The project: The Improvisation Summit of Portland, a festival of music, dance, and film.
Who's behind the project: Creative Music Guild
Why do they want your money? To fund a pretty incredible sounding two-day festival in July of this year. Here's what's on tap: Local musicians will provide live scores to two films: unseen bear footage by Timothy Treadwell of Herzog's Grizzly Man from Cinema Project, and a classic film curated by FilmMusik. Visiting artists John Gruntfest and Gino Robair will each lead large group ensembles. A panel discussion will be led by Tim DuRoche, and there will be improvisation and sectional workshops for musicians and dancers. Other artists performing include Grouper, Blue Cranes, Tenses, Megan Bierman (SF), Anton Hatwich (CHI), John Gross, Kevin Shields (Eva Aguila), Tim DuRoche, Thicket, Linda K Johnson, Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner, Linda Austin, Danielle Ross, Richard Decker, Cinema Project, FilmMusik, Jonathan, Samuel Coomes, Rebecca Gates, and many more.
How much are they asking for? $5,000
What are they offering in return? A variety of perks - a guest list pass to a future show of your choosing (bands include Thicket, AU, Blue Cranes, and Dragging An Ox Through Water, among many others), a nice letterpress poster for the event, a membership to the Cinema Project or the Creative Music Guild, or personal music lessons from master local musicians.
Will they be fully funded? Since this isn't a Kickstarter campaign, but rather one going through Indiegogo, the CMG will get whatever money gets pledged by fans, even if they don't reach their $5K goal. Once word gets out in the jazz, experimental, and improv communities, the support will come in and they'll likely hit their mark and then some.
Our final assessment: You couldn't ask for a more worthy project than this. The Creative Music Guild has been one of the most quietly exciting arts outfits in the city, putting on top tier experimental shows at Revival Drum Shop and other small spaces featuring our wealth of local talent. They've also attracted a number of amazing artists from around the world - Fred Frith, Ken Vandermark, John Wiese, Sam Rivers, Steve Lacy, and Mats Gustafsson to name just a few - to Portland for events both large and small. An event like the Improvisation Summit could provide the CMG with a chance to cement themselves and the city even deeper in the musical map of the jazz and avant garde world. The lineup for this year's fest already look amazing, but if they can prove successful, I can only imagine that future fests will bring in bigger names from more far flung parts of the globe. The mind reels.