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The Mid-Week Beat: LeeFest

leefestAt Brown Paper Tickets we love to work with community projects and those who have a DIY approach and mentality. This is why it is such a pleasure to be selling tickets for LeeFest this year.

This is a festival that started from humble beginnings with the right mindset, principles and ethics and has now become a major player in the annual festival calendar winning “Best Independent Festival” in 2012 at the Association of Independent Music awards.

It certainly has come a long way from starting in founder Lee Denny’s back garden with 150 people, whilst his parents were on holiday. This small community has grown over the years and now the festival will run over 3 days in 2013 with the community swelling beyond 3000. Despite the rise in number the organizers are keen to keep the same atmosphere. As the numbers have grown so have the demographic and the younger crowd has grown out to a real cross section of the population throwing their energy into the mix and making this such a unique event.

The growth of LeeFest over the years is a truly staggering achievement, a fact that is aptly demonstrated by this cheeky graphic aid which shows that logistically it has become a different animal over the years.

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Music >

Cafe Racer Ticket Program Hopes to Double Fundraising Efforts

 On May 30th, tragedy struck the Seattle artistic community. A lone gunman walked into Café Racer, a North Seattle hub of artists and musicians and opened fire, killing four people and injuring one. He then proceeded downtown where he killed another woman while stealing her car. He escaped to West Seattle where he eventually killed himself when tracked down by law enforcement.

The shooting affected many of us here at Brown Paper Tickets, with some of the victims being good friends and fellow artists. It also struck a serious blow to the artistic community who considered the Café Racer to be a safe haven that encouraged diversity and creativity. In the weeks that followed, the Seattle arts community rallied and fundraisers were held almost nightly to help raise money for the lone survivor and the families of those killed. We decided that it was important for us to also take part in the fundraising efforts and so we began to put into action the “Cafe Racer Ticket” program as a way to continue supporting those in need long after the newsworthiness of this tragic event wore off. It has been announced that Café Racer will re-open today and so we felt that this would be a good time to announce that in eight weeks Brown Paper Tickets will unveil the Cafe Racer Ticket program.
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News >

Hyperglobal blog, Seattle Globalist Launch Party this Saturday!

The Seattle Globalist is a new “hyperglobal” blog celebrating the Seattle region’s international community and its many connections to the rest of the world. The Globalist offers an unexpected take on international travel, culture, development, and Seattle’s global-local connection.

Seattle has been named a “hyper-diverse city” by the Migration Policy Institute — we have more than 250,000 foreign-born residents, representing every region in the world, and no one country of origin makes up more than a quarter of that group.

The Globalist is a hub for the many people in our region who identify internationally in some way: immigrants, international NGO workers, foodies, travellers — anyone who feels a strong connection to the world outside of our borders. It covers everything from international foods (like Japanese Fusion Hot Dogs and the best Pakistani food on the east side) and bands (like these five international bands coming to Seattle) to Seattleites’ reflections on travelling in the Middle East as an Iranian Jew or in Las Vegas as a Jordanian-American. The Globalist has done stories about St. Patrick’s Day, folk music, and human rights in Burma. The site features a community calendar with international events from cooking classes to film screenings, and writers are drawn from Seattle’s tech, non-profit and journalism communities.

The Globalist is published by the Common Language Project, a nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to covering under-reported international news through multimedia, which is based at the University of Washington.

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Radio >

Non-profit of the Month: One Tail at a Time

After spending some time with different animal shelters, foster programs and animal help clinics, I ran across this organization in Chicago: One Tail at a Time. They are a non-profit foster program that is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue program.  This is their mission statement:

One Tail at a Time…serves to lower euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area and provide education on the humane treatment of companion animals. The rescue concentrates its efforts on dogs that are in danger of being euthanized, or those that are physically and/or mentally deteriorating in a shelter environment, works to rehabilitate them, and then matches each dog with a permanent home. Focused on keeping pets as a part of our family, One Tail at a Time offers fosters and adopters continued support and education on how best to keep dogs happy, healthy and part of the family.

What is very unique about this dog foster program is they pay for everything a person needs (food, medical, dog walkers, daycare, etc.) to ensure that all the dogs in their program are well taken care of. They don’t just go out and pick the best of the best animals from the shelters for quick adoption turn-around, they find the best in all dogs and try to give as many of them as possible a chance at a better life. If, for some reason, the adoption isn’t a good fit, they will take the dog back into their program. In fact they prefer it! This allows them to ensure that the dog finds the best family possible. Even if a family can no longer keep the dog years after the adoption, One Tail at a Time will take the dog back into their program and find it a new, happy home.

A current foster for One Tail at a Time, Juli Zagrans, stated: “I’ve been volunteering and fostering for OTAT for about 2 years. I’ve had 17 of their dogs in my home and consistently work with this organization because they make doing the right thing easy. It was started by a group of friends with a vision that they could offer something to the Chicago rescue community, and they have. They choose quality over quantity, and once an OTAT dog, always an OTAT dog.”

