So Sezio We All

| July 07, 2011

crustless-pie-forkWhat do you imagine 0.2% of a pumpkin pie looks like? I think of it as the stripes of filling and bits of crumb that cling to fork tines after you stick the fork into the pie, wiggle it around a tad and then pull it back out. Barely anything, right?

Now, what if you were already willing to offer a friend a bite of your piece of pie and that friend only asked for that much–would you give it to her/him?

Here’s why I ask: I’m keen on supporting art and culture, particularly by sharing news of San Diego art and music events with you.

Many times, I get my news by visiting Sezio.org. Sezio is a group that I believe is crucial to cultivating art and culture in San Diego because they promote and often times host art and music events beyond the traditional museum/theater venues.

This year, Sezio asked for $5000 of a $2.5 million pot set aside for allocation to “[e]ntities and activities” in San Diego that “stimulate tourism, promote the economy, create jobs, and/or a better quality of life.” The monies are distributed via San Diego County’s Community Enhancement Program, a program funded by a set percent of the tax revenues collected from tourists staying in San Diego hotels.

The $5000, or 0.2%, Sezio requested would have been used to help fund their four-day concert series and art installation known as “Four Day Weekend.” It’s an event that captured world attention last year when Pitchfork.com, the world’s largest music blog, featured the event on their website.

The request was denied, making it the second year in a row that our local government didn’t offer Sezio support.

Because it’s Sezio, I have a strong feeling that they’ll still find a way to make the event happen again this fall. It’s just so darn disappointing. Sezio spotlights our city in a new way, showing San Diego visitors and residents that our county has more to offer than weather and beaches. The group deserves to catch a break.

So when Zack Nielsen, Sezio’s Founder and Business Director, made a request on Sezio.org to e-mail San Diego Council Members Ron Roberts (ron-roberts@sdcounty.ca.gov), Greg Cox (greg.cox@sdcounty.ca.gov), Todd Gloria (toddgloria@sandiego.gov) and Kevin Faulconer (kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov) to petition for Sezio to be funded in the future, I didn’t hesitate.

What follows is my letter. I encourage you to follow suit, especially if you’ve ever been to a Sezio event or have ever visited Sezio’s website via something I’ve shared in this blog. If you do, be sure to copy info@sezio.org on your e-mail. Thanks!

“Dear Council Members Roberts, Cox, Gloria and Faulconer,

I appreciate that our county government distributed $2.5 million in funds this year to various San Diego organizations and events via the Community Enhancement Program. Supporting our county’s creative community is important in more ways than one.

This isn’t to say, though, that I’m not also disappointed.

I recently learned that Sezio’s request for a grant to help fund this year’s “Four Day Weekend,” a four-day concert series and art installation that garnered world attention in 2010 when it was featured on the world’s largest music blog, Pitchfork.com, was denied funding through the Community Enhancement Program.

The question that I can’t help but ask is, “Why?” Sezio is integral to the art and culture of San Diego. Each week, when I look for local art and music events to attend and/or to share with friends, events that take place in non-traditional venues in San Diego which expands the idea of where creativity can be found and shared in our county, I look to Sezio.

Not only do I learn about new-to-me local artists and musicians, but I also find out about new-to-me spots in our city. For example, it’s Sezio that introduced me to Subtext Gallery in Little Italy North; to artist Kelli Murray and the SD-based clothing label with a humanitarian mission, Jedidiah; and to Dirty Gold, a band based in North County. Because of Sezio, I’m now fans of all of these local artists and organizations: I follow them on Facebook, I look forward to their upcoming shows and I share their events on my personal blog.

Surely, these are the kinds of results expected of any organization looking to be funded by the Community Enhancement Program, the kinds of results that reflect a stimulation of tourism, a promotion of our local economy, and a contribution to a better quality of life in San Diego. If you agree, isn’t it only fair and logical that Sezio receive funds they request in the future?

Sezio is a group that supports the county. It seems only right that the county offers it support in return.

Thank you for considering this San Diego resident’s opinion.”

(Photo from the website, Jules Gluten Free.)

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