January 5th, 2012
Things were slow at the studio for Art Walk due to the cold weather, but it was hopping at MOCA where Dorian had her table set up. Entertainment was provided by Phillip Pan, Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony. A great night with several volunteers signing up and over 90 messages collected. MOCA has been a great supporter of the project and we’ll be back next month…thanks!
December 8th, 2011
Art Walk was quiet last night due to a front blowing through town late in the day. I think people in Jacksonville get scared of a little rain and wind. The evening actually turned out to be pleasant and by 6:00 the rain had stopped. We had tables set up at Studio 121, The Art Center, and MOCA. It turned out that MOCA took the award for being the “happening” place for the night. Sally Parsons and her daughter Sara were busy and collected over 100 bottles. Sally and Sara are “Super Messengers” and we are thankful for their time manning the table. Look for them again next month.
November 11th, 2011
Today Veteran’s Day took on a new meaning for me. I came to realize the widespread support of our veteran’s and the importance of awareness in the success of our project. There are many groups out there ready and willing to help, we just have to find them. Dorian set up a table at MOSH (Jacksonville’s excellent Museum of Science and History) where she talked to many people who were downtown for the parade and other Veteran’s Day festivities. She made a lot of contacts and gathered 119 messages. We always bring a supply of empty bottles to these events, and everyone is eager to write their 5 words. Dorian also had a great idea to record many of the people saying, “here’s my bottle” as they handed her their completed messages in a bottle. We are putting all of these together into a new video. We will be contacting the interested people right away to start moving the word out into the community. It may take a while for us to gain some momentum but I can feel it building.
November 9th, 2011
Today we emailed to the press a description of our project. You can view it here: Nov 9 – Message in a Bottle News Release. It was a little scary hitting the “send” button knowing that your document will be sent to a few hundred people. Amy Crane of the Cultural Council wrote the release…thank you Amy! This is all part of the formula for getting the word out. It also helps you refine your message. Hopefully you’ll start seeing some news of the project in the media.
November 5th, 2011
Today we almost froze at the Veg Fest, but we kept busy in the Arbus tent. Thanks to Dorian’s hard work and salesmanship, we collected over 70 messages and signed up 12 volunteers. We met a lot of wonderful people, many whose spouses were in Afghanistan and a few veterans. They were appreciative of the project. We are still wondering about our ability to get enough bottles and messages to make this a success. We’ve got a long way to go. If you can help, please step up!
November 3rd, 2011
Thanks to all who came by to see us during Art Walk last night. Traffic in the gallery was very light, but we collected 55 messages from everyone who came to visit and signed up a few Messengers. There still seems to be some confusion on this being a recycling project or whether we want empty bottles. The important part of this project is the message. It is what you have to say. We are asking for 5 separate words, not a sentence or phrase, that describe your sentiment to our troops. And then for you to place this message in a bottle that you obtain.
Some people asked if they could email the message to us and if we could then print and insert their words into a bottle for them. I think it is important that to participate, one has to take the time to obtain an empty, dry bottle. If it’s not worth the effort to get a water bottle, then I guess this isn’t for you.
We still want and need clean empty bottles. When we attend events, it’s always good to have bottles handy for people to use. But here is the deal: if we give you a bottle, you have to promise to tell at least 5 people about this project AND bring us back at least 5 bottles with messages. That’s fair, isn’t it?
This Saturday I will be at Riverside Park at the NE FL Veg Fest in the Arbus tent. No fried pork rinds or beef jerky here, but lots of healthy foods and some fun displays. Drop by to say hi if you can.
November 2nd, 2011
We are getting ready for Art Walk tonight. If you are coming out please stop by the studio at 121 W. Forsyth to take a look at the test wall and to make a bottle. We will have plenty on hand, or better yet bring your own. If you would like to volunteer to help, we’ll painlessly sign you up. Right now we need people to help spread the word to their own groups at companies, churches, schools, and organizations. If you would like to get involved we’d love to hear from you. We also have lots of support materials and handouts available. Hope to see you tonight!