Mike Why is creating free arts outreach in underfunded educational programs
8

patrons

$31
per program created.
-- THE SUPER SHORT VERSION --

Every dollar you spend here will be used to provide schools and programs who are underfunded in the arts with completely free workshops, gear donations, and fundraising opportunities, now and in the future.

If you can get behind that, you're done reading. Scroll, scroll, scroll. You've earned it!

If not, feel free to skip the parts you knew about before you got here.


-- THE BIG SHOW --

If you're reading this before April 24th, you're probably here to add your name to the  #WorldRecordSetList submitted for the official record which will be the basis for an 800-song, 30-hour One Mouth Music Show in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA on April 25, 2015.  It's this simple - For every $1 you leave here, you get to sponsor one song on the list.  (Donations of $5 and $10 get you some extras too -- check out the "perks" section.)

(You can see more details here or just look at this silly picture.)


Yep, that's right.  No tricks, no tracks.  No instruments.  No electronic things with buttons.  No other people.  The rules are pretty simple -- I have to use my mouth and a microphone to create 30 hours of music, actual songs, using only beatboxing and occasionally making funny sounds with my mouth.

Crazy right?  Dude, I know.

So when that's all over, I'll have the World Record in Beatboxing, which will be pretty dope.  But that's not actually why I'm doing this.  And it's certainly not for my health.   But if you're here to stuff some dollar bills into a human beatbox/jukebox, you can actually skip the rest of this.  I won't stop you.

But if you need more information, I don't blame you.


-- ABOUT ME --

I'm Mike Why, a touring contemporary "mouth musician" usually based out of Pittsburgh, PA.  I sing, I beatbox, I make funny sounds with my mouth, I often use live looping to tie it all together. In the past year or so, I've traveled coast to coast performing at shows and festivals; I recently released a one mouth record to positive reviews (some even compared me to some of the household names in my genre, which was pretty cool).  I've also spent time onstage and worked with a pretty wide range of artists -- contemporary vocal acts, indie touring artists, and even a few major-label touring acts. Maybe someday I'll have a gold record or a YouTube hit, but that's not (and has never been) my main focus or passion.

Here's the part that's important, since it's the focus of the rest of this campaign:
My work takes me to the classroom at least as much as the stage.



In a little more than a year, I've performed and conducted workshops and clinics for students and educators in well over 100 schools in grades K through 12, and colleges also. I make a part of my living on the road not just playing for people, but showing people what it is that I do -- conducting coaching sessions, demonstrations, masterclasses, seminars, and workshops, in live looping, mouthdrumming, and contemporary vocal music all over the continental US, for students and educators levels K through college.

Here are some of the stops I've made for workshops and demonstrations all over the country:



-- THE BEGINNING --

This part, the reason you're reading all of this, probably resonates the most if you're a working musician, or in education, or in some part of the nonprofit sector.  But maybe you work for yourself; perhaps you're a contractor, or you run a small business.  You can probably relate.

But this will probably still make perfect sense if you've ever just wanted to say yes to something and just couldn't quite do that, no matter how badly you wanted to.

This all really started about a year ago when a friend of mine who teaches at an extremely rural middle school several hours away from me (this represented a few hundred dollars in basic travel costs alone) shot me this note.


So I fire a note right back:


I'll spare you the next few messages -- over the next week or so, we turned over a bunch of stones looking at dates over the next couple months, even into the fall -- the same things people do to make anything work -- explored homestays, what-ifs, and every cost cutting scenario.  I even looked up a few comparable artists to see if anyone was much closer (they weren't) or would cost less (they wouldn't). I wanted to help my friend; I wanted to solve the problem; I wanted to get to do this gig as badly or worse as if it were a high-profile, well-paying gig.  Why shouldn't this be doable? I was willing to do it at cost, or even take a small loss.  We whittled and whittled.

It finally boiled down to this: even if I lost money to visit this school, we couldn't get it done.

Bummer.  Here was a teacher who really wanted to bring me in trying to meet me halfway, and me turning over every stone to get it done for them, and we had to tell each other no, that this wasn't doable.

