The year going from August 31, 2008 to August 31, 2009 saw the project, known as Tsirkus Fotografika expanded greatly with shoots not only in Philadelphia, but also New York City. Tsirkus did seven public shoots for a total of 123 impromptu photographic collaborations. These images can be seen in he gallery section of Tsirkus.org.
While our tax year has yet to close, to date, between income generated by the public shoots and donations, the project is roughly at a break even. The total amount given to various charities and artistic projects that sponsored Tsirikus’ presence over the August to August time period is $366. We have been very successful in fulfilling our mission to both provide a “draw” and a creative activity for our sponsors’ events as well as helping them to raise badly needed cash. Sponsors include the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, City Kitties Cat Rescue, The Franklin Inn Club (Philadelphia), and the Jazz Age Lawn Party.
The satisfaction level of our sponsors has been extremely high with repeat shoots scheduled with many. The new fiscal year looks even busier and livelier. September has three public shoots booked including one in Pittsburgh and one on Governor’s Island in NYC. October has two shoots already scheduled with more likely.
In March, Tsirkus’ principal photographer, RA Friedman was awarded a $20,000 project grant from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program as part of its Journeys South initiative. Friedman’s work in developing Tsirkus as well as much help from Tsirkus associates was largely responsible for the success of the proposal that was submitted. Working with the residents of South Philadelphia, the endeavor will hopefully dovetail with the Tsirkus project and provide Friedman with additional creative time.
In February, Tsirkus partnered with Frank Siciliano of Steamed Punk to fabricate the first projector for a planned magic lantern show. Modifications are complete including a 45 cubic foot-per-minute cooling fan and a one kilowatt light source attached to a modified circa 1920 Keystone “Model C” projector that has been named “Baby Boris.” Baby Boris can be seen on the Tsirkus home page. A second, identical projector body was recently purchased on e-Bay and once modified will complete the pair needed to conduct a show of oversize projected images.
Tsirkus also got a brand new look with a website designed by Jenna Hannum who did the project pro-bono. The beautiful site, most importantly, has taken Tsirkus from an ad-hoc, rag-tag operation to one that has a professional presence. Traffic has been steady and is conservatively 100 visitors a week with many spending a few minutes looking around. Additionally, Susan Englert, an artist from Pittsburgh donated a large chunk of time and expertise to create lively informational cards that we now hand out at events, as a way of further networking.
Draw downs to the account were for the second projector, approximately $81 and for equipment and liability insurance for six months, approximately $90.00. All other expenses such as film, travel, assistant honorariums, and incidentals have come from the funds generated by the shoots themselves where each itinerant portrait sells for $10.00. Approximately $145 still remains in the account which will go for yearly liability insurance due in Oct.
Funding exclusive of donations: $801
Professional Fees: $145
Transportation $ 84
Other, est. $ 500
RA Friedman, Principal Photographer
“Lit from Within”