Dine Together and Give Together
PICNIC promotes community-based development that celebrates creativity in the Triad through a crowdfunding dinner. PICNIC 2017 is over, but stay tuned for PICNIC 2018 dates!
As we look forward after a year of intense events in Greensboro, NC and beyond, several things are on our minds: What connects us with our neighbors and make Greensboro a more vibrant dynamic place to live? How can art change perspectives and be used to build and sustain community? How are local artists, art projects and creative initiates taking care of people?
In 2017, we hosted individuals and organizations living and working in the Triad that engage Creative Action. Creative Action promotes community recognition, empowerment, and inclusivity. Creative Action projects encourage the enjoyment and appreciation of our current resources, better connect us with each other for support and create welcoming thought-provoking events and environments.
How PICNIC works:
- A $10-20 suggested donation gets attendees a meal and a vote. $1-5 for a vote. Tickets are sold at the door.
- Presenters share their idea in 10 minutes and take questions.
- Attendees are encouraged to discuss/debate before voting on their favorite project.
- Winning presenter(s) gets the money collected and run! We hope to raise $500-1000.00 for winning projects.
Stay tuned for PICNIC 2018 dates! #PICNICgso
A $10-20 suggested donation gets attendees a meal and a vote. $1-5 for a vote.
Over a potluck-style dinner we will learn about projects that benefit the Triad community, voting on the ones we think are the most powerful. The winners go home with seed money raised at the event to to carry out their idea.
Hosting a PICNIC event is only successful with amazing sponsors and a team of dedicated people. Whatever isn’t donated, must be purchased. Because 100% of the entrance donations are used to fund the PICNIC winners, we need funds to pay for other items. It is due to the generosity of others that we are able to get these needed supplies. If your interested in donating food, drinks or dishware (bowls, spoons, plates, napkins ) or want to be involved in some way we would love to have your support. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For your contributions you will receive tax-receipts, museum features, on-line promotions, publicity listings, and social media highlights!
***2017 APPLICATIONS CLOSED***
PICNIC is a great way to raise money, build community support and get connections to local resources that can help you carry out your vision. 2017 is themed Creative Action. We invite proposals from artists, art projects and creative initiates from the Triad that promote stronger community in our area.
Proposals due: Wednesday, Saturday 21, 2017 at 11:00 am EST. APPLY BELOW.
Acceptance: Top 8 Applicants will be notified by Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Presentations: Accepted applicants will present their project during the evening of February 3rd by doing a quick 4 minute presentation where they demonstrate the magic behind their idea. We provide the microphone and space. Tech remains off for the evening -no powerpoints or digital images please! Additionally applicants will also have a display area for their projects. Displays are limited to poster board no larger that 30″ x 22″.
Presentations will be evaluated by PICNIC goers on these criteria:
• Artistic Innovation
• Community Impact
You must be present until the vote is called to qualify for the money. Should you win, you will be asked to report on your projects progress at the next PICNIC.
2016 PICNIC Winners
Sherrill Roland, The Jumpsuit Project (Greensboro)
1st Place: $750
Through this very personal project, Roland will provide an opportunity for people impacted by incarceration to share their stories to create a new network of support for each other. Stories about incarceration are ones that we usually don’t share.
In August 2012, Roland was returning to UNC Greensboro to begin the first week of his Masters Program in Art when he received a phone call from a detective in Washington, DC. The detective wrongfully advised Sherrill that there was a felony warrant out for his arrest in DC, and that his best option was to turn himself in. He had been accused by someone he didn’t know, of something that couldn’t have happened.
The 2016 PICNIC funding will go towards future community engaged projects (outside of campuses). It will also provide assistance for application fees to share the project on bigger platform such as conferences and summits.