It really started me thinking about many of these types of discussions I've had -- not with places that had budgets and prioritized them elsewhere, but with community organizations, nonprofits, and a billion other places that never really started with a budget to begin with.  Particularly ones whose arts spending have been cut significantly as a function of staying under budget.

My thought was this:  A significant part of my living is made as an outreach focused artist, so if that's my role, I should be more concerned with providing services to a program like this, and not less.  That means when I get these messages, my instinct should be to say yes (and it was).  But when you're a working artist (heck, a working anything), that type of situation is awfully difficult to say "yes" to without blinking, no matter how badly you want to.  If you want to do it, you fit it in when and where you can.  It's a luxury for them; it's a luxury for you.

I shouldn't be relying on or waiting on third parties to tell me about subsidies or grants, either.  If a school asks for me (as it had done here by name), I should be able to get there -- regardless of their financial situation.  The financial gap is often very narrow, especially if I'm already close by, or have a window of time to work with.

I resolved to figure out a way to say "yes" to these opportunities.

Wait; that's not quite right.  I wanted to do better than that:

1)  I wanted to do more than say "yes".  I wanted the instant ability to say yes.  More than that, even:  I wanted to be able to routinely reach out and offer similar programs the same benefit, no matter where I was, if I had the time and ability to do so.  I wanted this work to be as important as the work that pays my bills (truthfully, even if it made me somewhat less -- as far as I'm concerned, when you're lucky enough to do something you love, making a living is more than enough at times).

2)  I wanted those completely free programs to be as good or better than the ones I was routinely booked for through other organizations.  I wanted participants to feel like they were involved with programs with means, if only for the time I was through their doors.

3)  I wanted to create a lasting footprint -- I didn't want what I was sharing to be quickly forgotten; that meant extra time with the teachers, and leaving some kind of ability to engage in the same craft behind.

It goes beyond that, but it starts with that.  So initially, when you fund this Patreon campaign, you'll be enabling me to do exactly that (per the milestones listed).  Which will rock.  So thank you.

And if you're satisfied with that, then you can skip right to the milestones and check those out.  But just in case, the important part is next.


-- ABOUT YOUR MONEY --

In short, your money will be used to make sure people like me can say yes when the need arises.

As this is (technically) a campaign, let me take a moment and make some firm "campaign promises". The point of a promise is to keep it: if at any time you feel that your money is being used differently, you can (and should) speak up or withdraw your support. Your support is voluntary and only deserved if it continues to do what you signed up for.

1) Your contributions will never be used until you see video, photo, or press of the event that they helped create.

2) Your contribution will never be used more than once per week. So a $1 contribution won't ever cost you more than a premium internet radio subscription, a $2 contribution won't ever cost more than your monthly video on demand service, and a $5 donation would still likely be less than an average gym membership.

3)  Your contribution will never be used on a program with a budget that reflects the ability to spend in an elective fashion, and is simply electing not to spend it in this instance, or spends it elsewhere.  As I said before -- this isn't designed for programs with means -- it is to bridge a modest financial gap to provide those without.

4) When this effort raises $20,000, every supporter pays less. When this funding hits the $20,000 milestone, your contribution will become exclusively a monthly donation and all patrons will contribute up to 75% less. Also -- if it hasn't already happened -- it's on the people using your support to make sure that a nonprofit is formed to administrate these efforts from start to finish, that your contributions are tracked and properly credited to you as such, and that you are informed monthly of that progress.

5) The numbers on the milestones you see will not changed, ever. Patreon gives users the ability to do that, but it's not going to happen. As long as this account exists, the numbers stay -exactly- where they are at in terms of money, gear donation ratios, etc.

6) We subsidize the gear donation first. The first $100 earned by this campaign will exclusively subsidize gear donations related to performances at schools.

Money usage per dollar at the current milestone (under $100 as of 2/18/15; this section will be updated as each milestone is met) -- The first $100 of all funds used until the $500 milestone go exclusively towards a relevant gear donation in schools and programs.

And if you're cool with that, then you can stop reading and start skimming.

But, even as low as the $500 level or more, I want to start exploring the bigger picture.


-- ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE --

When this account reaches $500, I'm not just going to be using it solely for my own situations.  I'm going to be looking for some company.

