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Polly's Artist Residency in NOLA!

$2,145 of $2,470 goal

Raised by 49 people in 7 months
Dear family, friends, fans,

I have been given an amazing opportunity to participate in an Artist Residency in New Orleans through the My Good Judy Foundation. 
I am extremely grateful, hopeful, and inspired by this invitation! 

I have created this page to tell you more about the residency and to ask for your financial support.  Whether or not you are able to make a donation of any amount, I appreciate the encouragement and am thankful for the outpouring of positive, supportive energy I have been receiving already.

ARTIST RESIDENCY: 
The My Good Judy Foundation was created to honor the ongoing life work and legacy of poet/activist/foremother Judy Grahn.  The foundation offers a one-to-six week residency for artists, critical thinkers, poets, playwrights, and performers.  I will be in residency in the month of March!

Judy Grahn co-directed the two graduate programs through which I earned my degrees: a Master’s degree in Women’s Spirituality; and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Inquiry: Multidisciplinary Arts.  Judy is the social theorist behind Metaformic Theory and the founding mother of Metaformic Consciousness, both of which have impacted and influenced my published writing, songs, ritual performance and visual art. 
Judy continues to inspire and build a better world and it is my honor to keep shining a light upon her work by finding new ways to situate myself within it.  Her  influence travels far and wide, having made cultural contributions through her lifelong poetry; writing; social theory; queer cultural studies; lesbian feminist activism; and women’s spirituality. 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT: 
WHERE WILL YOUR $ DONATIONS BE GOING?
Here's the breakdown:

*$1500  towards paying a temporary employee & operating costs to keep Toko Imports going during my residency.  As many of you know, the most important and beloved focus I’ve had for the past sixteen years is that of raising my daughter.  In addition, for the past three-and-a-half years I have been working six or seven days a week, between the combined running of Toko Imports and by continuing my contributions to the birth community through offering placenta encapsulation / postpartum support services. 

Toko manages to just skim by most of the year, and the winter months are particularly slow and challenging. While continuing to be a community hub and landmark experiential retail shop in downtown Ithaca, Toko has zero budget for employees and so I’m asking for financial support to hire someone temporarily and to help keep things running smoothly during my residency.

*$550 towards travel expenses to and from NOLA both for myself (driving there and back) and for my daughter whom I’m hoping to fly down for the final days of my residency. 

*$300 towards art supplies
and cost of postcards printed with my art images, specific to the residency.

*$120 approximate fees associated with processing payments
for donations totally $2400.  (There is a 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction fee for every donation made through GoFundMe for processing credit cards and safe transfer of funds)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING THIS AND CONSIDERING MAKING A DONATION TOWARDS MY ARTIST RESIDENCY IN NEW ORLEANS. 
Whether or not you can make a monetary donation, i appreciate your support!!

For those of you who can contribute, I'd like to offer a gift to every donor, no matter the dollar amount given. 
 If you'd like one of my creations pictured below, follow the donation reward links and let me know which one you'd like!  (if you $ donate a custom amount, you still get to choose one of these!)
------------------
*Radwoman art card w/ handwritten thank you 
*Metaformic Economics (my article)
*Bledsung of the Placenta: Women's Blood Power at the Sacred Roots of Economics (my chapter)
*The Declaration of Radwoman cd (my first cd ©2006)

Radwoman art card w/ handwritten thank you. (here are a few examples!)




Metaformic Economics, my article published at Metaformia.org , edited by Anya De Marie ©2009

Bledsung of the Placenta: Women's Blood Power at the Sacred Roots of Economics, Placenta Wit, edited by Nane Jordan, published by Demeter Press ©2017

The Declaration of Radwoman (my first cd 2006)

**If  you'd like to know more about the residency, read the mission of the My Good Judy Foundation

**To learn more about Judy Grahn, follow these links:
Judy's personal website:Judy Grahn website  or the wikipedia page: Judy Grahn wikipedia 

**For an introduction on Metaformic Theory and Metaformic Consciousness, her ya go!
Metaformic Theory wikipedia
Metaformia: a Journal of Menstruation & Culture  

With love and appreciation,
POLLY
Polly Wood ~ Soulful, Feminine Rhythm & Rhyme
http://www.pollywood.ws
http://www.radwoman.com

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~ Time, Space, Sustenance ~

Well, I made it down to New Orleans and back home again. Thanks once again to everyone that supported my journey in one way or another.