For more information visit: jumpsuitproject.com
Cherizar Crippen, Revolutionary Sunday School (Greensboro)
2nd Place (by 2 votes): $250
Crippen aims to start a Sunday School of sorts to teach children about activism and organizing against the kyriarchy by changing social norms. The focus is around light political education utilizing art and cooking from the black diaspora to address topics including feminism, gender equality, urban development and sustainability, economic alternatives to capitalism, and a history of global movement work. Children today receive their ethnocentric education in a very rigid environment where they are taught topics through a myopic lens. They study this for years and then are unfairly asked to unlearn it in college.
Greensboro will benefit from learning about arts and culture in a judgement-free environment, and will help to raise a generation of free-thinkers who see themselves and others in a positive and inclusive light. By connecting children with one another, the land here at home, and a rich history that is not currently taught to them at school, we could see a change in future generations living in this area.
2014 Project Proposals
PROJECT TITLE: From Spaces to Places, Painting Our City’s Walls!
NAME: The Greensboro Mural Project
SUMMARY: The Greensboro Mural Project has begun the process of interviewing people in Greensboro about something that is everywhere in our city, but often goes unnoticed if you don’t use its services. Yes, we’re talking about the Greensboro Transit Association (GTA), or rather the city bus. So we’ve taken to the streets, to a particular bus stop that just so happens to be in front of a particular wall, to talk to people about the bus. From the answers people share with us a muralist will create an image that represents the multifaceted experiences and dreams of the people waiting for the bus, and the wider Greensboro community. This will be one step towards making both the bus system more visible, to emphasize its importance to our city, as well as beautifying a wall that also gets overlooked. Transforming the space of a wall, just one of the many concrete canvases of our city, to a place of pride, enjoyment, and cultural celebration.
And not only can you vote for the project, you can help paint and interview, be interviewed, donate extra paint you have laying around the house, or financially support this wall becoming a reality! This effort is collaborative and from the ground up, drawing from the wealth of resources across Greensboro.
Together we make places.
ABOUT: The Greensboro Mural Project has been building bridges by painting walls since Summer 2012, as an arts organization that engages the people of Greensboro in the process of creating murals through dialogue across the community. The Greensboro Mural Project uses public art as a tool to communicate, record history, and make Greensboro more beautiful.
PROJECT TITLE: Center City Community Garden & Market
NAME: Allie Puppo and Natalie Johnson, researchers and interns at CC-ED in Greensboro
SUMMARY: There is a great need in our city for community garden spaces to grow food and provide a place for members of the community to gather, grow and get to know one another. The gardens would be made up of 36 raised beds made of wood and filled with rich soil from the White Street Landfill. Mulch and soil are free. I would also like to construct a small market area for weekend markets and used for performances at other times. There is a large field at the intersection of E.Market and Pastor Anderson Drive that would be perfect if the owners would work with us.
ABOUT: The CC-ED is the Center for Community Engaged Design.
PROJECT TITLE: The Friendly Naturalist
NAME: Ivy Rutledge
SUMMARY: The Friendly Naturalist is a community nature journal, produced as an outreach project of New Garden Friends Meeting. The goal is to connect people of all ages with the natural world. Seven issues were produced during 2012 and 2013, and I’ve taken 2014 as a year to regroup and reinvent the project in order to make it financially sustainable. I’m aiming to restart production of the journal with a winter 2014 issue.
The journal is a small, handbound booklet full of content generated by local creatives and inspired by the natural world here in Greensboro and the surrounding areas. Each issue includes essays, drawings, seasonal recipes, crafts, meditations, and poetry, all on a common theme related to the season. In addition to submitting their work, there are multiple ways for people to get involved, whether they join in the handbinding process, help deliver journals to distribution points, or donate funding.
Friendly Naturalists are people who enjoy the natural world and responding creatively to it. It is my hope that through this work, we can build community in and around New Garden Meeting and the larger Greensboro area that will share this common focus on the natural world. The earth is a special place, and in connecting thoughtfully and creatively with our local, natural places, we may be able to strengthen our collective investment in the health of our planet. This is the sense of creative placemaking that the P.I.C.N.I.C event is intended to support.
