someone else in a different town in Minnesota, to see this show in 2018/19. Pay it forward.

I do this as part of a long-range vision: it should be as easy to be LGBTQ in all of Minnesota as it is in Minneapolis. I am talking complete equality, not only equal before the law, but equal in the eyes of everyone in every community.

If Minnesotans who live outside of the metro area have to come to the Twin Cities to see performing arts with queer content, then their communities suffer. Then LGBTQ people from Greater Minnesota don’t really get to be at home in Greater Minnesota, and straight people in Greater Minnesota don’t get to experience the richness of LGBTQ culture. I start from the premise that we all need to see ourselves reflected in the culture that surrounds us. If we don’t, it tends to make us feel crazy, not part of things. That’s why in the U.S. most LGBTQ people move to big cities, here in the Midwest, to the Twin Cities.

·      This covers the fee they pay me. Each venue still has to promote and present the show, and is responsible for those costs. I presented enough shows at the Cabaret over the? years to know that NO show happens for free, not even a free show.


*** [some responses to the show]  
 “Both Whitman and Scully are major figures; they contain multitudes.” (Village Voice)

                     “Patrick Scully was born to play Walt Whitman.” (Lavender Magazine) 

“Scully is the perfect caretaker for Whitman’s legacy.” (Minneapolis StarTribune)

"One of the most wonderful things I have seen in Minneapolis theaters over the last years....I recommend... this show not only because of its powerful text, beautiful acting, and stage/media arrangement, but especially because Leaves of Grass allows us to see how Patrick put his own literary scholarship on stage. His layering of archival language, literary text, and his own reading of both creates an absolutely marvelous glimpse into the life of literature!"  (M. W. M.    Ph.D. Student Germanic Studies)

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