December 1, 2016
Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters,
As the Yefe Nof Residency (YNR) heads into 2017 and its second year of applications, we are making progress towards becoming a recognizable home for “no-name authors and groundbreaking work.” If you’re making decisions about your end-of-the-year contributions, we ask you to consider us so that we can continue delivering our program with these high aims in mind.
When we started out “peddling hope” to writers, researchers, and designers, we projected ourselves as a repository for ideas presenting potential solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. We figured that the ideas could be redesigned as a kind of dialogue between residents. The point of such a dialogue is to help improve the quality of life of each resident by eventually helping position their work in the marketplace. Our offer has always been five residencies for six weeks apiece, one person at a time—but feedback over the past year helped us to see more clearly what we’re not doing effectively enough to be useful to potential residents.
This is what we heard: many people cannot commit for the entire six weeks and the distance from home makes it impractical for travel and getting around.
Our program will never be fixed to the detriment of its beneficiaries. We want people to get the most out of it. So we spent some time thinking outside the box. If six weeks are too much for a single resident, then we have to structure the residencies differently. The mix of candidates was supposed to be subject to a natural selection and reflect the ideas most ready to come to rest at the house. At the same time, it is true that we would like an even number of writers, researchers, and designers. Taking all that into consideration, we reviewed the question of geography and we decided that it made sense to have greater exposure to candidates in the L.A. area.
In March I went to the AWP conference in L.A. with that in mind to publicize what we’re offering to writers. Out of that trip we established a collaboration we’re launching this January: The 1888 Center + Yefe Nof sponsored California Writing Residency. An opportunity for up to three California authors to have two weeks apiece cultivating their voices during the April residency period.
Last year I was saying that things had become more severe because plenty of people are working to see their name in print and their face in the mix. If that was the case last year, then this is going to be the year of the outsider and the rebel. There is going to have to be a third way to get things done.
Our goal is to expand our thinking and execute a more effective design and research residency. We don’t want to have to be concerned with all the publications and the gallery shows that we’re not in at this point. Yefe Nof is meant to connect people to the dialogue and create a value. Doing the work is the most important thing. This is about getting people into that position.
It’s possible that this coming year we are going to need to say more to be more known. We need your help to get us past the financial constraints. Success stories are forthcoming.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
This is the procedure for contributing: checks must be payable to “Independent Arts & Media,” with a note in the memo indicating it is for “The Yefe Nof Residency.” They should be sent to: Independent Arts & Media, P.O. Box 420442, San Francisco, CA 94142. This PayPal button is also an option, but keep in mind there are fees associated with processing.
P.S. If you would prefer to contribute by purchasing the book that I wrote with Kickstarter backing, Inspiration Drive is now available on Amazon. What an original holiday gift!