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Good Causes >

Three Ways Brown Paper Tickets Empowers Communities.

Image source:

On my blog Spark Change, I’ve been featuring ways you can improve your office and for my final post in this series, I thought I would take this time to examine some things that Brown Paper Tickets does to make a difference in our communities with the hope that other companies will take a piece or two of what we do and create new ways to make their office more giving.

A relatively easy way to make an impact on your community is to make a financial donations to local schools or non-profits. Brown Paper Tickets takes 5% of our quarterly profits and donates that amount to a non-profit. We have also been a part of setting-up micro-loans with Kiva and helping to support people across the world. Look at your profits and give what you can every quarter or every year. Whether it is $10 or $100, the donation will make a difference.

Another great way to make an impact in your community is to give time. Brown Paper Tickets empowers every employee with 40 hours of time-on. This means that each employee could help build houses for a whole week in Africa and get paid as if they were sitting at their desks, working in the office. Employees are also able to break-up their time-on and give one or two hours to their favorite non-profit every week. It is a great way to get people more involved in their communities. This is something easily applied to every company. 40 hours is a lot of time to give as an employer, but even giving 20 hours or even a full working day of 8 hours would make a big difference. It is also a great team building experience when a whole group works on a volunteering project together. Giving employees time to go volunteer takes away the common excuse of not having time to volunteer. Give them time and see what they can do!

In my opinion, one of the most amazing programs Brown Paper Tickets has is our Doer program. Doers, unlike a sales team, are not responsible for business development. Their sole purpose it to go out and help people in their industry, free of charge. They are change makers. Some call it a dream job and I would agree. They are Brown Paper Tickets employees, paid to go out and make a positive difference in our world. How amazing is that?! Now, this one may be a little more challenging to take and apply to your own business, but maybe start by scaling it down and allow some of your employees to take on projects that will make a difference in your community and give them four hours a week to work on that project. There are many variations of a program like this that you could make work for your company.

The more you are able to support your employees’ desire to create positive change, the better world we will have to all share. Go on. Change the world!

News >

Featured Non-Profit: Sole Hope

Recently on Twitter I discovered a new organization called Sole Hope (@SoleHope). Their mission: to create jobs and shoes for those in need.

It all started with this YouTube video (warning: watch this video with a strong stomach) which shows volunteers extracting jiggers from children’s feet. Jiggers are small sand fleas that enter bare feet and burrow into the skin. If left untreated they can lead to serious infections, paralysis and even amputation. The worst part, if people wore closed-toed shoes and washed their feet regularly all of this could be avoided.

Asher Collie (founder of Sole Hope) saw the video and it broke her heart. Being a mother herself, she couldn’t sit idly by after seeing the pain on the children’s faces. She chose to do something about it and in 2010 Asher visited Zambia, Africa to see what could be done.
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Good Causes >

Featured Non-Profit: Girls On The Run

If you’re a runner, you know the powerful effect running can have on a person. Not only is running physically beneficial, it can help you mentally as well. Tired? Having a bad day? Frustrated by something?Need to get out of the house? Work it out with a good jog and you’ll feel better by the end. It’s amazing how a run can give you a new perspective on things. Need an excuse to get out there? How about running to help change lives and benefit communities? 5K events happen almost every weekend and the proceeds go to great community organizations.

This Saturday, December 3rd, is the New Balance Girls on the Run 5k Community run. Women, men, children, leashed pets and all-terrain strollers are welcome to participate! “Girls on the Run of Puget Sound is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Since 2002, GOTRPS has operated as an after-school prevention program for 3rd through 5th grade girls throughout Puget Sound.”
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Good Causes >

Featured Non-Profit: Arts and Scraps

I had the pleasure of meeting the organization Arts & Scraps last month in Detroit for the Detroit Maker Faire (a faire based around new ideas for reusing, recycling and creating). At their booth, kids (and adults) used the recycled materials that were provided to creatively think about how these old pieces could be transformed into something new. It was so much fun to see the kids walking around with their creations.

Arts & Scraps started in 1989 with the mission of using recycled industrial scraps to help people of all ages and abilities think, create and learn. They accomplish this by making creative experiences affordable and accessible. Their vision for the future is to “reach every undeserved child in the Detroit metropolitan area with quality creative and educational experiences.”
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Good Causes >

Featured Non-Profit: Lights, Camera, Help

Here at Brown Paper Tickets, we are always looking for ways to make the world a better place. From our charity donation program, to giving each employee 40 hours a year of time-on to go help others outside of the office, we are delighted when we see an organization within our ticketing community working on bettering the world.

Meet: Lights. Camera. Help., a nonprofit organization and producers of the world’s first film festival dedicated entirely to nonprofit and cause-driven films. LCH’s goal is to help other nonprofit and cause-driven organizations use film to tell their stories. LCH says, “We do this through our education and volunteer match programs, screenings and an annual film festival.”
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Good Causes >