Burning Questions

Hello Fellow San Diego Burners!
Dan Reeves, here, you know the Burner that took The Journey to playa in 2017. I probably asked you back then to help out. Well, I’m still asking and I also wanted to reach out to all of you to let you know…We Are Still Here…
It’s a new year for the Board and we’re gearing up amidst a climate of new scenarios and serious considerations. While the world is dealing with an unprecedented situation, we are looking for ways to keep our community engaged and hopeful. As Kim mentioned in her farewell blog, we’ve brought on four new directors and additionally I have accepted the self-flagellating role as Board President.
SDCAP is working hard to continue its stewardship of the community’s resources. CoLab is closed, but working on plans to encourage ideas of collaboration in a time of social distancing. The Board has charged the 2020 YOUtopia Production Leadership Team (the PLT is comprised of 51, Ali Smith, Aaron Ward, and Cassa Frass) with answering basic questions about planning, feasibility, and timing. We’re all frustrated with the current lockdown right now; we can’t even have our regular Board meetings in person (which doesn’t mean we aren’t encouraging virtual attendance… more to come!), but the principles still stand and we are still working in the background to uphold them.

Is YOUtopia Happening?
As mentioned, the PLT has been working for the past month to answer some of the questions we’ve all been thinking… will there be a YOUtopia given the current global crisis? If so, will it be in October, if other large gatherings are moving their postponed events until then too? Does playa dust actually preserve blueberries over 24 months? No one’s been brave enough to test the playaberry hypothesis, and the other questions are still unanswered as well.
We do have some known factors we can work with to make decisions and plan. We know that most of the functional contracts for YOUtopia do not get signed until a month or so before the event.  The Board made a decision earlier this year before the pandemic to create a cut-off of June 1st to secure a venue.  Since the pandemic and staying at home became our new normal, we’ve discussed whether or not the PLT should continue to plan for a 2020 event. Even though there are too many unknowns to make definite plans, we all have agreed to keep working until we can’t. Oftentimes, the community we build persevering together and planning for a gathering is as meaningful as the gathering itself.
If the decision is made to postpone YOUtopia until next year, it will be made as soon as is reasonable. If you have any feedback, keep in mind you can e-mail us at any time at bod@sdcap.org

CoLab Temporarily Closed but ALIVE!
While we can’t work in the same physical space, we have an entire digital world at our disposal. The need is greater than ever to engage as a community in artistic expression and meaningful social interaction. The CoLab team is working on a proposal for some brilliant digital collaborations.
The CoLab management team is eager to open the workspace back-up and has plans for the near future to increase access to education and tools acquired for the community. As the pandemic recedes, in time, free classes will resume and build space will be available again.
Land Purchase & Other SDCAP Developments
As you may have read previously or engaged in discussion at recent Board meetings, we have entered into contract negotiations for land approximately 2 hours from San Diego proper. Our budget is being overhauled and reviewed constantly to ensure that we have the financial backing necessary to enter into a purchase contract. The Board works closely with the YOUtopia PLT to ensure that we will continue to have access to the funds necessary to take the financially responsible route of securing a nearby location for future events.  Furthermore, the property SDCAP is looking to acquire will make other gatherings more feasible. It has been a back-burner plan for some time to have a Spring event, and the current Board is enthusiastically poised to pursue the possibilities.
Finally, until the Governor has lifted the Stay at Home order, we will be moving all SDCAP Board meetings to Zoom. Details on how to connect to the meeting will be shared soon (along with the agenda posted on Monday). We hope that this format will actually make it even easier for the community to join in on the discussion. We’ll be back to our usual chill space soon!

In the meantime, be well and take care of each other. Hang in there and spread some of that playa magic (socially distant, of course)!
Dan Reeves
President
San Diego Collaborative Arts Project