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Pizza Parlay awards micro-grants to local artists

By Allie Safran | SDUN Reporter

The Silent Comedy performs as a part of A Trolley Show, which won a micro-grant through Pizza Parlay. (Photo by Rebecca Joelson)

At a collaborative event produced by the Urbanist Guide and 3rd Space, local artists were awarded micro-grants while supporting local restaurants. Called a Pizza Parlay, producers invite residents to submit art and community project proposals, which are then voted on by participants to determine the micro-grant recipients.

Local pizza restaurants host or provide food for the Parlays, with the April 29 event hosted by URBN Coal Fire Pizza in North Park.

Event founders said selection guidelines are deliberately vague to allow for as many different submissions as possible. Projects and proposals accepted may include “a sculpture, a film, an art show, a conference, a concert, a street fair, a gallery space, an events series [or] an after school program,” per their guidelines.

Similar initiatives include St. Louis, Mo.-based SLOUP, a monthly soup dinner that generates funding for the arts; and Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics in Brooklyn, New York.

Dayna Crozier, Pizza Parlay producer and Urbanist Guide blogger, said the events are inspired by these programs, which raise money to be awarded as micro-grants. “Since I didn’t notice something like that here and I had SLOUP’s blessing, I decided to go ahead and start my own,” she said.
Participants pay a $12 entrance fee, $10 of which goes directly to the grant. Furthermore, 3rd Space, a club for artists offering a workspace and an opportunity to engage with other local artists, add a three-month membership to their arts collective for the winner. Second- and third-place winners receive free workspace at 3rd Space for one month.

“I was just hoping to add to the strength and sociability of our arts community, do some good and raise money for talented people using a model that I know can be successful,” Crozier said.

At the April 29 event, which was the second Pizza Parlay in San Diego, A Trolley Show won an $830 grant. The group, by Rowlberto Productions, features local musicians performing impromptu shows to the trolley-riding San Diego community, similar to a flash mob. Co-founders Andrew Rowley and Rob Knauf organize different local bands to perform, which are filmed and released online.

Rowley, Knauf and other members of Rowlberto Productions said the goal is to give the community a different way to experience a band, bringing the typical idea of a concert to the next level.

Additionally, A Trolley Show aims to provide local musicians the opportunity to share their talent with the community. As A Trolley Show stated in their proposal for the grant, “We feel really excited to be promoting San Diego in an awesome new light and showcasing what it has to offer besides its infamous beach scene. Being able to combine our love for San Diego with our artistic passion is what helps us push through the many hours of work and fun.”

Knauf said they would use the money to purchase new video and audio equipment, as well as improve their website. “We want to expand our audience reach by improving our site to include more images, information about the crew, bands and shoot dates,” he said.

To view performances organized by A Trolley Show, visit trolleyshow.com or follow @atrolleyshow on Twitter for information on upcoming shows.

The next Pizza Parlay will be held on May 27 at 3rd Space, located at 4610 Park Blvd, and proposals must be submitted by May 21 to be considered for the micro-grant. For more information, visit urbanistguide.com/blog/Pizza-Parlay.aspx.

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