I call my long-term idea "Outreach First".  It's a working title, but it gets the point across.

The notion is to form an alliance of visual and performing artists from all over who are committed to a similar concept -- at a minimum, willing to partially donate some of their time while at home on the road and receive a small stipend in exchange.

It's a modest marriage of enabling an artist to finish cash-positive with some time that they wouldn't otherwise be able to, and allowing a school or program with an arts-deficient budget the ability to benefit from such an artist being proximate.

Outreach First will pull from a wide range of artists (again, no shortage of art makers in the world), but some of those things might include:

1.  High level of engagement / high-impact
2.  Demonstrates both traditional and contemporary elements
3.  Some type of modern technology involved
4.  Is able to pull / relate content to students what they learned while they were in school
5.  Streamlined (doesn't necessarily mean "small", but demonstrates an ability to use resources creatively and tactically in the way they operate)
6.  All ages / family friendly / content appropriate for the age(s) involved

By integrating with our new friends here at Patreon, who help creators create with ongoing stewardship, it can work this way:

1.  A visual or performing artist that finds themselves in a similar situation as I was, above -- in the capacity to provide service to a school or educational program that is generally underfunded, or has a deficient budget in the arts.  (At first, it will happen more organically, but you can read in the milestones where a full-time organization is founded in charge of generating and administrating these opportunities -- there's certainly no shortage of them.)

2.  The artist builds at least one full day with that program into their existing touring schedule.

3.  During that time, the artist provides at least a student-focused demonstration (either en masse or using in-classroom sessions) demonstrating the craft; they also spend time with instructors showing them how their craft can be implemented further in the classroom.  Optionally, at the discretion and availability of both parties, the artist can donate a public performance that enables the program to raise funds.

4.  The artist provides video, photo, or other media/press from the event to you nice folks here at Patreon so you can see what happened.

5.  The funding occurs, at which time the artist receives a stipend for their time and expenses (not to exceed 50% of their normal rate for services -- this is a mutual donation; a partnership) during the time spent with the program

6.  At least 20% of the total funding amount is left with the school or program in the form of a permanent, lasting gear or equipment donation directly related to the craft demonstrated by the artist.

The basic concept makes use of a few resources that are currently available to developing artists for things like house concerts and smaller types of performances, but allows arts outreach to be a competitive priority as far as the mechanics and financials go.  A great start in this department.


-- WHY YOU JUST READ THIS --

All of our ambitions and ideas come from somewhere. Briefly: I've been into singing since my youth, but outside of that, I'd never heard of the things I am now doing (contemporary a cappella, beatboxing, live looping) until I was an adult -- and I never learned about any of it around where I grew up. I made a commitment to myself when I started that if I someday got the privilege of making my living doing something like this, I was going to be sure that any kid who wanted to could see what I'm doing now live, in their backyard whenever possible.

Early on, I found that the impact I often make in classrooms (especially with younger students) is not so much about what I'm doing or how I am doing it insomuch as, simply, that it's different and it's something I love.  I work with students in the hope that they too can also find something like that for themselves and potentially do it for a living -- simply put, the world's a big place and there's lots of stuff in it for everyone.

Also, I feel strongly that people shouldn't have to figure out what new and different things look like, sound like, or feel like like by streaming it from their mobile devices. It can come to them, it can work outside the offerings of what's available in their community, and it should be able to happen whether or not it's affordable.

This isn't simply about funding single experiences and counting on them to change lives -- it is about creating a lasting footprint everywhere we go with a tactical minimum of resources, creating more opportunity for ongoing learning. Our available windows of time as arts ambassadors are limited, but even if our time spent engaging and high-impact, these impressions run the risk of not being attainable and lasting -- that's where the mandatory relevant gear donations and instructor sessions come in. We're not there to show people a fish; we're not there to give them a fish. We're there to teach them one way to fish -- and then point them towards a big pond full of fish.


