Since 2010, I've worked on all manner of copy for print, web, and media.
Want to get a sense of what I do? Take a look at these samples from past projects ranging from marketing, to grants, to local interest pieces.
Lied Center for Performing Arts
While the current design remains ideal for natural sound, the Lied has, as part of its mission, expanded to include live theater, jazz, lectures, popular music, and even rock. These forms of music, oratory, and entertainment benefit most from sound amplification and ideally rely on cutting-edge speaker technology, rather than subtle acoustics.
Recent studies revealed that a state of the art sound system would complement the Lied’s acoustical qualities to great effect. These renovations would enhance the current sound system without altering the pre-existing acoustics, resulting in optimal listening for all kinds of performances. Changes include new sound amplification equipment better suited to the acoustics via precision sound direction technology, as well as adjustable, sound-absorptive draperies. The draperies go into operation for performances utilizing amplification, leaving the room acoustically “dry” for continuous amplified sound. For non-amplified performances the draperies retract, leaving the pre-existing and finely-honed acoustics unaltered. The proposed system allows the Lied to optimize sound quality while delivering a richer experience to the public.
The Coffee House
At five o’clock on a Saturday evening in early September, the sidewalks of downtown Lincoln, Nebraska channel a crimson flood of Husker football fans regaled in red t-shirts and other gear bearing the signature university colors. They surge en masse, more of one body than many, en route for the stadium where the big game is about to begin. The fans filter through divers dives and bars, soaking up what beer and other refreshment they can in the final hour before the great event. Few notice an unobtrusive coffee shop wedged between two sports bars on the north side of P Street just a few blocks from campus. Even fewer actually trickle in for a look at the homely and artistic interior, or a steaming pre-game stimulant. It is a sleepy Saturday evening in this hole-in-the-wall café. The gravity of the impending football game has drawn great numbers to the stadium, leaving the downtown area and campus with a ghost town feeling. The air has a quality in this transitional month reminiscent of the lingering summer’s warmth, with a hint of the rich autumn to come. It’s quiet, and shall remain so until the game lets out, save for the distant din of the crowd, like far away resounding thunder, or the crashing of waves. But we shall concern ourselves with the place we are now. This is The Coffee House in downtown Lincoln, an establishment which, like the passing mob outside, could be considered a creature all on its own.
The Kennedy Center
It’s not just cricket! The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Complete World of Sports (abridged)” covers every sport the world over from the famous to the farcical. Warning: This show is considered funny to sports fans…and hilarious to everyone else! In the spirit of the show that makes sport of sports, we ask the fans: What’s the athletic event you most love to hate?
As Easter was approaching in 1936, a group of Longmont citizens formed a group to perform Handel’s Messiah. This coming together of music lovers in the community would in time grow into the Longmont Chorale. As the Chorale’s membership increased, so did its range of music and enrichment of the community. The repertoire expanded to include diverse works such as Guys and Dolls, Carmina Burana, and the Mozart’s Requiem. Concerts were free in the early years, supported by listeners who passed the basket to show their appreciation. Today the Chorale has grown into a non-profit organization with a dedicated Board of Directors and fund-raising activities to support its operation. Many artistic directors and accompanists have contributed to the growth of the Longmont Chorale throughout the years, bringing music from around the world to our community.
Because we are a non-auditioned, community chorus, we encourage everyone to participate. Some come with musical backgrounds, while others come with only a need to vocalize.
As many communities gradually lose their sense of involvement and belonging, we provide an organized, artistic outlet. Those who struggle to find their place elsewhere may still harmonize with the Longmont Chorale.
Small ensembles keep more advanced singers engaged, and motivate beginners to want a better sound. Because these small group members sit side-by-side with newcomers, in the main chorale, they bolster their confidence and help them realize the potential of good vocal production. This inviting atmosphere keeps people coming back for the pleasure of singing good music without intimidation or fear of mistakes. At the Longmont Chorale, we enjoy each other’s voices and form a strong sound that is evident in our performances.
A choral sound means harmony—many voices singing together as one. Harmony, however, does not end with the performers. When we join together, our voices carry weight, finding meaning in minds of our listeners. One sings, another hears, while both share a common experience.
The Longmont Chorale
Travel Town Museum Foundation proposes to increase the frequency and quality of public tours. Commencing in October of 2014, TTMF will triple the number of tour days, resulting in 36 Saturdays open for tours annually (a total of 4,000 individual public tours). TTMF will furthermore offer 30 annual Guided Instructional Session (GIS) tours. 40 permanent educational signs and a suite of newly designed and printed educational programs will serve to enhance tours, both directed and self-guided. To ensure the viability of this proposal for the next two years, TTMF will establish yearly salaries for a full-time Educational Program Manager and Assistant Program Manager. Addition of a Summer Intern position will aid TTMF in sustaining this project and cultivating fresh interest in the organization. Finally, funds for docent uniforms will help to ensure a level of commitment and professionalism among Travel Town volunteers for the duration.
