The projects below are posted on the AngelList website. Follow the links to learn more! I hope to find partners and donors/investors for each.
I have considered these ideas for several years, mostly since 2010 when I moved from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, Texas and began Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog. Some of the projects require my concerted effort and involvement, others require partial leadership and involvement, and partnerships of all kinds. Regardless, they merit consideration and funding.
If you have an interest, contact me by using the secure contact form available on this website.
Native Plants, Land Reclamation, Heritage Tourism
While wandering through the expansive historic cemeteries of San Antonio from 2011 to 2013 (see slide show), the idea came to me. Why not develop a sophisticated, multi-faceted project to restore historic Texas cemeteries, create jobs, educate the public and invigorate the local economy, all the while saving water and beautifying these largely untended plots of land?
Components might include:
- Use of water-saving native plants and create native plant (xeric) landscaping throughout, hiring native plant experts, gardeners and related contractors. Texas has water conservation issues and this could help educate citizens to the possibilities while reducing water usage in the cemeteries themselves.
- Hire stone masons and restore those monuments which were once so beautiful!
- Create attractive, educational websites telling the stories of those interred (hire more history graduates and web developers).
- Develop mobile apps for onsite tours (as well as cell phone dial-in “tours”); enable mobile giving campaigns for ongoing repair and restoration purposes.
- Bring school children for educational walking tours and other enjoyable events (we don’t exercise enough, nor do we provide enough education about the rich histories of our cities).
- Revitalize neighborhoods with new businesses catering to cemetery tourists.
- Create new jobs throughout, and boost the economy and heritage tourism.
I do envision enlisting partner organizations to accomplish this project. Among them might be the City of Austin, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Historical Commission, churches (some of which own the cemeteries), and Google.
Photos in the above slideshow were taken by me.
Fine Art Butterfly Print Project
Follow the links for more information about this exceptionally high quality artistic and educational project of national scope, which will ultimately support the ongoing operational needs of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.
The project was developed by me initially, then it involved input by Mark L. Smith (one of the original founders of Flatbed Press in Austin and a classmate from The University of Texas at Austin). Mark recently purchased Texas Art House in Johnson City, and as this project will require professional sales capabilities, Mark is even more of an asset to it.
Another graduate school colleague, Dr. Constance Cortez, who is now School of Art Director at UTRGV, has agreed to work with us on the curatorial side and more. In fact, we may base our operations for the project at UTRGV.
My sense is the fewer funding partners we have for this multiple year project, the better. This is a name/brand opportunity and it involves the creation of a documentary film, a touring exhibition, and educational programs (regarding art and nature/conservation).
EU Charity Lotteries for Texas and the U.S.
Charity lotteries in Europe are highly successful and they have a more ethical emphasis than lotteries in the United States today, including Texas. This project is not intended to reinvent the wheel, as it were. It would involve engaging the seasoned and sophisticated management team already working in Europe, to bring the charity lottery concept to the United States, with Texas as a test case for the nation.
I did share this idea with a colleague involved with the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Governor’s Office a few years ago. But my sense is, the scope would be more broad than just supplying funding for the arts. I realize that I am not an expert in the field of charity lotteries. I would definitely also engage local partners familiar with government regulations, lobbyists and more to see how this project could become a reality with Texas as a starting point.
Artfuel: An Italian and American Partnership
Artfuel is an international fundraising project focused on the Tuscany region of Italy. With longtime friends in Milan, Italy, I began pondering how American donors might assist urgent needs for repair and improvement of museums and historic properties in Tuscany, and with confidence.
Our activities will be lean, focused and modern. I would be one of a team of three to implement Artfuel, which we would like to base from a contribution standpoint in Dallas at the Communities Foundation of Texas (designated fund that will receive and distribute donations to Italy). What is needed, is funding for the team of three to set aside their time in a meaningful way to implement Artfuel.
We created a website (art-fuel.art) to outline project details. Interest is high from the Art Ministry, Tuscany Branch. Projects are posted on the website with proposed budgets. Once we complete this initial set of fundraising projects, we anticipate moving onto a new set, and so forth. It is possible other cultural heritage sites in Europe would be involved in future years.
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These concepts were created by me, or inspired by my research and conversations with friends and professional colleagues.
Use the secure contact form to reach me, should you have questions.