New Report from The Lafayette Practice

April 24, 2014 at 2:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Screen-Shot-2014-04-14-at-8.04.55-AMThe Lafayette Practice is pleased to announce our new publication: Who Decides: How Participatory Grantmaking Benefits Donors, Communities and Movements.

TLP  conducted research and interviews to analyze and compare the practices of eight premiere international Participatory Grantmaking Funds (PGF). TLP examined existing data regarding the qualitative aspects of the funds and their grantees, including functions, roles, and budgets.

Participatory Grantmaking emerges from a practice of grassroots activism, with assumed belief that decision-making participation of people impacted by the fund’s programs will guarantee that grants are allocated to those most deserving. Participatory Grantmaking models have proliferated over the past several decades. Yet there has been little research or documentation to analyze the assumptions and outcomes of the methodology.

A Radical Ethics of Crowdfunding

March 26, 2014 at 12:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The March-April 2014 issue of Grassroots Fundraising Journal includes my interview with Annie Danger, “Emily Post-Capitalism and the Revolutionary Etiquette of Crowdfunding.”  I highly recommend subscribing to this journal – it is consistently super helpful and engaging with details, theory, and advice about raising money for social change.  You can read the article here with an added document, a proposed ethics of crowdfunding, that she and I put together. As Annie explains: We are hoping it can start good conversation about how to engage critically with this now-permanent aspect of our lives under capitalism. Thoughts? Questions? Amendments? We don’t claim to have the answers, but sure do have a lot of ideas and questions.

Click to readClick here to read

Lafayette Project

March 12, 2014 at 12:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

logoIn recent months I’ve been working with The Lafayette Practice, a consulting group initiated by my good friend Matty Hart. The Lafayette Practice is a consortium of international professionals spanning 50 years of deeply engaged experience solving the complex problems that foundations and nonprofit organizations encounter. Our first project together was creation of a report for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO) organization, titled “Potential, Strategy, and Impact: A Report on IDAHO’s Opportunities at a Critical Juncture.” The goal of this project was to develop a broad fundraising strategy for IDAHO, with a recommended implementation plan, addressing structural changes necessary for fundraising success in the US and beyond. Looking at short-term and long-term fundraising opportunities, identify funding trends, and reviewing potential legal structures, The Lafayette Practice (TLP) offered a series of recommendations that will contribute to the organization’s financial and organizational sustainability.

Currently, we are nearing completion of an exciting project: research and interviews to analyze and compare the practices of eight premiere international Participatory Grantmaking Funds.

Participatory Grantmaking – also referred to as Peer Review Grantmaking, Community Funding, or Activist Funding – emerges from a practice of grassroots activism, with assumed belief that participation by people impacted by the fund’s programs will guarantee that grants are allocated to those most deserving. Participatory Grantmaking models have proliferated over the past several decades. Yet there has been little research or documentation to analyze the assumptions and outcomes of the methodology. Stay tuned for more info on this research!

SLAM Herstory

December 27, 2013 at 4:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have been doing some transcription work over the past year for my pal Suzy Subways and the SLAM Herstory Project – it’s super inspiring about the power of oral history and people’s history.  Can’t wait till the book version comes out – these interviews are so awesome.

Jenny Romaine receives Dreaming in Yiddish Award

December 15, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For anyone that would like to read the text of the introduction, here it is- click to read!

I’m honored to introduce Jenny Romaine at this upcoming award event! I wrote about Jenny for my MA Thesis, “Unleashing Power in Yiddishland and Faerieland: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience,” which can be accessed here.

Image by Eric Drooker

Image by Eric Drooker

Dreaming In Yiddish An evening honoring Jenny Romaine and the legacy of Adrienne Cooper

On Saturday, December 21st at 8pm we will gather together in love to remember and celebrate the amazin

g legacy left to us by singer/songwriter and star of Yiddish music, Adrienne Cooper. The event will also celebrate the newly established Adrienne Cooper Fund Award and its first honoree, the brilliant dreamer and vision-maker, Jenny Romaine.