-- WHY YOU'RE CONSIDERING THIS --

Make no mistake: there are arts-in-education organizations doing fantastic work trying to unite artists and programs, no question about it (you'll see quite a few of their logos above). I'm not trying to replace any of them; I'm just trying to take an additional approach, one that can potentially reduce the risk of homogeneity in local arts in education programs (relying on locally-based artists to create most local arts outreach because it's more affordable, and creating more opportunities for farther-reaching artists to enter local schools), to create additional options, and to eliminate some of the bureaucracy required to create immediate opportunities (as these can be funded solely with agreement between artist and program). I'm trying to bridge the gap a bit; to create more of a middle road.

I want to take a focus on arts outreach that is more active and aggressive, one that starts from the artists-outward (bottom-up instead of top-down), and one that relies on the same modern concepts for musicians making music as the grassroots social media or house concert movement does every night -- just making sure it can happen in the classroom as well.


YOU NEED TO KNOW:  I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is.
So to speak.

I'm not just asking for your support -- I'm ready to give it mine, too.  Beginning with the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, I'm committing a minimum of 10% of my lifetime profits making and selling music any other way any working artist would -- selling tickets to shows, downloads on iTunes, or any other website crowdfunding, to support my music, 10 cents of every dollar earned comes back here, and making free arts for students and educators is what that does.  That doesn't include charitable contributions to any other organization or for any other reason.

This isn't a phase or stepping stone in my life.  This is who I am.  This is what I do.


SO:  Are you ready to put my mouth where... er... your money is?
(Or something like that.)

As you saw at the top of the screen, I'm currently engaged in a World Record two-day-long, 800-song One Mouth Music Show to raise funds for this effort.  For every $1 you give to this campaign before April 24th, you can put your name next to any song on my official #WorldRecordSetList (you can see it in the perks listed here) -- and I *have* to figure out a way to perform it with just my mouth and a microphone in order to be the new beatboxing world record holder on April 25, 2015.

If you dig what I do or how I'm doing it; if you share my enthusiasm for spreading high-engagement, infectious learning, and for changing the emphasis on how working artists work in the world and how arts and education coexist, I hope you'll consider your support.  If not, be sure to take a look around on DonorsChooseIndieGogoKickstarterPatreon, or anyplace else (globally, locally, anywhere in between) where you feel that people are taking initiative and trying to create new things and ideas in the world.  I'm confident you'll find a great home for your support.


This project is dedicated to the rock stars.

Finally, I'd like to take a moment and recognize the "rock stars" in the world as I see it -- there are so many fantastic individuals who positively impact people's lives on a daily basis without requesting or receiving recognition or acknowledgement.  I meet so many in the schools and programs I visit each year, but not just there -- there's at least one person in your life right now.  Be sure to let them know the next time you see them.  This project is dedicated to them, but it's also with them, and I look forward to working with many more of them in the future.

Sincerely,
Mike Yanchak (Mike Why)
Pittsburgh, PA
www.WhyMikeWhy.com



Questions?

If you're all the way here, and you still need to know something I am very sorry -- I hope you'll email [email protected] and ask.  I will reply to you as quickly as possible and make sure that I've adjusted this content to reflect your feedback.

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per program created.
3 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For every dollar donated, you can add one song of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Subscribers should know: Until the $20,000 or above level is reached, this "per event" donation will occur a maximum of once per week, and your support will only be redeemed once you can see photos, videos, or other details of what happened and where. Press clippings and other content will be included if and when they are generated. I believe in the responsible use of patronage, and highly encourage you to set your "patronage limit" at a maximum of $5 per month for every $1 you pledge ($10 for $2, $20 for $4, etc.). That's more than will ever be used for the lifetime of this project.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]
Pledge $5 or more per program created.
0 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For a $5 donation, you can add five song(s) of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding.  You will also receive video footage after the show of your songs being performed.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]
Pledge $10 or more per program created.
2 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For a $10 donation, you can add ten song(s) of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding. You will also receive a personalized video message prior to the show with my thanks and a preview of the songs you selected.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]
Goals
$31 of $100 per program created.
Offer a related gear donation of at least $100 per school or program.

Subscribers should know: Until the $20,000 or above level is reached, this "per event" donation will occur a maximum of once per week, and your donation will only be redeemed once you can see photos, videos, or other details of what happened and where. Press clippings and other content will be included if and when they are generated. I believe in the responsible use of patronage, and highly encourage you to set your "patronage limit" at a maximum of $5 per month for every $1 you pledge ($10 for $2, $20 for $4, etc.). That's more than will ever be used for the lifetime of this project.
1 of 10
-- THE SUPER SHORT VERSION --

Every dollar you spend here will be used to provide schools and programs who are underfunded in the arts with completely free workshops, gear donations, and fundraising opportunities, now and in the future.

