the work of volunteers

Last year’s first show at the Conservatory of Flowers was a new dream. We were a new board, having received our nonprofit status only two months before. We’d already done 19 shows, but that was different. It was the kind of dream that opens your eyes to a new world. What does it mean that we’re a nonprofit? What does it mean that we’re doing our show in such a wonderful place? And how did all of this happen?

photo by Matthew James DeCoster

I’m not sure I could say. I know Morgan Davis is responsible for The Greenhouse Effect (writing that really made me smile, by the way). We do our show in a different venue every month, rarely returning. So arriving at the Conservatory of Flowers yesterday was truly a homecoming. In the interim, we’ve been voted one of San Francisco’s Favorite 49 nonprofits. We’ve gone down to Santa Cruz for the Poetry Festival. We’ve been to a bar, a nightcluba theater, a bookstore, and a mansion. We’ve teamed up with Galeria de la Raza and done a show in Oakland as part of Beast Crawl. We have big plans!

But perhaps the biggest change for me last night was having over a dozen people working together to make sure everyone else felt at home, too. I’m proud to say I wasn’t in the least bit anxious yesterday (you should know I’m usually sort of a wreck on first Mondays even though we’ve now done this 33 times). We have committees now. Just two days ago we voted Josey Lee, who we first met last January through the blind submission process and who volunteered to head up the PR committee, onto our board of directors. She and husband Christian Lee have turned our partnership with Lagunitas into a seamless aspect of our shows (Alcohol Enthusiasts that they are).

It’s impossible to do justice to everyone involved, but I want to thank Charles Kruger for his endless enthusiasm and passion for Quiet Lightning; Kristen Kramer for organizing a small tribe of helpers: SB Stokes, Sarah Maria Griffin, Ceri Bevan, Sandra Wassilie, Tom Comitta, John Panzer, Max Tomlinson, and Ashley Brim (if you click on those links you can see how lucky and how rich we are). Our visions are getting larger as our team expands, and we do sincerely invite you to join us. As I mentioned in our last post, our board meetings are now open to the public; we usually meet every other second Sunday, so tentatively the next will be on October 14th (though check back here for announcements, and/or send a line if you’d like to be there).

Before then, we’ll have our September 3 Labor Day litnic: a potluck picnic in the park with live music by Quijeremá and a band to be announced shortly. Submissions are due by the end of next Wednesday, August 15th [click here to submit].

We will also have our second installment of Random Play at the Red Poppy Arthouse on September 30th as part of the ItCH mixer (attendance is open to anyone who wants to volunteer for QL or one of the other ItCH projects). We will announce our readers shortly.

And, of course, our October 8 Litquake show which will conclude this summer’s series at the Conservatory of Flowers. We are beaming with pride to announce our readers for that show.

Before we move on from last night, though, which I don’t want to do, I want to thank Cariwyl Hebert of Salon97 for handing out cookies to everyone and sharing not only the wonderful music but all of that info on Bach! Did you know he had 20 kids and was imprisoned for leaving a job? Enjoy their new video series: Mozart does stuff! This first video shows what happens when Mozart tries to do the dishes.

Finally, thanks to Ian Tuttle for taking photos of everyone. Pictures are streaming in and I’ll put together a linkfest in the next couple of days. If you have any you’d like to contribute, we’d love to see them. Here are some. Here are some more.

Last night, when I walked into the potted plants room for the first time during intermission, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Walking into the Conservatory of Flowers, I knew I was dreaming; this dream started last year. But last night I couldn’t help but think we are starting to learn how to control this dream.

Thank you, each and all, for helping us to make this real. Stay tuned for more big announcements and a slew of photos. Until then, if you have any suggestions on how to improve for Sept 3, or if you’d like to get involved, send us a line.


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