$1145 to go. 59 hours left. Please pledge to our annual fundraiser.
This weekend is the final push for pledges.
We’d meet our goal of $7,000 if one of these things came true:
Each of our backers (64 total) encouraged one additional person to donate $17.89.
Every resident of Green River (953 people) pledged $1.20.
Everyone we sent a postcard to (200 people) pledged $5.73.
Each of our Facebook followers (440 people) pledged $2.60.
Each of our Tumblr followers (114 people) pledged $10.04.
Each of our Twitter followers (210 people) pledged $5.45.
Thank you all for your generous pledges. We’re honored to have such dedicated supporters.
“Rural America now accounts for just 16 percent of the nation’s population, the lowest ever.” (US Census) (link to full article)
Green River’s population (953) accounts for 0.03% of the state’s population. Emery County’s population (+/- 10,000) accounts for 0.4% of the state’s population.
Find your state’s data here.
One of our backers is serious about Epicenter reaching it’s goal of $7,000.
Today, they increased their pledge by $1,500 as a challenge! They say if we get $1,500 in pledges over the next three days, they’ll keep their pledge. If not, they’ll reduce it back to their original pledge.
So, basically, we’ve got a matching grant. If we get $1,500 in the next three days (through increasing your pledge or new backers), we really get $3,000. Then, we’re only $1,145 from our goal of $7,000.
Email your mom, dad, grandpa, sister…. everybody! We need your help!!!
August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a match flame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.
- Elizabeth Maua Taylor
We were thinking that September was going to be the month to beat, but it seems that August is going to give September a run for it’s money!
Future Frontier Fellow, Miles Mattison (San Francisco, CA), arrives next Tuesday. He’ll be here for a month. We’re looking forward to his photographic explorations of Green River.
Past crew member, Aimee O’Carroll (London, UK), will be here to visit and show her friend Green River Jult 28-Aug 3. We always love when our friends return… even if only for a brief few days.
Chris Lezama (Daly City, CA) arrives July 30th to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA, a position provided through the partnership with United Way of Eastern Utah and the City of Green River. He will focus on economic development instigation along with the development of affordable housing. He will work in the Epicenter. Epicenter provides $0 cost-share for this position. How awesome, right?!
Future Frontier Fellow, Nick Zdon (Twin Cities, MN), arrives on August 4th. He’ll be here for a month. We’re looking forward to his film explorations of Green River. Hopefully, he’ll show us how to use and/or restore an axe, too.
Future Frontier Fellow / Past AmeriCorps NCCC Team Leader, Danni Strauss (Seattle, WA) arrives August 11. He’l be here for 3 weeks. We’re looking forward to his explosive laughter and enthusiasm for Green River, Utah.
AND Past Fellow Charlotte X.C. Sullivan will be here August 15-20 for the installation of the Epicenter’s Antipode project billboard, which received a grant from the Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our crew will be at it’s peak for 16 days and nights. We’re calling those 16 nights “magical fun time love.” August 11 - 27, look out!
In other good news: Swaysey’s Beach has returned (we’ve been without the beach all summer due to flooding) and will be throughly enjoyed throughout August. Every. Weekend.
PDF available for download by clicking here.
Since 2009, the Economic Progress Instigation Center (“Epicenter”) has provided unduplicated services and assistance to our immediate local area, the town of Green River, Utah. In the semi-annual report that follows, we seek to highlight programs the Epicenter is able to offer through our partnerships with various governmental and non-governmental organizations.
A brief explanation and notes of eligibility requirements accompanies each program highlight. To best see if you are applicable, please visit us at our office at 180 South Broadway in Green River anytime Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. We’ll be glad to assist you in determining the opportunities available to you. Through the structure of our funding, we are able to offer most services and assistance at no cost to you.
The Epicenter is an equal housing and business opportunity center.
Housing Resources [Page 1]
Cottonwoods on the Green Apartments
Epicenter Tenant Recommendations
Housing Choice Vouchers (“Section 8”)
USDA, Rural Development Section 502 Home Loans
Habitat for Humanity
Single Family Rehabilitation and Renovation
Epicenter Design Department (Housing)
Business Resources [Page 2]
Epicenter Design Department
Rural Fast Track
USDA, Rural Development
Business Expansion and Retention
Social Resources [Page 3]
Department of Workforce Services
Financial Resources [Page 3]
Individual Development Accounts
This guy just strolled into Epicenter the other day. He collects stories. He just might be a genius:
Jonathan Harris (b. Aug 27, 1979) makes projects that reimagine how humans relate to technology and to each other.
Combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling, his projects range from building the world’s largest time capsule (with Yahoo!) to documenting an Alaskan Eskimo whale hunt on the Arctic Ocean (with a warm hat).
