Title: Quixotic Accelerator
Artist / Group Bio: Evelyn Rodriguez is a writer that is not going to let her computer engineering degree rot. She once was a startup CTO. She currently envisions narrative Internet games that dissolve the theatrical fourth wall. Her website is evelynrodriguez.typepad.com
Type Of Media: Social Practice
Budget: The spirit of this installation is resourcefulness and improvisation. We will learn to leverage our current resources, establish partnerships with allies that might be able to help with raw materials or in-kind donations, etc.
I propose that we use the $750 as seed capital, and each team member proposes how they might use a portion of that (as described in main proposal). For instance one teen might request $25 for card stock and photocopies. She estimates she can sell 50 postcards for $2 each tangibly for profit of $75 (this doesn't include scanning of the cards for virtual sales). The others will make suggestions and approve the use of the $25 from the pool of $750 for the mercado. I am willing to make the purchases on behalf of the students; but it is up to them to direct the use of the funds so that we don't just spend the allotment but earn it back to demonstrate how self-sustaining ventures operate. We can discuss how MACLA will distribute the profits, but I suggest allowing the kids to keep their profits minus 20% (to thank MACLA for the use of the Academy space and to sustain future workshops/installations).
In general, the $750 will be used efficiently to buy raw materials primarily that are used to make goods for sale.
There may be small amounts that might need to be bought (if cannot be found or gifted) such as paint supplies (to decorate booths), speakers soldered to inexpensive MP3 players (I've priced these at average $6 each) to mimic the voices of the merchants (when the kids aren't there, their recordings play), etc. Items such as these that might need to be purchased (rather than scraped together) should total less than $200.
In addition, I want to mention that the virtual, online mercado can be an trial mercado they can use to 'beta test' their final offerings or offer additional merchandise than a 3D booth might allow for prior to the grand opening of the 3D installation. Sales of a few digital goods they've already made or can quickly make (for instance, a PDF of a short comic book they created could be priced at $1). These profits can also be used for seed capital of the 3D mercado.
Questions for staff:
I am very open and flexible in terms of collaboration.
I am gathering a list of mentors and allies that might be able to assist us -- from providing advice (for instance, one youth might want to email a real person who sells foods and coffees such as coffee shop owner Nancy Coupal of Coupa Cafe) to others providing raw materials. I'm not sure how your organization works with the youth in terms of outside contact. What I can do is perhaps a Skype or phone call or emails from the Academy where we make our requests to these external mentors/allies (part of this is to teach them that they can learn how to rely and partner within an ecosystem of support from other entrepreneurs and artists). I guess what I am asking is if in their spare time they would be available and interested in making phone calls and email messages to people they might want to reach out to for extra assistance.
I have several acquaintances and friends that are available to volunteer in person. For instance, one friend [redacted for privacy] has a background in interior design, and has worked with many corporations including [redacted] to design and construct office spaces. Her father [redacted] is a well-known restaurant owner and entrepreneur. She has volunteered to help facilitate when we are in the "construction" phase of the 3D mercado for 1-2 days. It is not necessary to have additional volunteers, but in the spirit of also teaching that entrepreneurship is also about an ecosystem of mutual support, it might be a good experience.