‘It’s A Parade, For Art’s Sake’
by Kirby Lindsay
Midway through the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) monthly ‘committee of the whole’ (or COW) meeting on May 8, Mylinda Sneed reminded attendees that there would be a parade on Saturday, July 19 at Noon. Just in case anyone at the meeting couldn’t already guess from the papier-mâché, painting, wire cutting, and general construction assembly going on throughout the meeting.
As of the meeting, thirty-eight ensembles (groups of five or more, large puppets, floats or musical performers) had registered to take part in the 2010 Fremont Solstice Parade. Registration remains open until the day of the parade, and can now be done on-line.
Meeting attendees mentioned their ensembles. The Rube Goldberg float had found the naked cyclist they needed, but still desperately sought a belly dancer. FAC President Jerry Smith is organizing the fundraising Green Hat ensemble “in the spirit of disco.” Econ-opoly will be played upon the streets, with costumed game pieces, hotels and cards. Venezia Solsticio will bring a life-sized, 35½ foot gondola to the street along with waltzing. Doggity, a helpful spirit, will also be on hand. Jaguars vs. the Bulldozers will feature VamoLa, village idiots who plow down grasses and surveyors to clear out the audience to make room for roadways and buildings.
At work on jaguar masks, 10-days before the parade, Peter Toms – a parade founder – could still brainstorm ideas. He felt compelled by the current oil catastrophe, and meeting attendees got into ideas about ‘drill’ teams, black plastic that covers (and tangles) spectators, and tar balls.
Every ensemble still needs volunteers – and time remains to get involved. Sneed mentioned upcoming classes including hula hoop making on June 12 at Noon, and another possible pixy wing making class on June 14. The parade also needs more ‘Mom & Pops,’ Check-in Divas and Monitors.
People are also needed after the parade at Gasworks Park – to help ‘park’ the floats and to help clean-up after the post-parade celebration at 5:30p. The most fun may be the Float Move, done the night before the parade on Friday, June 18 starting at 9p. To help with this (and all pre-parade activities) drop-by the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Avenue N.)
At Smith’s strong encouragement, Sneed acknowledged the incredible team that has channeled this people-powered celebration of art - Leslie Zenz, as Solstice Director, Mylinda Sneed as Parade Coordinator, Gyan Davies as Gasworks Park Coordinator and David Marine as Workshop Coordinator.
Beyond the Parade
As if the Solstice Parade weren’t enough, day-to-day business also required attention. President Smith made a call for membership sign-ups (“good time for ‘nudge, nudge’”) and gave the very welcomed news that the final payment of back taxes to the IRS has been made.
As warned in May, meeting discussion also dwelt at length on a need for changes to the FAC by-laws. Board member Maque daVis (and ‘Acting President-for-Life’) presented the first of these changes, as chosen by the by-law subcommittee of daVis, Rodman Miller and Gyan Davies. Currently any changes to the by-laws require a majority vote by the membership, even though much of the membership choose not to vote in elections. Instead, they recommend by-law changes be made by a full consensus of all elected board members. This raised a concern that the board could, potentially, make drastic changes without regard to the wishes of the membership.
daVis recommended that anyone with concerns, or suggestions, on by-law amendments send them by e-mail to the Board. Or attend the next FAC COW meeting on July 13, starting at 7:10 p.m.-ish, at the Powerhouse. The committee of the whole consists of anyone who shows up – including you…
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.