Public interest in TTMF currently exceeds funding and staffing limitations. As such, Travel Town strives to increase the number of its volunteers as well as the level of training and orchestration those volunteers receive. Raising staffing capacities ultimately means more tours and greater accessibility to the museum’s historical and educational offerings for individuals and the community. Improved signage and educational materials increase the likelihood of visitors getting more out of their experience at Travel Town. School and community groups will accordingly gain a more enriched educational value. Families and other guests will experience a greater sense of investment and pride in a fascinating cornerstone of history and their community. Of equal importance are the benefits to the volunteers themselves, from the advanced professionals who choose to donate their time and expertise, to the students who thrive under the mentorship and responsibility that accompanies public service. Strategically, the best way to spread knowledge and passion for history is to simply share it, and TTMF pursues this mission at the most vital level—a personal one. While the value of a personal experience to an individual is necessarily immeasurable, the impact of a project that focuses on that value need not remain unknown. At Travel Town, educational outreach is indeed quantifiable on a personal level in terms of tours and volunteer hours.
As a passive, permanent improvement to its educational potential, Travel Town will position 40 museum-quality signs bearing historical railroad information throughout the railcars open to the public. The number of days offering free, unscheduled tours to the public will increase to 36 days annually. Additionally, TTMF will host an annual sum of 30 Guided Instructional Sessions (in-depth, planned tours by seasoned personnel for school and community groups). Design and printing of quality informational materials will enhance educational outreach on both a tour and take-home basis.
The Educational Program Manager will plan, implement, and manage the entire tour and volunteer program, facilitated by full-time status and salary, and a newly-formed assistant role. TTMF Docent led Tours will occur 36 Saturdays per year for the two-year grant period commencing in October of 2014.
Necessary expenditures in achieving these goals are as follows:
$15,000 one-time cost for 40 educational signs
$50,000 for the annual salary of the Educational Program Manager over the two-year grant period
$22,000 for the annual salary of the Assistant Program Manager over the two-year grant period
$6,000 annual funding for the Summer Internship position
$1,000 for docent uniforms
$1,600 for design and printing of informational programs
$22,000 annual funding for Educational Outreach Program (support for Guided Instructional Session tours)
TTMF will employ a staff of over 130 volunteers annually (approximately 25 volunteers per Saturday). Many volunteers at Travel Town qualify as experts in pertinent fields. Among these advanced personnel are teachers, marketing professionals, art directors, and engineers from Amtrak, Metrolink, JPL, Boeing, and the US Navy. This wealth of shared expertise will contribute to the creation of the aforementioned educational signs and informational programs, as well as tour scripts for less-experienced volunteers. The Educational Program Manager will provide planning and supervision for these actions.
TTMF tracks its progress weekly through tour count sheets and public feedback. Docents act as the organization’s frontline during tours, and as such, receive a debriefing at the end of each tour day or GIS.
The benefits of increasing the number of volunteers and the level of training they receive will certainly improve tours and guest experiences at Travel Town. But the benefits do not end there. A major service of TTMF is to the volunteers themselves. Volunteer positions present individuals with opportunities for personal enrichment. With TTMF, that enrichment is a multifaceted gem. Young people who get involved at Travel Town not only educate themselves, but the public. As a docent, they may hone their professionalism, responsibility, and public speaking abilities. Working alongside TTMF’s advanced personnel, students gain hands-on industrial experience in the restoration and maintenance of train cars, tracks, and locomotives. At TTMF they can find—without cost or hindrance—exposure to real-world mechanical and engineering practices. A volunteer of any age or skill level is welcome to explore a technical skill set unparalleled in most entry-level jobs or internships. Underpinning it all is a sense of service and pride in community that may not be otherwise available.
This is not the sole way in which TTMF distinguishes its service to the community. As a free museum, Travel Town is open—and patronized—by every segment of the Los Angeles county community. The museum fills not just an educational, but a recreational capacity for low-income families with children aged infant to eight years. What that amounts to is a place where children can learn from the earliest age and where families can grow closer together. Any enhancement to the organization and its program will ultimately serve that function.
TTMF measures the success of its projects with an appropriate regard for objective and subjective human impact. Through weekly tour counts, it will quantify the results of tour improvements. Public feedback will qualify the program’s effectiveness on hearts and minds. By surveying these results, TTMF can assess its successes and devote its energies to sustaining what works.
Travel Town Museum
What does Arman Yazdekhasti mean by the title of his essay, “How I Learned through Failure?” How has failing been instrumental in the author’s journey America? When in your life have you failed yet learned something valuable?
Hrant Makhserejyan’s essay “With Great Education Comes Great Opportunity” compares school systems in Lebanon, Romania, and America. In what ways, according to the author, do these school systems differ? How does the author feel about those differences? How is your experience with the American school system similar or different to the author’s?
In the essay “The Write Way,” Fareed Williams reflects on overcoming self-doubt. How does Williams overcome self-doubt in order to pursue writing? How has self-doubt or fear influenced you and the pursuit of your goals?
In a 2-3 page essay, discuss the challenges you faced while learning a new skill (in a sport, learning an instrument, etc.). How did you feel about yourself before and after acquiring this new skill? What advice would you give to someone trying to learn the same skill?
Imagine that you are a college teacher. Write a 1-2 page letter to your students welcoming them to college. How would you encourage them to take ownership of their own learning process? How would you motivate them to take their college education seriously?