ABOUT: “I am currently wrapping up a MA in English with a minor in Environmental Studies. I represent New Garden Friends Meeting, which is a progressive Quaker meeting here in Greensboro. This project is rooted in the Quaker testimony to care for the earth, which is a goal that many people share.”
PROJECT TITLE: In A Tunnel to Elsewhere
NAME: Brian Lampkin, Scuppernong Books
SUMMARY: “In A Tunnel to Elsewhere” is a projective space; an imaginative reality. We propose a big dig–a tunnel from under the shelves of the poetry section in Scuppernong Books that rises into the confessional booths at Elsewhere. As presently constructed, ideas run back and forth like floss in the teeth of Greensboro between Elsewhere and Scuppernong. This proposal turns to the underground, but we imagine portals all along the route that allow all spaces the ability to drop into the steady stream of transmissions. Any individual in any space can reach down through their designated portal into the tunnel and pull out whatever idea was running through the conduit. The grant money would be used to designate the tunnel access points in Scuppernong and Elsewhere–and to create signs that other businesses can use to designate future access points in their spaces. The tunnel itself–while already real–will remain a long-term project. We’ll think of it as a great escape from the pedestrian world of above ground travel. Thank you.
ABOUT: Scuppernong Books is a physical space that relies on its imaginative qualities. Books take the leap into the realm of the not-quite possible made real. It’s where we want to live.
PROJECT TITLE: Building on our foundations
NAME: The Corner Farmer’s Market
SUMMARY: The Corner Farmer’s Market arose organically in April 2013 when a new urban farmer and experienced organic grower who were friends with a local restaurateur came up with an idea to add to Greensboro’s local alternatives to the big box retail world. Every Saturday morning this market and its community of folks transform a beat up piece of asphalt into a lively place of gossip, recipe sharing, dog stories, children’s art, and retail.
The vision of this market is a place for many different types of vendors – we’ve purposely set it up that the only requirement is to work cooperatively so that everyone can be successful. The market includes experienced growers, and many folks from the neighborhood including the unemployed trying to create a new way to make ends meet, the neighborhood school, and children’s lemonade stands.
Our goal is to provide as much support as we can, emotional, business, and just plain fun for vendors and customers alike. The local community clearly values the experience, working with vendors to put on events, thinking about how to support vendors, and by just turning up. Folks from outside the immediate neighborhood are also slowly finding their way to us.
Our goal is to now make sure that the market is a steady presence over the year and to support low income families to see local markets as a place to shop.
ABOUT: A community of local and regional vendors and community members.
PROJECT TITLE: Building Links – Low-Tech Greenhouses
NAME: Marek Wojtala, Warren Williams, and Eliza Hudson
SUMMARY: Our project will create Low-Tech greenhouses for Montagnard and African immigrants and teach successful strategies for extending the growing season of vegetables like Cassava. Cassava is a tropical plant & a staple of both African and Montagnard diets. By building Low-Tech greenhouses using simple design and commonly found materials , we hope to deal with the old saying of “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for life.” The greenhouse units will bring together local people in both Montagnard and African communities and will allow easy replication without a large monetary investment. The greenhouses will create a place for members of different communities to gather and exchange their knowledge about food and gardening.
ABOUT: Marek is a Hunger Fellow at Guilford College who is tasked with engaging students with food insecurity issues. Eliza is an outgoing member of foodcorp who has spent her service working on food education with low-income families. Warren is in his 6th year of collecting fresh produce for redistribution to those in need in Guilford County, a Certified Plant Professional Landscaper, & a board member of Share the Harvest.
PROJECT TITLE: The Forge
NAME: The Forge
SUMMARY: The Forge is a makerspace at 115 W Lewis street that backs up to a shared grassy area bordered by W Lewis, S Elm, and Bain streets. While there is a covered patio space ready, the patio needs more furniture. The PICNIC grant would be used to build patio furniture that could be used for Forge partnered events. The building of the furniture could also be a community event.
