How can the funding process be it’s own creative medium and probe at the deeper concepts of my project?
Chris Lynch, my neighbor, has been making wine in his garage for the last 9 years. He was more than happy to combine his interest in turning his wine-making skills into a business with fundraising for my project, 100 Strong. Chris has been a resident for over ten years and wanted to collaborate to create an opportunity for longtime residents to come together with newer inhabitants of the block.
As a team, we refined his offerings, among them a yearlong private wine making venture, to approach Google. In San Francisco, Google’s buses have become the symbol of many negative stereotypes of technology workers impact on transitioning neighborhoods. Developing a relationship with Google to fund my project that examines those transitions felt both synchronistic and fitting. The fundraising team conducted wine tastings from Chris’s private reserve at both Google offices in San Francisco and Mountain View. Among the tasting’s attendees, were a few employees who worked to recruit neighborhood ambassadors to build Google maps, essentially using technology to build community.
Chris and I sat down for a series of sessions to build the business side of his passion, including business basics of branding, licensing, and refining his pitch. As fundraising continues, Chris continues to build his business. Processing the recently harvested grapes, Chris reflected, “Working with you Maggie has helped me see my winemaking as part of what makes me an artist” Ultimately, the team’s attempt to use Chris’s winemaking skills to raise money in Spring and Summer of 2014 were unsuccessful. The process and the new relationships within the fundraising team are continuing to evolve.