A coalition of citizens has formed to resurrect Prescott's Tsunami on the Square performing arts and culture festival in 2015. The annual Prescott festival was stopped in its tracks in 2014 after Executive Director Andrew Johnson-Schmit stepped down after Tsunami 2013. The festival drew up to 8,000 people in its latter years. It was founded in the late 1990's by Jay Ruby, who now works with the physical theater troupe, Carpetbag Brigade in San Francisco.
Tsunami will be run under a new grassroots style model that is less dependent on one central figure. There will be bi-weekly public meetings for planning the fundraisers, events and logistics. This will stabilize the festival perhaps 30%, 50% or even 80%. Only time and a lot of experimentation will determine this number.
Another past weakness of Tsunami on the Square was that people expected one guy to write all the grants, organize the fundraisers and communicate with the vendors and artists in his spare time while working a 9-5 job. If these people were lucky, they were able to scrape up just enough money to pay for the current year and nothing more.
If the annual budget is $30,000, then you really need to raise $60,000 to keep the festival stable. To accomplish this, the festival needs people willing to bottom line everything and make sure the job gets done the right way. This, too, is covered in the current plan.
The resurrection of Tsunami on the Square began with visit from a loose intergalactic federation of space nerds called Tautonymous Tautonymous. The space nerds came to Arizona to help with Phoenix Comicon, a comic book convention in Phoenix. During a brief stop in Prescott, they learned of the 15 year legacy of Tsunami on the Square and its apparent demise.
After speaking with local community members about the festival, they made the discovery that Tsunami still had a pulse. After this discovery, they discussed the matter with Prescott resident and mad scientist Tom Von Deck, knighted him and dubbed him Project Resuscitator.
The geeks are currently residing in Prescott's underground tunnels while they help with the project.
After the close encounter, Von Deck called lots of community members and presented the ten year vision that he schemed up with the space nerds. A coalition grew from these calls.
"Tsunami's not dead. The heart is still beating. It just needs a little bit of CPR and maybe a shot of adrenaline. We'll get this up and running," said Von Deck.
Tom has led the organizing efforts of an annual large festival on the east coast for two consecutive years. He has also participated in the organizing of countless other events. Like most people, he does not have time to take time away from his existing business to do a half-assed job on this. This plan is going to require a kickstart to displace a good portion of that time.
That is the case at least this year. If the grassroots model is successful, then the festival may become a lot less top-heavy in future years. "It's going to be an experiment," said Von Deck. "We'll see what we can pull off in the next year or so. There will be a dramatic change to the infrastructure, and you never know how such things will go down. It will be an improvement. It's just a matter of degree."
"After making tons of phone calls, it's becoming increasingly clear that support for this idea is almost unanimous," says Von Deck. "It's not 100%, but probably 97%-ish, give or take about 2.859% or so. It's just a rough estimate."
Media can find more details about the ten year vision at http://www.tsunamionthesquare.com/plan/. The url might not be entirely public, but all the content on that page is public info.
There is a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to bring back Tsunami on the Square in 2015. Current news and a link to the Kickstarter page is at the brand new website, http://www.tsunamionthesquare.com.
The campaign is offering a lot of perks to financial backers ranging from free vendor space and sponsorship to YouTube Sketchmercials, T-shirts, VIP seating near the stage, live Skitmercials during the festival and a special badge that grants you surprise gifts and blessings if you are spotted wearing it.
It is an all-or-nothing campaign. Either the project goal is reached or no one gets charged for anything.
There will be a public meeting to discuss the ten year vision and to plan the crowdfunding strategy on Thursday, June 26th at J.S. Acker Park in Prescott. The meeting is at 7pm. Acker Park is at the south end of S. Virginia Street.
You can find all the details about this meeting and about the Kickstarter campaign at http://www.tsunamionthesquare.com Note: It's not the .org. This is a brand new site that may or may not be indexed by Google at the moment. We are asking people to bring a pen and paper because everyone will leave the meeting with a homework assignment.
Questions, joint venture ideas, and joyful and angry sentiments can all be directed to Tom Von Deck at (928) 273-4365, Love letters and hate mail can all be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Both love letters and hate mail are fully appreciated. Some might even get published if they're entertaining enough to make the cut.
Tom Von Deck, Project Resuscitator (928) 273-4365, email@example.com, and this might change later for Tsunami business to the other address.
Donations appreciatively accepted at the Kickstarter campaign.