He is the co-creator of We Feel Fine, which continuously measures the emotional temperature of the human world through large-scale blog analysis, and has made other projects about online dating, modern mythology, anonymity, news, and language.
After studying computer science at Princeton University, he won a 2005 Fabrica fellowship and three Webby Awards. His work has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, the state of Vermont (for which he co-designed the state quarter), Print Magazine (which named him a 2008 New Visual Artist) and The World Economic Forum (which named him a 2009 Young Global Leader).
His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has also been exhibited at Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and The National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens), and has appeared on CNN, NPR, BBC, and Bhutanese television.
He has given talks at Google, Princeton and Stanford Universities, the TED Conference, and at two hippy forest gatherings.
Born in Vermont, he now floats between Brooklyn, NY, the open road, and cyberspace.
Thanks to our dear Charlotte XC Sullivan, The Original Frontier Fellow, for telling Jonathan to stop in at Epicenter.
Ok, not really…
but she’s officially an Outreach Specialist for B.E.A.R. (Business Expansion and Retention for Carbon and Emery Counties in Utah). What does this mean? Well, we’ve always been a satellite office for B.E.A.R. in a way (we’ve even had two Outreach Specialists, Wes & Ted, here before who dedicated much of their time to B.E.A.R.), but now we’ve got a permanent member of the team working in Green River for local businesses. Additionally, our future Economic Development AmeriCorps VISTA, Chris Lezama, will be working closely with B.E.A.R. and the other entities in our county to help better the local business environment.
The BEAR program allows those supporting the economic, workforce and community development efforts of our region to look at customer data in new ways. This is a tool to make strategic decisions about how to best apply limited economic, workforce and community development resources on a company by company basis. Our BEAR program is a sound economic development strategy ensuring that priority issues are addressed and limited resources are well targeted – again on a company by company basis.
Our system enables economic development team members to devise strategies that cultivate competitiveness in each company within a targeted sector or industry - creating successful companies, one at a time that, by extension, boosts the entire economy. We are focused on helping individual businesses flourish and survive in a multi-dimensional, holistic and highly effective way.
The BEAR team is made up of outreach specialists, team members, and program managers representing 15 different agencies, communities and organizations in our area. The BEAR team uses a web-based database for data collection and analysis.
We’re proud to partner with such a well established and organized economic development team.
Asking for money is always preempted with an aura of inherent awkwardness. We face this daily in our lives here at the Epicenter. In some respects, we’ve gotten a little used to the concept and it makes us a little more adept at asking. But it doesn’t make us experts.
It doesn’t seem a day passes without us asking for money. Most of the time we ask governments or foundations. Many times we receive in-kind discounts or free items from people who are able to support us; this happened just the other day when we got a call from Richard at Central Supply here in town and he had a shipment of dusty boxes of screws that he said we could come pick up whatever we wanted for our projects; it happens when we receive invoices that don’t show the full amount of materials we ordered or the value of the help pouring our concrete sidewalk; and sometimes we don’t even receive an invoice at all.
We certainly love the in-kind donations of goods and services.
But sometimes we need to ask for money. For cash. For personal donations that are unrestricted (meaning we can do with it as we please and use it as our capital fund to float expenses between grant reimbursements).
So here’s where it gets tough.
Two years ago, we sent out super complicated, folding pamphlets that unfurled onto your desk and provided a pre-addressed envelope for sending back a check. They were awesome, the campaign was successful; it also took a lot of time to put together (NCCCs helped out, actually).
Now, we’re hosting an online fund-raising campaign via Kickstarter. We decided to use this platform because: 1. It’s a platform “people like us” recognize and use; 2. It provides the ability to use the convenience of donating via a credit card; 3. It allows for a story via text and video to be portrayed; 4. It prompts for awards as thank you’s which we feel our supporters would appreciate; 5. Lastly, the project is an exciting and fun fund-raising event, instead of focusing on the data and stories about a families living in dilapidated houses.
How will the two strategies compare? They seem to be opposite. One’s tangible, in your mailbox; everyone loves mail that isn’t junk mail. The other is digital, distanced, in your inbox. You probably heard about the campaign via a mass e-mail from one of us.
(To help a little bit, we’re sending out physical postcards to everyone. In your mailbox… but still obviously a little mass e-mail-esque.)
Will the Kickstarter work? We’re confident it will. But this is bringing up discussions in our office and over lunch about what works to solicit money. How do we balance providing convenience while still being expressly personal?
The percentage of responses via mass e-mail is 1-2%. The percentage of time I receive a letter back from my grandmother when I write a letter to her via “snail mail” is 100%.
This is a confusing era. Admittedly, we’re hiding behind an e-mail when we request a donation to a general audience via digital means. We don’t have to speak to you, struggling to find the words to ask for cash.