If you can get behind that, you're done reading. Scroll, scroll, scroll. You've earned it!

If not, feel free to skip the parts you knew about before you got here.


-- THE BIG SHOW --

If you're reading this before April 24th, you're probably here to add your name to the  #WorldRecordSetList submitted for the official record which will be the basis for an 800-song, 30-hour One Mouth Music Show in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA on April 25, 2015.  It's this simple - For every $1 you leave here, you get to sponsor one song on the list.  (Donations of $5 and $10 get you some extras too -- check out the "perks" section.)

(You can see more details here or just look at this silly picture.)


Yep, that's right.  No tricks, no tracks.  No instruments.  No electronic things with buttons.  No other people.  The rules are pretty simple -- I have to use my mouth and a microphone to create 30 hours of music, actual songs, using only beatboxing and occasionally making funny sounds with my mouth.

Crazy right?  Dude, I know.

So when that's all over, I'll have the World Record in Beatboxing, which will be pretty dope.  But that's not actually why I'm doing this.  And it's certainly not for my health.   But if you're here to stuff some dollar bills into a human beatbox/jukebox, you can actually skip the rest of this.  I won't stop you.

But if you need more information, I don't blame you.


-- ABOUT ME --

I'm Mike Why, a touring contemporary "mouth musician" usually based out of Pittsburgh, PA.  I sing, I beatbox, I make funny sounds with my mouth, I often use live looping to tie it all together. In the past year or so, I've traveled coast to coast performing at shows and festivals; I recently released a one mouth record to positive reviews (some even compared me to some of the household names in my genre, which was pretty cool).  I've also spent time onstage and worked with a pretty wide range of artists -- contemporary vocal acts, indie touring artists, and even a few major-label touring acts. Maybe someday I'll have a gold record or a YouTube hit, but that's not (and has never been) my main focus or passion.

Here's the part that's important, since it's the focus of the rest of this campaign:
My work takes me to the classroom at least as much as the stage.



In a little more than a year, I've performed and conducted workshops and clinics for students and educators in well over 100 schools in grades K through 12, and colleges also. I make a part of my living on the road not just playing for people, but showing people what it is that I do -- conducting coaching sessions, demonstrations, masterclasses, seminars, and workshops, in live looping, mouthdrumming, and contemporary vocal music all over the continental US, for students and educators levels K through college.

Here are some of the stops I've made for workshops and demonstrations all over the country:



-- THE BEGINNING --

This part, the reason you're reading all of this, probably resonates the most if you're a working musician, or in education, or in some part of the nonprofit sector.  But maybe you work for yourself; perhaps you're a contractor, or you run a small business.  You can probably relate.

But this will probably still make perfect sense if you've ever just wanted to say yes to something and just couldn't quite do that, no matter how badly you wanted to.

This all really started about a year ago when a friend of mine who teaches at an extremely rural middle school several hours away from me (this represented a few hundred dollars in basic travel costs alone) shot me this note.


So I fire a note right back:


I'll spare you the next few messages -- over the next week or so, we turned over a bunch of stones looking at dates over the next couple months, even into the fall -- the same things people do to make anything work -- explored homestays, what-ifs, and every cost cutting scenario.  I even looked up a few comparable artists to see if anyone was much closer (they weren't) or would cost less (they wouldn't). I wanted to help my friend; I wanted to solve the problem; I wanted to get to do this gig as badly or worse as if it were a high-profile, well-paying gig.  Why shouldn't this be doable? I was willing to do it at cost, or even take a small loss.  We whittled and whittled.

It finally boiled down to this: even if I lost money to visit this school, we couldn't get it done.

Bummer.  Here was a teacher who really wanted to bring me in trying to meet me halfway, and me turning over every stone to get it done for them, and we had to tell each other no, that this wasn't doable.

