The title of today’s entry is something of an addendum to the “grass is always greener…” saying. Today I found myself watering my neighbor’s lawn as I wrote a letter of support for a grant application.
The artist in residence for my theatre is the artistic director of a contemporary dance company We will be developing a new dance work for 2006 based on a Hawaiian myth. Right now he is applying for a Rockefeller Foundation grant to help underwrite the development of the piece. As one of the organizations involved with the work, I was asked to write a letter of support.
I spent about 4 hours on this letter polishing and honing it to sing the praises of the group with which I was going to partner. At around hour 3 I realized, much to my chagrin, that I had spent more time discussing the value of the dance company’s work in terms that were aligned with the foundation’s goals than I did on the last grant I wrote.
I don’t know if it was because I had a little more time to write than I did when my last grant application was due (and I didn’t have the budgetary questions looming ahead of me) or because as an outsider who doesn’t know all organizational flaws the dance company has it was easier to be effusive. Or maybe it just feels less sincere when you are writing about all the ambitious plans you have while there is a voice in your head that wonders whether you actually have the organizational capacity to pull it off.
On the flipside though, even though the money won’t go to me directly, I will benefit if the company receives the grant because I have a greater assurance that the show will be good if they aren’t focussed on fundraising.
And I will say one thing–this guy is good about lining up support early. In his playbill this past weekend, he had a flyer soliciting funds for the development of this piece two seasons hence, perhaps at the expense of his upcoming seasons.