Friday, May 14, 2010

Call for Artists: Come to Sugar Mama!

Artist, Writers, Musicians, Performers: Need a way to bankroll your great idea?

Come to Sugar Mama!

We provide wholesome, hearty, home-baked, all-natural microfinancing for artists, and we put the fun back in funding.

What it is

Sugar Mama is a fun-hearted, unpretentious microfinancing event for visual and performing artists.

How it works

We host a cool party at the Myrtle Street Review Headquarters in West Oakland. We sell the tickets. You − and 5 other finalists − give a 10-minute proposal to show the audience your project. The party guests eat soup, drink beer, and vote on which project to fund. The winner takes the proceeds to fund a project. (Tickets sell for $25-35, and we expect to sell 40-50 tickets.)

What you get (if you’re a finalist)

If you win the vote, you’ll receive the evening’s proceeds to fund your project.

If you don't win, you'll still get to meet 40-50 really cool people who want to support artists, may be artists themselves, and are interested in getting to know you and your work.

How to enter

Send a brief proposal to sugarmamaparty at gmail dot com. Please cover all these bases:

  1. Your name
  2. Your contact info
  3. Tell us what you’ll do with your Sugar Mama grant (Include a general description of the project you’d like to fund and a list of items/supplies/services you’ll spend the money on and their estimated costs.)
  4. Give us a little background information about what you’ve been working on that led you to this project and how your idea unfolded.
  5. Include images, audio, video or a url that will give us a good sense of your general style and/or a project you’ve completed in the recent past.
  6. Paste or attach your artist’s resume/bio. (Your resume will not weigh heavily in the selection process. We’ll use it mainly to cull a few highlights so we can better introduce you to our guests.)

Entry deadline: June 3

Act now! The first 10 submissions will enjoy slightly higher priority.

What we’ll ask for later

We’ll ask the grand-prize winner to keep us posted with news and photos/video/web site of your project in progress and upon completion.

What’s the deal?

We’re not a public agency. We’re not a non-profit organization. We’re two well-connected individuals, Sussu Laaksonen and Kris Vagner, combining our resources. We heard about Sloup on NPR and promptly decided to copy the excellent concept.

Sugar Mama's mission is to make being an arts patron fun, easy and accessible to everyone and to fund cool projects quickly, easily, directly and democratically.

Sussu Laaksonen is a script writer with hundreds of hours of Finnish television programming and two screenplays to her credit. Currently she’s working on a Finnish feature film called “Like There's No Tomorrow” (Kuin viimeistä päivää) for Helsinki-Filmi, a TV series concept, and a feature project that's still a secret. Sussu’s IMDB credits are listed under Susanna Laaksonen, her legal name. You can reach her at sussubot at gmail dot com.

Kris Vagner is the former Co-owner and Programs Director of Fireplace Gallery in Reno. She specializes in connecting artists with new audiences and illuminating the inner-workings of artists, exhibits and arts institutions for a general readership. She covers San Francisco art and culture for the SF Examiner and has written for Oats Park Art Center, Johansson Projects Gallery, East Bay Express, The Oakbook, Reno News & Review, Neon, Ceramics Monthly and other publications. For links to recent articles, please visit You can reach her at kris at vagner dot net.

Why do we do it?

Brooklyn has FEAST. Portland has Stock. St. Louis has Sloup. We heard about Sloup on NPR’s Marketplace, drank some wine on Sussu’s roof and cooked up our own version of the party-as-arts-funding plan. Now Oakland has Sugar Mama.

We've been in the position of needing just a little funding to do something we believe in. We've also been patrons of the arts when we can afford it. We believe in supporting other artists and creating enthusiastic community. Sugar Mama is a way of bringing together the things we love to do, and some of the cool people we like to do them with.


We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at sugarmamaparty at gmail dot com.

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