It really started me thinking about many of these types of discussions I've had -- not with places that had budgets and prioritized them elsewhere, but with community organizations, nonprofits, and a billion other places that never really started with a budget to begin with.  Particularly ones whose arts spending have been cut significantly as a function of staying under budget.

My thought was this:  A significant part of my living is made as an outreach focused artist, so if that's my role, I should be more concerned with providing services to a program like this, and not less.  That means when I get these messages, my instinct should be to say yes (and it was).  But when you're a working artist (heck, a working anything), that type of situation is awfully difficult to say "yes" to without blinking, no matter how badly you want to.  If you want to do it, you fit it in when and where you can.  It's a luxury for them; it's a luxury for you.

I shouldn't be relying on or waiting on third parties to tell me about subsidies or grants, either.  If a school asks for me (as it had done here by name), I should be able to get there -- regardless of their financial situation.  The financial gap is often very narrow, especially if I'm already close by, or have a window of time to work with.

I resolved to figure out a way to say "yes" to these opportunities.

Wait; that's not quite right.  I wanted to do better than that:

1)  I wanted to do more than say "yes".  I wanted the instant ability to say yes.  More than that, even:  I wanted to be able to routinely reach out and offer similar programs the same benefit, no matter where I was, if I had the time and ability to do so.  I wanted this work to be as important as the work that pays my bills (truthfully, even if it made me somewhat less -- as far as I'm concerned, when you're lucky enough to do something you love, making a living is more than enough at times).

2)  I wanted those completely free programs to be as good or better than the ones I was routinely booked for through other organizations.  I wanted participants to feel like they were involved with programs with means, if only for the time I was through their doors.

3)  I wanted to create a lasting footprint -- I didn't want what I was sharing to be quickly forgotten; that meant extra time with the teachers, and leaving some kind of ability to engage in the same craft behind.

It goes beyond that, but it starts with that.  So initially, when you fund this Patreon campaign, you'll be enabling me to do exactly that (per the milestones listed).  Which will rock.  So thank you.

And if you're satisfied with that, then you can skip right to the milestones and check those out.  But just in case, the important part is next.


-- ABOUT YOUR MONEY --

In short, your money will be used to make sure people like me can say yes when the need arises.

As this is (technically) a campaign, let me take a moment and make some firm "campaign promises". The point of a promise is to keep it: if at any time you feel that your money is being used differently, you can (and should) speak up or withdraw your support. Your support is voluntary and only deserved if it continues to do what you signed up for.

1) Your contributions will never be used until you see video, photo, or press of the event that they helped create.

2) Your contribution will never be used more than once per week. So a $1 contribution won't ever cost you more than a premium internet radio subscription, a $2 contribution won't ever cost more than your monthly video on demand service, and a $5 donation would still likely be less than an average gym membership.

3)  Your contribution will never be used on a program with a budget that reflects the ability to spend in an elective fashion, and is simply electing not to spend it in this instance, or spends it elsewhere.  As I said before -- this isn't designed for programs with means -- it is to bridge a modest financial gap to provide those without.

4) When this effort raises $20,000, every supporter pays less. When this funding hits the $20,000 milestone, your contribution will become exclusively a monthly donation and all patrons will contribute up to 75% less. Also -- if it hasn't already happened -- it's on the people using your support to make sure that a nonprofit is formed to administrate these efforts from start to finish, that your contributions are tracked and properly credited to you as such, and that you are informed monthly of that progress.

5) The numbers on the milestones you see will not changed, ever. Patreon gives users the ability to do that, but it's not going to happen. As long as this account exists, the numbers stay -exactly- where they are at in terms of money, gear donation ratios, etc.

6) We subsidize the gear donation first. The first $100 earned by this campaign will exclusively subsidize gear donations related to performances at schools.

Money usage per dollar at the current milestone (under $100 as of 2/18/15; this section will be updated as each milestone is met) -- The first $100 of all funds used until the $500 milestone go exclusively towards a relevant gear donation in schools and programs.

And if you're cool with that, then you can stop reading and start skimming.

But, even as low as the $500 level or more, I want to start exploring the bigger picture.


-- ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE --

When this account reaches $500, I'm not just going to be using it solely for my own situations.  I'm going to be looking for some company.