I did not know exactly where I was going or what was in store, but I trusted so deeply in the unfolding that the not-knowing was actually easy. I did not know prior to leaving just what creative projects I would be working on while in residency. I made a few proposals but felt the desire to keep wide open and let myself be moved. In the months prior to leaving I began setting up a few gigs to share my music at some New Orleans venues but pulled back on those, too. I just wanted to let go.

How often are we given the experience of time/space/sustenance/support to be with our art without the requirement of producing an outcome/performance/publishing/painting/etc? To be held relevant without the need to prove oneself was a breath of fresh air, especially while the high-speed, sound-bite, spongy, social media culture relentlessly swirls around. Fresh air, after all is what we in-spire. And I needed room to breathe.

The parts of my artist residency in New Orleans involving certainty were my fabulous hosts, Gregory and Vinsantos. I already knew them but had not seen them in over ten years, since my women's spirituality/multi-disciplinary artist/social-justice/artivism graduate school days at New College of California in San Francisco. I cannot imagine being more warmly welcomed to the Big Easy.

In addition to launching the My Good Judy Foundation, Gregory is a visual artist/printmaker; queer cultural scholar; successful restaurateur; cutting edge entrepreneur; general weaver of community; and, a fabulous chef who kept me extremely well-nourished at his current restaurant, Mister Gregory's. One of the things Gregory and I hold in common is our deep love and reverence for the work of Judy Grahn and all things metaformic. Our many inspired conversations were among the most meaningful moments I had during my residency.

Gregory's husband Vinsantos is a legendary Drag artist; Head Mistress of the New Orleans Drag Workshop; musician and performing artist; visual artist creating of one-of-a-kind assemblage art dolls; and owner of Funeral Gallery, an otherworldly art gallery in the French Quarter. To say they are inspiring and fabulous hosts is an understatement and I am sure I am not the only one to fall in love with them both.

Being in artist residency was an extreme departure from my typical day-to-day life. I had a chance to be uncomfortably pushed up against my own thinking of metaformic/lunar economics in a way that I could finally embody it. (I have had writings published and I'have created performance art around metaformic/lunar economics, and this residency gave me time to revisit that work.)

When I speak of economics I speak of the roots of the word itself, of how we care for and manage that which is sacred to us. I think of the same lunar cycles of dark and light that have been happening since the beginning of metaformic/human consciousness. These cycles of ebb and flow, gain and loss, are what I think about in terms of economics. All points on this cycle are necessary to keep the balance yet we know how out-of-balance our world is, economically speaking. I think about value, what is valued, where value is placed, how value is measured. It's easy to think about theory and sometimes easy to write about it, but to change one's internal experience based on it is actually quite difficult. Being in artist residency allowed me that embodied experience.

During my first week in residency and the preceding days driving south, I felt as though I was shedding. I felt a sense of openness and calm. I felt myself more relaxed than I had in years. For months I worked at what felt like triple-speed to have the majority of my parenting/home/work responsibilities managed so I could take the time away. After the initial shedding of tension and expectations of duty, I had a chance to quiet and listen and take in the beauty of New Orleans: the warm, breezy, colorful, vibrant, gritty, dirty beauty. Smells, sounds, sights, culture everywhere and all new and refreshing to me.

There was barely anything or anyone external demanding my attention. But eventually the tension came in. Of being vs doing. Was I 'being' an artist-in-residence, or was i 'doing' an artist residency? I'm not even used to having two days off in a row, and now that I had a chance to simply be for days, nights, weeks, truly be, I started feeling the internal pressure of "i SHOULD be doing/making/creating/singing/performing/painting/writing,etc."

But why? For who? For what? Is it more valuable to do/make/create/perform/post/publish, etc. than to listen/rest/cultivate/dream/incubate/renew? Who places that value and how do we measure it? Why is it easier to value the things we can see/hear/feel/hold/touch? Those priceless things that cannot be seen are hard to measure so how do we assign them value? I theorize and write about the value of cycles and all points on them, so why does it feel like a luxury to rest? How can i promote a balanced economy based on lunar cycles if I cannot live it myself? The voice of 'should' was suddenly so strong. But I did not want to create out of that place of pressure.