The illustrious line up for 2013 Dreaming in Yiddish: An Evening honoring Jenny Romaine and the legacy of Adrienne Cooper includes these luminaries of the world of Yiddish and other music: Lorin Sklamberg, Ethel Raim, Joanne Borts, Susan Leviton, Psoy Korolenko, Josh Dolgin, Benjy Fox-Rosen, Eleanore Reissa, Michael Alpert, Sarah Gordon, Frank London, Michael Winograd, Joel Rubin, Avi Fox-Rosen, Marilyn Lerner, Cookie Seigelstein, Alicia Svigals, Dan Blacksberg, Mark Rubin, Aaron Alexander, Patrick Farrell, Lauren Brody, and more…. Continue Reading Jenny Romaine receives Dreaming in Yiddish Award…

Queer Dreams//Nonprofit Blues: Save the Date!

August 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m speaking on a panel at this upcoming conference:

Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues: Dilemmas of the Nonprofit Tradition in LGBT Politics
http://bcrw.barnard.edu/queerdreams/
#queerdreams
October 4-5, 2013
Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School

Panel Description: Funding the Unpopular: Innovative Models of Funding Social Justice
Funding work that is with populations not in the mainstream or that are marginalized and stigmatized in multiple ways remains a challenge. Activists and organizers have to use creative strategies to address this dynamic. What innovative approaches to fundraising have been attempted by groups working with such populations? Do online and grassroots fundraising strategies offer hope to LGBT movement organizations?
Moderator: Dean Spade, Columbia Law School.
Presenters: Andre Banks, ALL OUT; Ezra Berkley Nepon, Writer and Fundraising Consultant; Andrea Ritchie, Streetwise & Safe; Shira Hassan, Consultant and former director, Young Women’s Empowerment Project.

Updating to add link to audio and video of the many panels 

My MA Thesis!

June 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My MA thesis is complete! Fancy title: “Unleashing Power in Yiddishland and Faerieland: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience.”  Want to read it? Here’s a link to the PDF that’s password-protected – let me know if you’d like to access it. (ezra dot nepon at gmail)

Here’s the abstract:

This research identifies transformative theatrical strategies in the work of two contemporary radical theater artists: a troupe of queer satirists from rural Tennessee called The Eggplant Faerie Players, and New Yiddish Theater-maker Jenny Romaine of New York City. Through oral history interviews, archival research, observer-participation, and in the context of their shared era, this study identifies and explores strategies that are common to both artists: Rehearsing Resistance, Re-Mixing History, and Dazzle Camouflage. Referencing Gloria Anzaldúa’s theory of “borderlands,” this work uses Yiddishland and Faerieland as frameworks that acknowledge the material and metaphorical spaces that are conjured through folk arts and culture. This thesis contributes creative new stories, ideas, insights, and critical analysis. It will benefit a wide community of historians, theater artists, culture-makers, and social justice activists who work to build resilience and resistance, toward personal and social transformation.

New Report! Member-Based Organization Strategies and Practices

May 21, 2013 at 11:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SRLP_From_The_Bottom_Up-1In 2007, the members of Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) formed a committee to
investigate how to add new dimensions to SRLP’s membership structure. We aimed to
intentionally create more points of entry for community members whose ongoing
experiences of state violence, poverty, ableism, racism, and transphobia produced
obstacles for them to consistently participate in community organizations. We set out to
learn the following:

  • What are other organizations doing to build and sustain their membership models?
  • How can we create organizational models that build skills and leadership within community members?
  • What organizational models support grassroots fundraising of organizations?
  • How might we best utilize ally energy?
  • How can we address the common obstacles that come up in doing radical work to fight oppression while also facing oppression?

The result is From the Bottom Up: Strategies and Practices for Membership-Based Organizations. I was honored to work on this project as a staff and collective member of SRLP, and very excited that it is now available for public distribution. Please share!

Feyboy Arts Grant!

May 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

http://feyboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/feyboy-arts-grants-round-2-logo.jpgVery excited that I received a $350 grant from Feyboy Arts Grants for a Queerer Tomorrow to digitize VHS and Hi-8 movies of Eggplant Faerie Player shows and other events from Idyll Dandy Arts (IDA).  The theme of the grant funding cycle was “Through the Past, A Queerer Tomorrow, Today” and they gave away a total of $1,810. What a fabulous example of queer collective resourcefulness! I’m especially honored to be a co-grantee with Tommy Avicoli Mecca, author of Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation.

This round of grants was dedicated to Larry Mitchell, author of The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions.

Featured Artist at Leeway Foundation

January 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thank you to the Leeway Foundation for including me in their Featured Artist video series – what an awesome group of Philly artists committed to social justice!

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