Friday, January 27, 2012

Sand Castle Days Evolving?

I want to talk today about Sand Castle Days and the Sand Castle Trail. (Please doesn't groan ;)

I recently received an email asking about dates for the 25th annual SCDays. The website has not been updated, so I forwarded the request to Mary K, who wrote back to tell me there was not a date or a location as of yet, but that the event would probably be moved to Sept. due to weather and red tide considerations.

This suggests to me that this event is in for some sea-level changes -- which I think is a good thing, as it opens up opportunities for this festival to evolve into something bold and completely different in 2012:

Who says SCDays can last no longer than a week? Why not start building large sculptures in Sept., and have them finished and viewable all autumn long, leading up to the traditional amateur & Texas State Championship contests in Oct., to take full advantage of 24 years of tradition? And who says all the sculptures have to be in one location? Why not put them all over town (spreading traffic and parking over the whole island and over a month or longer) and let people seek them out and then vote for their favorites online? Why not have the masters do multiple sculptures while they are here (solo, duo and team) and get more bang for our buck? Why not build contest sculptures indoors (at city hall, the convention centre, the visitors center, etc.) when the weather is not cooperative? Why not start even earlier and have weekly amateur events all summer long leading up to the fall festival? With a little "out of the box" thinking, we could take that same $35,000 budget - lasso in some more funds from the larger island properties who will be able to see direct benefits from their contributions - and create something even bigger that will attract and entertain more people than anything we have done before.

(I would encourage interested parties to google ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI - a long-running, very successful contest where different venues host artworks and the public votes for their favorites. There is no reason why this couldn't work as a model for something completely new and different to the world of sand sculpture -- and it could originate right here on SPI!)

This is my area of expertise. I started this event and was fairly instrumental in keeping it going for most of the past 24 years. I have lots of great (and probably some not-so-great ;) ideas as well as the energy and the enthusiasm to help make them happen. But when I wrote the town's activity director and respectfully requested an opportunity to work with the city and share my ideas on how we can make the 25th annual SCDays the best yet, I was told in no uncertain terms that my input and assistance were not needed or wanted.

What if the Sand Castle trail and Sand Castle Days were to work together to extend and grow everything? What if all the people who love sand sculpture and SPI could work together instead of jealously guarding their little territories? Why not really and truly make SPI the Sand Castle Capital of the World?

All I am asking for is a seat at the table and a chance to serve my community by doing what I do best.


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