ABOUT: The Forge is a makerspace in downtown Greensboro. The space provides tools and equipment for making everything from wooden furniture to software. Beyond fabrication, the The Forge is a place where people who share a common interest in making can meet to share ideas.
PROJECT TITLE: Unleashed: Poetry and Music Project
NAME: Kelly Rae Williams, Poet.she
SUMMARY: Unleashed is collaboration and merger of multiple performance genres coming together to highlight the diversity of artistic talent in the community. The goal is for female artists to be liberated through words and song. This concert would consist of female poets and musicians collaboratively performing while visual artists interpret their work.The purpose would be to encourage cross genre fusing and collaboration.
ABOUT: Poet.she is a female performing artist collective that focuses on the art of spoken word and performance poetry. Poet.she brings together female visual and performance artists to empower women through words. Our mission is to promote diversity and inclusion through celebrating the stories, poems, and artistic talents of women.
PROJECT TITLE: Animation needs placemaking in Greensboro
NAME: Alex Irish
SUMMARY: I want to propose a utilization of an abandoned or on-lease interior for an animation-friendly work space. Greensboro has not been a city tailored to the burgeoning animation work force, and I feel that should change. It would be beneficial to have a space made to allow creativity to flow for the benefit of animation, especially traditional methods like drawn and stop-motion. I hope someone, anyone, will consider this as an idea with merit.
ABOUT: “I don’t have an organization. I am only an animation student of yore.”
PROJECT TITLE: Tiny House: One House at a Time
NAME: Natalie Johnson and Elizabeth Leonard
SUMMARY: Our tiny house is a social design project that is exploring one possible solution to ending homelessness.
This project will provide people experiencing homelessness an opportunity to build and own their own home. This not only gives them a valuable learning experience but also grants them the independence that home ownership brings. Our goal is to build one tiny house by May of 2015; this will be accomplished by a group of invested individuals.
We are trained by society to recognize that bigger is better; tiny houses challenge this preconception. Typically tiny houses are compact and are less than 500 sq. ft. The foundation of these houses is usually a modified utility trailer. This allows the house to be exempt from the restrictive housing codes. They are commonly used by people who want to downsize and simplify their lifestyles. However this tiny house will be a sustainable living situation that will meet the basic needs of people experiencing homelessness. It will be a 100 sq. ft. house with running water, plumbing and include a cooking area as well as a loft bed.
Working on this project will engage community members and those experiencing homelessness. The working environment will facilitate conversation about how much space we really need. These conversations will change the perceptions of space in the community.
ABOUT: We are two students who are apart of a larger interest group. We meet once a week to plan this project, and get feedback from people experiencing homelessness. Our part in this project is to design and plan the building process.
PROJECT TITLE: FaithAction ID Initiative – Turning Strangers into Neighbors
NAME: David Fraccaro, Executive Director, Faith Action International
SUMMARY: Thousands of immigrants from all over the world have chosen to make Greensboro their home, yet many are not able to participate fully in the civic life of our community because they lack a government issued form of identification. FaithAction recently developed a FaithAction ID in partnership with the Greensboro Police Department to help our newest immigrant neighbors better integrate into our diverse community – using the ID to enroll in school, open bank accounts, and check out books at the library. Perhaps most importantly immigrants have created greater trust with local law enforcement through the ID, which has led to an increase in cooperation in reporting and resolving crimes – creating a safer, more united community for all residents. On August 29th, FaithAction will hold its next FaithAction will hold its next FaithAction ID drive at the Friendly Ave Church of Christ. This worship space for will be transformed into a space for hundreds of Central Americans, Muslims, West Africans, Mexicans, Christians, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, police officers, and new immigrants to build greater trust, understanding, and cooperation through open and honest dialogue and the creation of a shared form of identification. The church is becomes a space in which everyone is valued, regardless of their faith, nationality, culture, or immigration status, and participants leave with a new ID that symbolizes a greater sense of belonging and dignity in, and loyalty towards Greensboro.
