• Jason Haskins

It's beginning to look a lot like December


Do you remember the last event you attended in a large gathering? Was it to see a play? Was it to attend a concert or sporting event?


For me, there were two events in the week in which Idaho recorded its first positive COVID-19 case. The first was earlier in that week, in which I attended a concert. It was a battle of tribute bands as the Beatles laid down their hits, facing off against The Rolling Stones doing the same. It was a night of nostalgia and fun and, nine months later, still an event I'm glad I attended.




Later in that week, Alley Repertory Theater opened and closed its production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City by Halley Feiffer. I was there for those limited performances and it was the last time I was in a social gathering of larger than eight people.


It was also the last event at Visual Arts Collective, Alley Rep's home and a cultural and performing arts venue located in Garden City.


Nine months now the venue has been closed. No concerts. No burlesque shows. No plays. And no art shows.


That is, no art shows until now.


Beginning December 5 – with a live online auction on December 12 – there will be an online art auction to raise proceeds for VAC. Over 100 artists contributed pieces to this auction and is just one aspect of a fundraising campaign that is taking place in hopes of keeping VAC with enough operating funds to carry them to the spring of 2021.


Visual Arts Collective plans to re-open as soon as they are safe to do so, but at the moment every event scheduled on the VAC calendar has been canceled until 2021. In this regard, Project VACscene was started in hopes of raising funds to help VAC slowly re-open when the time is right and to subsidize lost revenue and operating expenses for the next six months. Learn more about this campaign – and the upcoming online Love Letters to VAC Art Auction to support VAC – by visiting the GoFundMe page.


If you haven't had a chance to yet – and you love VAC – there’s also an opportunity to write your very own love letter to VAC. Read about the love letters and the art auction in a recent fantastic article from the Idaho Press.


On with the show, as they say.


UPDATES


Over the last two months, I have found a renewed motivation in writing across a spectrum of genres and projects.


There has been sports writing, focusing on mostly the Boston Celtics and the Boston College Eagles football team, with a little Boise State Broncos action to boot.


Good work – not yet necessarily good pages – has been put in on The Dragon Slayer and for the first time in over a year, real momentum on the pages being churned out. (Still have the goal of a 2021 release in mind.)


There has also been focus on screenplay and play edits, plus work on the blog. All has kept me busy as I while away the hours cooped up in my apartment.


I have also done a heavier marketing push for Of Snow Forts and Santa. As a one-man marketing machine, it can be a little tough, but it's worth it. And I'm thankful for all the people who have taken time to read, to share, and to review this novella.


Speaking of books...


On the reading list


A quick glance at a few books and plays I've read -- and enjoyed or appreciated -- over the last few months:


PLAYS:

  • Marisol by José Rivera

  • The Royale by Marco Ramirez

  • Booty Candy by Robert O'Hara

  • Greater Clements by Samuel D. Hunter

BOOKS:

  • The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

  • No Name in the Street by James Baldwin

  • The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well by Louisa Thomsen Brits

  • The Defenders of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks

Thanks for stopping by. Here's to barreling forward in the final days of 2020 and onward to brighter times.


Stay safe, stay healthy. Be bold and be kind.


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