In general, artists are a resourceful bunch, living on low pay, up at odd hours making work out of "found" objects, starving for art. So when the Internet business community started to bloat with dot-com dollars, it was inevitable that someone in the creative community would find a way to siphon the funds.
Enter David Ferguson, founder and executive director of the Institute for Unpopular Culture (or IFUC), an S.F. nonprofit devoted to supporting new and "outsider" artists. Ferguson has initiated a series of events called "Whose Fault Is Culture? A Cross-Pollination of Artists and Dot-Commers." He explains, "Until now, no one was talking to the business community in an appropriate way, drawing on their creativity, energy, and resources to help artists remain a critical part of the San Francisco texture." Adds proud sponsor Steven Farber (COO of Cybergold), "Our recent collective financial success can now help those whose work shows spark."
The IFUC's mission is to "keep artists from having to cater to public opinion and taste in order to survive." The first event in the series benefits filmmaker Colette Sandstedt's new film, Think Doomed. Now in pre-production, the short follows a failed playwright who runs into Amelia Earhart while trying to commit suicide by jumping off an Apple "Think Different" billboard. Sandstedt hooked up with the IFUC after reading about it in Film Arts Foundation's Release Print magazine. She says, "I thought, "If there's ever been an institution that's going to support me, that's it!'"
The fund-raiser features another IFUC beneficiary, Holly Hughes, one of the NEA Four denied funding -- in her case, for being a lesbian. Hughes will perform excerpts from Preaching to the Perverted, a piece about the First Amendment court battle. DJs, visual arts installations, and a higher-priced pre-show reception at the International House of Pancakes round out the festivities.