I call my long-term idea "Outreach First".  It's a working title, but it gets the point across.

The notion is to form an alliance of visual and performing artists from all over who are committed to a similar concept -- at a minimum, willing to partially donate some of their time while at home on the road and receive a small stipend in exchange.

It's a modest marriage of enabling an artist to finish cash-positive with some time that they wouldn't otherwise be able to, and allowing a school or program with an arts-deficient budget the ability to benefit from such an artist being proximate.

Outreach First will pull from a wide range of artists (again, no shortage of art makers in the world), but some of those things might include:

1.  High level of engagement / high-impact
2.  Demonstrates both traditional and contemporary elements
3.  Some type of modern technology involved
4.  Is able to pull / relate content to students what they learned while they were in school
5.  Streamlined (doesn't necessarily mean "small", but demonstrates an ability to use resources creatively and tactically in the way they operate)
6.  All ages / family friendly / content appropriate for the age(s) involved

By integrating with our new friends here at Patreon, who help creators create with ongoing stewardship, it can work this way:

1.  A visual or performing artist that finds themselves in a similar situation as I was, above -- in the capacity to provide service to a school or educational program that is generally underfunded, or has a deficient budget in the arts.  (At first, it will happen more organically, but you can read in the milestones where a full-time organization is founded in charge of generating and administrating these opportunities -- there's certainly no shortage of them.)

2.  The artist builds at least one full day with that program into their existing touring schedule.

3.  During that time, the artist provides at least a student-focused demonstration (either en masse or using in-classroom sessions) demonstrating the craft; they also spend time with instructors showing them how their craft can be implemented further in the classroom.  Optionally, at the discretion and availability of both parties, the artist can donate a public performance that enables the program to raise funds.

4.  The artist provides video, photo, or other media/press from the event to you nice folks here at Patreon so you can see what happened.

5.  The funding occurs, at which time the artist receives a stipend for their time and expenses (not to exceed 50% of their normal rate for services -- this is a mutual donation; a partnership) during the time spent with the program

6.  At least 20% of the total funding amount is left with the school or program in the form of a permanent, lasting gear or equipment donation directly related to the craft demonstrated by the artist.

The basic concept makes use of a few resources that are currently available to developing artists for things like house concerts and smaller types of performances, but allows arts outreach to be a competitive priority as far as the mechanics and financials go.  A great start in this department.


-- WHY YOU JUST READ THIS --

All of our ambitions and ideas come from somewhere. Briefly: I've been into singing since my youth, but outside of that, I'd never heard of the things I am now doing (contemporary a cappella, beatboxing, live looping) until I was an adult -- and I never learned about any of it around where I grew up. I made a commitment to myself when I started that if I someday got the privilege of making my living doing something like this, I was going to be sure that any kid who wanted to could see what I'm doing now live, in their backyard whenever possible.

Early on, I found that the impact I often make in classrooms (especially with younger students) is not so much about what I'm doing or how I am doing it insomuch as, simply, that it's different and it's something I love.  I work with students in the hope that they too can also find something like that for themselves and potentially do it for a living -- simply put, the world's a big place and there's lots of stuff in it for everyone.

Also, I feel strongly that people shouldn't have to figure out what new and different things look like, sound like, or feel like like by streaming it from their mobile devices. It can come to them, it can work outside the offerings of what's available in their community, and it should be able to happen whether or not it's affordable.

This isn't simply about funding single experiences and counting on them to change lives -- it is about creating a lasting footprint everywhere we go with a tactical minimum of resources, creating more opportunity for ongoing learning. Our available windows of time as arts ambassadors are limited, but even if our time spent engaging and high-impact, these impressions run the risk of not being attainable and lasting -- that's where the mandatory relevant gear donations and instructor sessions come in. We're not there to show people a fish; we're not there to give them a fish. We're there to teach them one way to fish -- and then point them towards a big pond full of fish.