Eventually I felt a real internal shift and I left that space of shedding, of letting go, of resting, of "wait, should i be doing?" to the authentic spaces that give rise to inspiration; to a desire to create; to a drive to make; and eventually to the doing. There was no thought in it at that point, it was simply love-in-action; creative presence. Such a joy.

I wrote a new song and worked out the accompanying rhythms on my drum kit. I collaged some Radwoman prints onto a lunar calendar then created a much larger, fresher version in acrylic/watercolor/markers. I drew some concept sketches and a trial-size acrylic painting of Radwoman and the iconic bend that the Mississippi River makes through the French Quarter. Many times the locals called the river 'Her' and it was always said so endearingly. "Are you goin' to visit Her?" Yes, visit her I did. Many times. I did a lot of wandering in the sun, a lot of slow walking, a lot of visiting Her.

With a few weeks of both 'being' in and 'doing' an artist residency I was able to really sink into myself, but I know I barely scratched the surface of New Orleans. I'm happy to say that I've been invited back to continue my residency at another time in the future. I will keep you posted on that!

LOVE, Polly

p.s. my daughter and her friend traveled down to spend the last few days with me and I got to experience New Orleans, through the eyes of teenagers. We did all sorts of fun touristy things and went out into the wetlands and chased the sunset on Lake Pontchartrain. Needless to say it very different than my solo time but was super-duper sweet!
Goin' over the bridge to visit Her
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I'm alive and well in New Orleans. Thank you to everyone who supported me getting here and who are keeping things running smoothly at home.

I traveled by car for four days stopping for brief but meaningful visits with my sister, my dad, then an old friend. Being still in my car alone was surprisingly one of the most relaxing things ever. I sang for days and a new song was born.

That I'm being warmly welcomed to New Orleans is an understatement. I'm being cared for with southern style and the flair of the French Quarter. After a few days of settling in I feel I have truly arrived.

I had a few technical challenges in the first 48 hours like unpacking my snare drum to find it broken; getting my car towed by the city; and having my phone crash due to overwhelm of taking hundreds of photos and texting too many of them to my daughter. But those things can happen anywhere and they helped me orient myself more to my new surroundings.

It's hard to explain what a gift this time is. I am rested and present. This city is very much alive and full of natural beauty, art, music, culture and quirkiness, and I know I've only caught a glimpse.

The economic disparity is also apparent and I wrestle with my place in it. To understand day-to-day struggle and to be given this opportunity of time, space and sustenance feels paradoxical.

May I use whatever gifts that come out of this experience to continue making the world safer, kinder, more loving, creative, inclusive and equitable.

Polly

p.s. I managed to get my thank you gifts sent out before I left except to the last few contributors...i haven't forgotten about you though!
massive mama Mississippi
morning sun in the courtyard
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Well, it's really happening!

I am leaving in a few days for my Artist Residency in New Orleans through the My Good Judy Foundation.
I am INCREDIBLY THANKFUL for everyone who has encouraged and supported me in making this new, creative opportunity a reality. (I can hardly believe it, and with all the chores in front of me day after day, I've barely had a moment to feel worried or nervous.)

Through your generous financial donations I have been able to hire someone to run my shop while I'm away, something which otherwise never would have been possible. So thank you!!

Your donations also helped to defray my travel costs and enabled me to plan for my daughter to meet me in NOLA at the end of my residency. I already miss her and I haven't even left yet, and I am so glad she will be able to come!

I am more than grateful for your support and just completed my final batch of thank you gifts. So if you have not already received something, keep an eye out in your mail.

I don't know what will unfold in this time of creative residency, but I am thrilled by the opportunity.

With love,
Polly
my good judy!
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Thank you for all for your support!
Your generosity has brought me halfway to my fundraising goal which has been instrumental in helping figure out the nuts and bolts of organizing my life responsibilities around this amazing creative opportunity.

I've been enjoying the hand work of putting together individualized thank yous... it's a nice way to balance out the many lines of digital communication!

Thank you again for your love and encouragement... it means a lot to me!

Love POlly
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$2,145 of $2,470 goal

Raised by 49 people in 7 months
$5
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