Guys. I’m an incorporator!
I’m not a hundred percent sure what that is, or how it happened, but I AM ONE!
It sounds pretty fancy, like maybe I’d get an office, or a desk, or a badge or something. But, um, no.
A couple weeks ago I told you my husband was starting a new venture. I was all cryptic and vague, and maybe even the tiniest bit whiny.
You know what we do with whiny people over here?
That’s right. We put them to work. In this case making 600 fans and labeling 400 bubbles. 1,000 pieces of promotional swag, y’all!
I guess that’s how I ended up as an incorporator. Because it’s WAY more satisfying to work on something than to worry about something.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Red House Imaginarium!
Here’s a description from the website. I can use it ‘cuz I wrote it. (I told you we put whiners to work.)
Red House Imaginarium is a new program for theatre and music education in Nashville. We teach classes, lots of classes – Shakespeare, musical theatre, vlogging, pop vocals, set design – the list goes on. But we are more than a catalogue of classes, we are a safe community of creatives – a place to try something completely new, or hone your existing skills. We encourage risk-taking (Think you can’t sing? Let’s give it a shot. Scared of the stage? We’ll teach you how to overcome that.) and celebrate growth.
We are dedicated arts professionals, but we’re also parents (between us we have EIGHT kids). We’ve watched as school systems cut arts programming year after year. We’ve bemoaned the lack of affordable, quality alternatives. We know that our students’ futures depend on their ability to think creatively, to solve problems, to stand up for their ideas, not just on their test scores. Imagination is where success begins. And besides that, it’s just plain fun.
So whether you’re just curious, or dream of building a life on the stage, come join our carnival of creativity.
Here’s what’s NOT on the website:
This idea, the idea for this program, is what convinced me to marry Mike in the first place. See, I didn’t know him very well. We’d only been together for three months when we got engaged, and we were REALLY young. But when I asked him what his big dream was, how he pictured his future, he didn’t say something about being a rockstar or living in a beautiful house. He said he wanted to create a kickass after-school arts program that would be available to all kids: rich kids, poor kids, white, black, and brown kids. An amazing program with high-quality classes, and a real sense of community, a program that would pull in professionals from the area and show kids that anything was possible.
So then, for the next sixteen years he worked towards that. He put together a music/recording program for kids locked up in juvie. He taught lessons. He became a high-school theatre director. He started a successful summer camp. And then he lost his job.
We wandered around in the dark for a while. The BIG IDEA was still out there, but the confidence was gone. It was too scary, too uncertain. We had too many kids to risk it.
And then something magical happened, and, as is often the case, it happened in the most unlikely place. We were at the wake for a dear friend. I was standing around with a group of people, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years, some of whom I’d never met. We were laugh-crying into our drinks, talking about our friend, talking about our lives, and then this unfamiliar woman answered someone’s question about the arts program she was trying to start. Five minutes later and that woman, Emily Dodson, had just described to me the very program that Mike had been talking about for over a decade. “But,” she said, “it’s overwhelming. It’s moving so fast, and I’m not sure I want do it by myself.”
Cue sparkly music and angels smiling from heaven.
So, here we are. Emily Dodson, G. Michael Dominguez, and me. Incorporators of the soon-to-be nonprofit Red House Imaginarium. Emily and Mike have amazing things planned. They’ll be teaching kids how to design sets, lights, and costumes, how to give and receive constructive feedback, how to interpret Shakespeare, as well as all the regular stuff: acting, singing, believing in yourself. And me? Well, I’ll be here making fans.
You can get one Saturday, August 13th at the Tomato Art Festival in Nashville. In fact, come on by the Contest Stage (corner of 11th and Woodland) at 1pm to see the one-act play, Tomato Plant Girl, and we’ll give you some bubbles too.
I know these girls are looking forward to it. I think they may be growing tired of their new babysitter.
If you’d like more information about Red House Imaginarium, the classes they’re offering, or how you can help, check out the website: www.redhouseimaginarium.org or email me directly.
In the meantime, if you’re not interested in theatre, film, or music classes, but you enjoy reading this blog, please consider becoming a patron. A girl (and her family) cannot live on bubbles alone.