ABOUT: FaithAction serves thousands of new immigrants, while educating and connecting our diverse community across lines of culture and faith – turning strangers into neighbors.
We began the FaithAction ID initiative one year ago, and since have provided over 1,500 ID’s.
This program has helped put Greensboro on the map as a leader in this innovative work – having recently received requests from Charlotte, Greenville, and Carborro police departments to share our experience and best practices for the FaithAction ID initiative.
PROJECT TITLE: Music for Liminal Spaces
NAME: Annalise Stalls
SUMMARY: Music for Liminal Spaces is about allowing music to transform ordinary liminal spaces in post-industrial downtown Greensboro and elsewhere into welcoming and thought-provoking environments. The mission of this project is to cultivate community awareness of how we interact, navigate, collaborate, and communicate through limens, while using music as a catalyst to harness potential for spontaneous human interaction. The plan for the project is to improvise with the Zen Poets as well as other musicians and artists in various liminal locations around downtown Greensboro while reacting to the architecture and passersby as improvisatory stimuli, leading to the conceptualization of a final piece, “Music for Liminal Spaces” to be performed at the parking garage at Washington/Greene in Spring 2015.
ABOUT: Annalise Stalls in an emerging young composer of jazz and experimental music, currently residing in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her band Annalise and the Zen Poets has been working on an album, Frames of the Imagination to be released in the fall of 2014.
PROJECT TITLE: A glass house
NAME: Harvey K Robinson
SUMMARY: A glass house constructed as a repository of memory for the Warnersville Community. Images will be projected from the interior as opaque apparitions along with audio of the experiences of former residents. The community was razed in the 1970’s as part of the Federally subsidized urban renewal grant.
ABOUT: “I’m a freelance video artist currently involved in two feature length documentary projects about sculptor Leonardo Drew and singer songwriter Langhorne Slim. I have worked with the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Greensboro Historical Museum and Elsewhere Museum. I have two cats.”
PROJECT TITLE: Story Hound Theater
NAME: Gabrielle Sinclair and Ben Compton, Story Hound Theatre Company
SUMMARY: We hope to explore two central questions: What makes a community and what makes a theatre?
Through this project, we hope to show that community is measured not only by the physical space in which we live, but also by the stories that we share.
By exploring the definition of theatre we’re investigating what makes theatre. Is it the physical space – the stage, the audience, the lighting, the aisles. Catharsis? Discovery? Adventure? What are the necessary components?
Story Hounds wants to create build an environment that creates theatrical events – new plays – investigative plays – journalistic – local – North Carolina plays that lend a voice to people and communities.
We hope to also create long-term plays built over time through our locally grown ensemble and artists in the community as well as short term plays that are ephemeral and expressions of intense focus over a limited period of time.
We eventually want to offer classes and workshops to develop a cohesive and shared language of stories and theatre and to develop new plays and works that grow organically from this curious Story Hound approach to new works.
As part of this project, Story Hounds begin this project by creating a series of small stages throughout the city on which plays and theatrical events can take place. On these stages, we hope to be able to create the Greensboro Tiny Theatre Festival. This project will be a small, hidden, underground theatre festival that will invite local and national and international groups to explore big ideas on little stages.
We hope to begin creating these stages by growing a theatre – Planting and cultivating a space that could be organic and alive and structural and outdoors. A stage that changes over time. Performances and pieces that reflect the season, inspired by the seasons.
ABOUT: Story Hounds is a theatre collective founded in 2014. Its goal is to pursue and develop fearless uncompromising, experimental theatre that asks questions and builds experiments in a “laboratory” setting.