-- WHY YOU'RE CONSIDERING THIS --

Make no mistake: there are arts-in-education organizations doing fantastic work trying to unite artists and programs, no question about it (you'll see quite a few of their logos above). I'm not trying to replace any of them; I'm just trying to take an additional approach, one that can potentially reduce the risk of homogeneity in local arts in education programs (relying on locally-based artists to create most local arts outreach because it's more affordable, and creating more opportunities for farther-reaching artists to enter local schools), to create additional options, and to eliminate some of the bureaucracy required to create immediate opportunities (as these can be funded solely with agreement between artist and program). I'm trying to bridge the gap a bit; to create more of a middle road.

I want to take a focus on arts outreach that is more active and aggressive, one that starts from the artists-outward (bottom-up instead of top-down), and one that relies on the same modern concepts for musicians making music as the grassroots social media or house concert movement does every night -- just making sure it can happen in the classroom as well.


YOU NEED TO KNOW:  I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is.
So to speak.

I'm not just asking for your support -- I'm ready to give it mine, too.  Beginning with the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, I'm committing a minimum of 10% of my lifetime profits making and selling music any other way any working artist would -- selling tickets to shows, downloads on iTunes, or any other website crowdfunding, to support my music, 10 cents of every dollar earned comes back here, and making free arts for students and educators is what that does.  That doesn't include charitable contributions to any other organization or for any other reason.

This isn't a phase or stepping stone in my life.  This is who I am.  This is what I do.


SO:  Are you ready to put my mouth where... er... your money is?
(Or something like that.)

As you saw at the top of the screen, I'm currently engaged in a World Record two-day-long, 800-song One Mouth Music Show to raise funds for this effort.  For every $1 you give to this campaign before April 24th, you can put your name next to any song on my official #WorldRecordSetList (you can see it in the perks listed here) -- and I *have* to figure out a way to perform it with just my mouth and a microphone in order to be the new beatboxing world record holder on April 25, 2015.

If you dig what I do or how I'm doing it; if you share my enthusiasm for spreading high-engagement, infectious learning, and for changing the emphasis on how working artists work in the world and how arts and education coexist, I hope you'll consider your support.  If not, be sure to take a look around on DonorsChooseIndieGogoKickstarterPatreon, or anyplace else (globally, locally, anywhere in between) where you feel that people are taking initiative and trying to create new things and ideas in the world.  I'm confident you'll find a great home for your support.


This project is dedicated to the rock stars.

Finally, I'd like to take a moment and recognize the "rock stars" in the world as I see it -- there are so many fantastic individuals who positively impact people's lives on a daily basis without requesting or receiving recognition or acknowledgement.  I meet so many in the schools and programs I visit each year, but not just there -- there's at least one person in your life right now.  Be sure to let them know the next time you see them.  This project is dedicated to them, but it's also with them, and I look forward to working with many more of them in the future.

Sincerely,
Mike Yanchak (Mike Why)
Pittsburgh, PA
www.WhyMikeWhy.com



Questions?

If you're all the way here, and you still need to know something I am very sorry -- I hope you'll email [email protected] and ask.  I will reply to you as quickly as possible and make sure that I've adjusted this content to reflect your feedback.

Recent posts by Mike Why

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per program created.
3 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For every dollar donated, you can add one song of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Subscribers should know: Until the $20,000 or above level is reached, this "per event" donation will occur a maximum of once per week, and your support will only be redeemed once you can see photos, videos, or other details of what happened and where. Press clippings and other content will be included if and when they are generated. I believe in the responsible use of patronage, and highly encourage you to set your "patronage limit" at a maximum of $5 per month for every $1 you pledge ($10 for $2, $20 for $4, etc.). That's more than will ever be used for the lifetime of this project.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]
Pledge $5 or more per program created.
0 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For a $5 donation, you can add five song(s) of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding.  You will also receive video footage after the show of your songs being performed.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]
Pledge $10 or more per program created.
2 patrons
By March 28, 2015 12PM ET: For a $10 donation, you can add ten song(s) of your choice to the #WorldRecordSetlist for the World Record One Mouth Music Show on April 25, 2015, in support of this Patreon funding. You will also receive a personalized video message prior to the show with my thanks and a preview of the songs you selected.  You will also receive access (or live streaming access, where available) to the show, the World Record Kickoff Party on March 28th and the World Record Celebration TBA April 26 - May 1.

Have suggestions for rewards moving forward? Email [email protected]