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Teri’s Update – September 2016

Teri’s Update – September 2016

by Adam / Sep 7, 2016

Drumroll, please....


Okay, to be totally honest, we’ll be fussing about with unpacking and tidying up right up until our first students arrive for afterschool tutoring on Wednesday, but we are back and it feels great. We couldn’t have done it without a ton of help. If you want to see the names of folks we are especially grateful to for stepping up in our time of need, just skip to the end of this update, which reads a little like one of those long thank-you speeches at the Oscars, when the music starts playing before winner’s reached the end of her thank-yous. But right now I want to catch you up on our post-explosion existence and the road forward.

The Return of the Store!

As lots of you know, our Greenwood Space Travel Supply Store got its intergalactic butt kicked by the Greenwood gas explosion. A ton of products were blasted into oblivion, and a bunch of confounding mysteries left behind. (For instance, here is a shelving unit, but where are the shelves? Our collection of satin flags made it through the blast without a scratch, but the storefront flag holders got blasted off the building. And a moment’s silence for the store computer, which is totally MIA, likely scattered in several dozen pieces around Greenwood, and, thankfully, thoroughly backed up.) So thank goodness for Sarah, our new store manager, and Claire, our store assistant, who have been working like crazy to re-store the store. We are planning to have a gentle re-opening today. Come on by between 1 and 6 pm, check out what we have, buy something, tell Sarah what we're missing, and say hello!

Summer Workshops 

Of course much of BFI’s recent life has been lived down at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, our home-away-from-home during the great de-rubbling of our Greenwod Avenue headquarters. One great highlight of our time at PNA: our summer season of workshops where our young students, led by an ace team of BFI volunteer agents, produced a really terrific series of wild writing experiences. Because of our volunteers, 223 kids write better and head into new school years with new confidence and skills. 

Thanks to Molly, Gina, Eric, Ben, Katherine, Joy, Rebecca, Courtenay, Sara, Jim, Larry, Maggie, Mishele, Dan, Ashlan, Brick, LeAnne, Joely, Adam, Kary, and Michael for making our 16 summer workshops happen.

Just one example: Here are students in Michele Maron's "Meet Your Food, Eat Your Vegetables" workshop, literally turning lemons into lemonade. Each day of this workshop, students made something to eat (or drink) then discussed the flavors and the language needed to describe food. Then they’d write food-inspired prose or poetry while consuming that week’s inspirational subject!


That darn Joe is heading off to get his Ph.D at the University of Washington in English Literature,and while he promised he would stay on part-time, those rascals at the U discovered his brilliance and have offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. (He promises to still stay involved at BFI and we’re holding him to that.) In the meantime, it is no small consolation that long-time volunteer Bryan Wilson has abandoned the ranks of volunteerism to become our half-time programs coordinator. From stepping up as a replacement field-trip leader to wrangling the copier during time-sensitive chapbook crises, Bryan has gamely jumped through many amazing hoops for BFI, and we are so pleased to have him on board. 

A couple of things for your calendar: 

Thing #1: For years, we’ve wanted to shift Dance Your Cash Off, our longtime June dance marathon, to the fall—but for reasons having to do with our fiscal year and how we raise money, we just couldn’t. Then that little gas explosion last spring made pulling off a June dance marathon impossible, all but forcing us to cancel the June one and reschedule the next DYCO for the fall. And just for kicks, we’re making it bigger and better and dancier AND we’ve adding singing.  


Yup: Mark your calendars for October 14th when for three straight hours (ok ok, not five like before)  you can dance. You can sing karaoke. You can drink beer. And, most importantly, while having a wildly fun time, you can raise money for the Bureau of Fearless Ideas. I’m saving a dance for YOU as it also marks the date I’m moving closer towards the BFI door and leaving my elevated position as Executive Director.

Go here to learn more and to register.

Thing #2: December 3 might seem a long ways away but it’s actually just around the corner and on that day at BFI we will be celebrating all things celebrate-able, including but not limited to:

Finally: What do a desk lamp and Legos have in common? Both are things we need to start the new school year! Any donations out there? If so, drop me an email or just swing on by. We’d love to show you our new refurbished space.

Here’s to fall, our new ‘distressed’ hickory floor, store shelves filling up and, most importantly, the return of the kids. Hurrah!

Your pal,

P.S.:  And now for my full Oscars of Moving Back in List o' Thank-Yous:

For their generous help in helping with the Great Unpacking of 2016, huge thanks to Greg,Tracy, Lisa, Kary, Kate, Jane, Molly, Audra, Joe, Gayle, Will, Rhys (and her friend Jake), Anne, Dana, Kate, Jane, Judith, and William.

And while I'm getting specific with the gratitude, allow me to praise two special helpers: Mindy Cameron, who got in on the ground floor of the "our walls need new paint colors!" project, and Mike Madden, who devoted a good chunk of a hot summer day to moving a refrigerator for us.