PROJECT TITLE: Bring Chris Dyer’s Positive Creations to Greensboro
NAME: Anna Luisa Daigneault (aka Quilla)
SUMMARY: I would like to bring muralist and visionary artist Chris Dyer to Greensboro NC, to create a mural on a wall downtown. Known internationally for his unique blend of graffiti art and spiritually uplifting imagery, Chris Dyer’s art is intricate, colorful and explores multicultural themes. I would like to invite the artist to spend several days in Greensboro and create an awe-inspiring spray-painted mural that explores positive themes such as bridging differences, respecting other cultures, and promoting tolerance. This project would enliven the downtown core as well as provide local residents with a positive visual experience as they go about their daily lives. This mural will reinforce the notion of Creative Place-making because it would bring a tremendous burst of color to the local landscape. It might also enhance the perception of street art in Greensboro, and maybe inspire other young artists to be muralists, following in Dyer’s footsteps. In terms of its impact on the community, beautiful murals such as Dyer’s work have a profound effect on people’s experience walking around a city center. A mural has the power to become an artistic landmark, a reference point, a meeting place and a platform for discussing creativity and the role of art in society.
ABOUT: “I am a local musician and researcher who lives in downtown Greensboro, and wants to help foster positive artistic development in the city. As a collaborator on Elsewhere projects, I see the amazing work that Elsewhere artists have done and the beneficial impact they have had on the local community. I want to contribute to bringing more artists to do great projects in Greensboro.”
2013 PICNIC Winners
Project by: Gwen Frisbie-Fulton
Grant total: $500
StoryScapes will compile, map, and share place-based stories of downtown Greensboro from people experiencing homelessness.
Those experiencing homelessness have uniquely intimate relationships with Greensboro’s downtown landscape. However, their stories are seldom heard or considered in dialogues about space. We propose a project through which the guests of the Interactive Resource Center write and record their place-based stories, creating an installation of these stories in the locations they occurred.
Our environment is frequently defined for us. Traditional maps–often considered empirical and objective representations of space–fail to capture the relationships and stories of people within such artificial boundaries. Radical cartography responds by encouraging communities to redefine themselves and their places by re-mapping boundaries and points of interest to reflect the multiple experiences and contrasting perspectives of community members.
Storytelling also serves as a catalyst for community engagement and agency. While we tell stories to convey a narrative of real or fictional events, we also use stories as a way to define ourselves in relation to the world around us; stories allow us to connect to the experiences of others.
A self-guided map of the stories will be created and StoryScape docents may be provided at certain locations or during specific events. These guides invite participants to meander through the StoryScape–store windows, sidewalks, and other nooks and crannies–to interact directly with the landscape in which the stories are based, immersing themselves in complex, yet often overlooked, intersections of narratives that occur block-by-block in downtown Greensboro.
Project by: Alyzza May
Grant total: $250
Cakalak Thunder is a radical street band located here in Greensboro, NC that helps to amplify stories of struggle, protest against all forms of injustice, and raising up celebrations of love, hope, as well as cultures of resistance and transformation.
We are in the process of planning our 10th Anniversary in April 2014. For our anniversary we are planning on premiering a documentary about CT, our history, and the shared history of the causes and issues we support, as well as hosting a street festival. Our anniversary planning helps highlight the stories of the street, by bringing attention to the streets, to spaces that are often ignored, and are often disregarded as a space of power.
The story of the streets is connected to each and everyone of us. These are stories of public space, public creation and support, community collaboration, and human connection. By playing our drums we raise up the history of the music, but also bring attention to the cause, celebration, and/or struggle we are playing in solidarity with from the resistance against Amendment 1, home foreclosures, worker’s rights, mountain top removal, and much much more.
If we are to get your vote we will move forward with a little bit more ease in the planning of this celebration, this platform for many voices, as well as editing and creating a documentary on Cakalak Thunder and the many communities with whom we stand!
PICNIC 2015 was hosted by the IRC