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Eventspiration: San Francisco Movement Arts Festival

GraceCathedral-3-7-2015Read an article about San Francisco lately and it’s almost guaranteed to be bleak. Sky-high rents. Software moguls pushing out local artists. Throngs of Californians fleeing north for Washington’s evergreen pastures.

But at the top of Nob Hill, a ray of hope for performance artists and festival event organizers poked through that ubiquitous mist—the San Francisco Movement Arts Festival (SFMAF): A Walk About in Grace.

Jim Tobin, Founder of Bay Area Dance Watch helped create a “farmer’s market” of short dance, theater and music performances in the landmark Grace Cathedral. The enormous space, including the main church, downstairs conference center, gym, hallways and three chapels was transformed into a stage.

Guests walked around at leisure to experience the 19 stations of movement. A few stations had music, some featured chants and there was a full movement choir.

SFMAF Highlights

Tobin’s fierce commitment to local artists and community are values Brown Paper Tickets shares. Like us, Tobin believes in giving more and taking less. All performers were local with the exception of a couple guest artists. And proceeds would be divided among performers.

The event sold out one week before the big night. Our outreach team supported Tobin’s efforts early on—advising him on how to set up his event page, price tickets and market the event online. “We knew Brown Paper Tickets would take care of all the technical issues and the sales of the tickets, so we could concentrate on the event itself and the performances,” he wrote in a thank you letter to us.

Tobin reports (with a chuckle) that the first and most daunting challenge was just sitting down to draw up the event. It was an incredible feat to pull off with 12 dance companies and more than 100 performers.

With various stations, going on at the same time, sound presented one of the event organizer’s biggest obstacles. “Only 4 stations were allowed to have music. All other stations were in silence or with low singing.” He reports, “it went smoothly in silence as [it did] with music.”

With the number of performers, time constraints and limited access to the space made, rehearsal presented another obstacle.

Every station had a designated leader and every station leader had to meet Tobin once. “That worked well,” he says. Short tours of the cathedral were given to artists, most who were used to performing in smaller venues, like lofts.

Such a large gathering of artists had an unanticipated side effect: it acted as a catalyst for community, bringing together local dancers who may have never met otherwise. The festival capped off with a dance down the middle of the Cathedral and a dessert reception and “performance antics” in the basement.

Grace Cathedral Photo Credit: By Bobak Ha’Eri  (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Event Tips >

Derby Blood Drives Rolling Out Coast to Coast

PeninsulaRollerGirlsRoller derby is out for blood (yours). Brown Paper Tickets and the Red Cross team up again for the third annual Make ‘em Bleed blood drives. The efforts expand this year with New England leagues rolling into town and rolling up their sleeves.

From August 2 to December 31, athletes from California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire will encourage donors with autographs, photo opportunities, skate cookies, temporary tattoos and more.

Why the party?

As events people, we like a good party. But it’s more than that. On August 13, roller derby celebrates its 80th birthday. This year also marks the 15th anniversary of the sport’s rebirth. “We are creating a celebration at every blood drive event,” said Annelise Sexton, P.R. manager for San Francisco’s B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls.

Although the treats and chances to meet derby athletes are definitely reasons to come out, making a real difference is the reward. A single donation can save multiple lives. Blood supplies tend to be low in the summer and the Make ’em Bleed drives come at a critical time for blood supply. The 2014 drives collected enough blood to save 660 lives and attracted more donors than any other blood drive series in California.

Jerry Seltzer, our roller derby outreach lead hopes to double the record-breaking donations from last year. Let’s do it. If your league is located in California or New England and you’re interested in scheduling a blood drive, email jerry [at] brownpapertickets [dot] com.

New blood drives will be added weekly, so check back often. Walkups are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit and enter the sponsor code: DERBY.

2015 Make ’em Bleed Schedule

Sunday, Aug. 2 (Worcester, MA)
Worcester Roller Derby from 10AM to 3PM at Horgan Skating Arena, 410 Oxford St. Auburn, Mass.

Saturday, Aug. 21 (Livermore, CA)
Quad City Derby Bombshells from 1 to 7PM at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave.

Sunday, Aug. 23 (Middleboro, Massachusetts)
Mass Attack Roller Derby from 10AM to 3PM at the Middleboro Elks Club, 24 High St.

Sunday, Aug. 30 (Trumbull, CT)
Connecticut Roller Girls from 9:30AM to 2:30PM at the Red Cross Bus parked at the Redwood Roller Rink, 1303 Main St.

Saturday, Sept. 5 (Rohnert Park, CA)
Resurrection Derby Girls from 11AM to 5PM at the Red Cross Bus parked in front of Cal Skate, 6100 Commerce Blvd.

Saturday, Sept. 5 (Redwood City, CA)
Peninsula Roller Girls from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at Redwood City Women’s Club, 149 Clinton St.

Saturday, Sept. 12 (Antioch, CA)
Undead Bettys from 10 AM to 4PM at Evolve Aikido & Movement Center, 1211 Auto Center Drive (across from Midas).

Sunday, Sept. 13 (Fitchburg, MA)
Mass Maelstrom Roller Derby 11AM to 4PM at Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Drive.

Saturday, Sept. 19 (San Francisco, CA)
B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls from 10AM to 4PM at the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter office, 1663 Market St.

Monday, Oct. 12 (Santa Cruz)
Santa Cruz Derby Girls from 9AM to 3PM at the LDS Church, 220 Elk Street.

Saturday, Oct. 31 (Dover, NH)
Seacoast Roller Derby from 9AM to 2PM at Dover Bowl, 8878 Central Ave.

Saturday, Oct. 31 (San Jose, CA)
Silicon Valley Derby Girls at Silver Creek Sports Complex, 800 Embedded Way from 10AM to 3PM.

Tuesday, Dec. 1 (Concord, NH)
Granite State Roller Derby, Everett Arena (Bus), 11 AM to 5 PM.

Saturday, Dec. 7 (Keene, NH)
Elm City Derby Damez from noon to 5PM at the St. Bernard Church, 185 Main Street.

Photo Credit:Tom Jung/San Mateo Daily Journal (Peninsula Roller Girls)

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I Scream, You Scream!: The Ice Cream Post

Photo by Jessica Merz on Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As February winds to a close, it’s time to plan for the most wonderful time of the year: ice cream season. Unlike the winter months, where the only advantage to eating ice cream is that it is delicious (which is really the main draw, let’s be real), springtime seems perfectly suited to the frozen delicacy. Not too hot, so it doesn’t melt all over you, and not too cold, so it doesn’t make your teeth hurt. Ice cream is the best. To celebrate the glory that is ice cream, here is a list of events all across the USA to get your sweet tooth satisfied. BOO-YUM!

Friday, March 2 | Deadly Dessert | Philadelphia, PA

ICE CRIME! This dinner theater production in Philly needs you to solve a mystery surrounding Len & Terry’s Ice Cream. “But wait,” you say, “I want to eat ice cream, not just talk about it! YOU TRICKED ME.” No, I did not. This is DINNER THEATER, and Bistro Romano, as part of its full menu, has a fine selection of gelato and sorbetto to satisfy that craving. This is an all-immersive ice cream experience.
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