Keeping the Poppy in San Francisco…

 Greetings Poppy Family,


 If you are a fan of the Red Poppy Art House, then this is an important message for you to read.


We’ve been pouring our hearts and minds into the labor of bringing you the best artistic programming that we are able to offer here in the Bay Area. Now we need you to have our back.


We have some exciting news and big challenges ahead, but first we need to let you know about the financial reality of our little house of magic.


First of all, it’s all good. We’re ready for an adventure. However, in the meantime, the Poppy is at a critical time of need for spontaneous gestures of little amounts of money from a whole lot of people. We need financial support now, and it doesn’t have to be big, though big always helps. So here’s the skinny and it’s a wee bit long, but please take a moment..




Due to the economic downturn of recent years, the Poppy has lost some funding. Not only this but, now in our tenth year, we decided to close down programming for the summer – at a time when we could least afford it – to do some inner searching on what is next for the Poppy. (This is what you do if you are to walk the path and follow your inner voice, right? To listen to that voice that is relentlessly telling you what is truly needed beyond all the mundane responsibilities – real change. We’re talking about an organization, but the analogy to our personal lives should be clear). To make the change means risk. Means stepping off the dock, into uncertain space. If our artists do this, and this is what artists do, then we must match them. And that’s precisely what we did this summer, and ever since we’ve been making great strides in deepening our connection to our local community and in insuring that the Poppy stays true to its roots.


The Poppy is not designed as a ‘safe and stable’ organization (imagine if that was the agenda of artist’s practice…). That’s not really a domain we set out to occupy, to follow what is safe and expected. Rather, we’ve endeavored to stay as an artist-centered space with an artist culture, to cultivate an environment of meaningful creative exchange and intercultural community engagement. We’re about to launch a new Development Track for artist & community centered leadership, a program that shares the Poppy’s particular approach to creating cultural ‘spaces of encounter’ (you’ll be hearing more about this soon!). While increasing the impact of our work, this program will also help cycle new leadership into the Poppy itself. But we’re going to need your help in these next months ahead.


Today, as many of you may know, San Francisco is suffering from an exodus of artists, something which began around when the boom first hit. Jazz clubs have shut down and working class communities and their artists have been getting pushed out ever since. Artists and art spaces can’t keep pace with the increasing rents and costs of living, and the Red Poppy Art House is no exception. We lease our space and we are not ‘safe’. Artists can migrate and so can we. But if you want us here, then you need to let us know.


NOW UNTIL JUNE 2014. . .


We are expecting new funding to come in between April and June of 2014. But between now and then, we’re dancing on the clouds (or shall we say fog!). We need to pay the core stipends to our few core staff, and we don’t have it. So we need you to invest. Our Goal: to raise $10,000 to get us through.




Below are a few simply suggestions of how you can keep the Poppy in your city:

  • Make a $10 recurring monthly donation. This small and steady support can make a huge difference over time. 
  • Make a one-time donation that rocks the house, or at least gives a little wind to our sails.
  • Click HERE to make a donation. The link will take you to “Network for Good” (under Intersection for the Arts), where you will be asked to select the project to which you want to give. Scroll until you see our name and then click.As the founding artist of the Red Poppy Art House, and on behalf of the Poppy’s dedicated Staff and Leadership Team, I would like to personally thank you all.


    Thank You for supporting the Red Poppy Art House!


    Full speed ahead!

    Warmest Regards,

    Todd Thomas Brown