Let’s look at the parable of the salesman: fliers are produced in 1000s to receive a couple bites, phone calls are responded to with “We don’t accept solicitation,” and all the while we know that going door-to-door is the most inconvenient and awkward for the salesman, but that is what reaches the highest response rate. That’s why the salesmen do that, all the while becoming numbed to rejection. That’s also why door-to-door sales jobs are not highly sought. It’s rough. It’s awkward.
We don’t want to be annoying, we don’t want to always be asking, and we don’t want to overtax people. We’re still trying to figure out what works, for you and us.
So if you have suggestions we’ll gladly hear them. We are seeking to understand our strategies and we’re not pretending to be unaware of the downfalls of digital solicitation.
We’ll send you a real letter.
Going on yesterday’s address requests (to send you hot of the press postcards!)… we’re updating our contact information for all of our allies, supporters, family, etc. Please email us if you’ve moved in the last two years and give us your current address. Feel free to include your email address, phone number, and the dates you visited Green River (or plan on visiting!). Thanks! We just want to be able to keep you informed of any big events and our successes.
Make sure to put us in your rolodex!
180 S Broadway (physical address)
PO Box 444 (mailing address)
Green River, Utah 84525
435/564.3330 (phone) 435/564.8360 (fax)
Want a postcard from Epicenter? Email us your address (or a stranger’s address) and you’ll get one ASAP!
We know you have been holding your breath to see the office, now with the floors finished, and our desks and stuff moved back in. But we’re just going to have you wait another day or two…
And no, the floors aren’t wet (thought they sure do look it). It’s okay to come inside.
This weekend! Right now, it is scheduled for Sunday evening at 7pm. We’re saying tentatively because our guests of honor fear they might not make it to Green River by then. In the case that they’re running late, we’ll move the party to Monday evening (but hopefully not!). Weekend parties are way better than weekday parties.
Regardless, we’re having a pot luck on our new front porch! We’ll have music, bug spray, drinks, food, tables + chairs, etc. Bring a side to share. The AmeriCorps NCCC’s are supplying the burgers/dogs, buns, and condiments. Thanks y’all!
Get excited because we’re launching a Kickstarter project tonight! The project will be our big fundraiser for the year, and we’re hoping to raise $7,000 during the month of July to pay for this year’s Project Green River. The 2nd Annual Project Green River is to be held in conjunction with Melon Days, and will take place on September 17th. When you give money on Kickstarter you receive rewards. For our project you can get admission to this year’s festival, an official PGR poster or t-shirt, dinner for two at the Tamarisk (a locally owned restaurant situated right on the Green River), a night at the Green River Holiday Inn Express, and maybe even a rafting trip! We’re hammering out the final details today and launching at midnight EST.
We’re finally moving forward on the floor finishing in the Epicenter office. Most of the office is already moved across the street (to the “Workshop”). As this floor finishing process is a multi-day process, be aware we might not be able to provide full services to clients and residents. We’ll try to make sure we can still get a blog post up each day (we have a new laptop donated that should help in this effort).
The plan is to move, clean, and prep today, start polyurethaning tomorrow, and be done by end of day Friday so the floors have a long holiday weekend to cure before we move everything back. Polyurethane, for those who don’t have the experience with this process, requires multiple coats with hours of drying time, sanding in between each. The can suggests 2-3 coats, so we’re expecting to do 4-5 with the shape our floors are in.
Click here for explanations of different floor finishes. Here’s what we’re using. Why oil-based polyurethane? It’s what’s common, and most durable, without being a super high-gloss gym floor (we heavily considered the gym floor finish). Why oil-based over water-based? Oil-based is more durable, requires less expertise in application (remember we’re using volunteers), and doesn’t dry as fast (drying too fast, which is extremely likely here in this arid environment, would cause us to lose the “wet edge” that must be maintained). Oil-based does have a higher volatile organic compound (VOC) content (63% higher), which means it will off-gas (or smell) more during application; we’ll be wearing respirators. But VOCs are exactly why the oil-based is a better fit for our high-traffic, old floors. It’s a trade off.
Wish us luck.
Take off your shoes before entering.
We ask that you keep Maria and her family in your prayers. Maria is currently in San Francisco, as her brother Steve was in a fatal accident over the weekend.
If you’d like to be updated please contact Jack by calling 435 564 3330 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Steve visited Green River in 2009, helping to turn DG into a melon monster and helping with the renovation of the Baxter Building. He has been a constant supporter of us, donating money and sawzall blades, along with a vocal follower on this blog. He has been wholeheartedly interested in our efforts here. We all visited him and his wife for Thanksgiving in 2009 and again in 2010.
Our deepest empathy goes out to the Sykes Family. Again, please keep them in your prayers, as this is certainly devastating news.