Author Archives: Stacy Caldwell

Your biggest DANG! Open Mic Night – Stories of Failure

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.  We get very little wisdom from success.” –
William Saroyan

On Thursday, August 12, Spark Club will stare failure right in the face and invite it out for a drink.
We’ll kick the evening off with some Speed Networking and a viewing of the 30 minute video “The big DANG” which premiered at the recent bigBANG! event.  The video came together from a collaboration with Dallas Social Venture Partners and the Unreasonable Institute and features 15 different social entrepreneurs from all around the world who share stories of failures and their lessons learned.

Then, it’s gonna get really interesting!  We’ll open the stage for an “Open Mic Night” for audience members to share 2-3 minute stories of how they failed in a social/entrepreneurial venture, organizing effort, or nonprofit mission.  To keep it interesting, several community leaders have been tapped to kick us off!

Join us Thursday, August 12, 6-9pm.
6-7pm – Registration and Speed Networking
7pm – “The big DANG!” viewing
7:30-9pm – Open-Night-Mic – Stories of Failures

Spark Club is so excited to host our next event at The Kessler.  Located on W. Davis in Oak Cliff, this recently renovated movie theater represents a space where music, art and community collide.  So naturally, since Spark Club plays between the worlds of suits and jeans, The Kessler will provide an inspired backdrop.  RSVP!!!

The Kessler Theater
1230 W. Davis St.
Dallas, Texas 75208

Jan 21 – Marble of Goodness – Be THERE!

The lanterns have served as our guide; the traveling symbol for the Spark Club gatherings.  And, on January 21, we’ll gather inside Dallas’ own special lantern, Reunion Tower (A.K.A. the Marble of Goodness).  Yes, Spark Club is ready for prime time and we’re stepping out in 2010.  We’ve planned the next four gatherings and if social impact is your “thang”, then you’re in for a treat!

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower by Band!to on Flickr

Join us for the first 2010 Spark Club at Reunion Tower, 7pm-9:30pm.

To kick off the New Year, we invite all do-gooder’s with business and nonprofit innovations from ALL around Texas to come see what we are about.  We’re anxious to share what we know and meet other social entrepreneurs and like minded individuals from around the state.

We are finalizing our speakers, but trust that we have tapped some bad-asses who will inspire us all.  So book it and get yourself on over to the Marble of Goodness.  It’s on the train …Union Station stop.  How cool would it be to have more than 50% of us to come by train!  Who’s in?

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Art Conspiracy -Street Level Philanthropy

Art ConspiracyOne of the most exciting things about the experience at Art Conspiracy is the energy that results in mixing a strong cocktail of art, music and giving.  From the moment you step in the door, you know it is a different kind of philanthropy than you’ve experienced.

A flash-gallery is set up in an empty warehouse in West Dallas and then 150 artists descend on the space 24 hours prior to the event and “art” on a piece of pre-cut 18×18 inch plywood.  The art is then sorted into lots and prepared for a live auction and musical experience that draws out the community and pocket books.  Paul Slavens, local radio host for 91.7 hosted the evenings activities and a handful of bands (Telegraph Canyon, The Crash That Took Me, The Boom Boom Box, and RTB2) took the stage between the live auction.

This year’s beneficiary, Resolana, helps women break the cycle of incarceration.  Since 2005, Art Conspiracy has raised more than $50,000 to a variety of area nonprofits.  The audience awaits the final count from Saturday night’s philanthropic experience, but judging by the rowdy crowd responses to auctions pieces that hit $100 and above, Resolana should have a nice year-end bump.

Congrats to fellow sparkclub co-conspirator, and co-founder/board president of Art Conpiracy, Sarah Jane Semrad as well as all the fellow sparklers who dedicate their time, energy and vision to this brilliant experience in Dallas.  This is social impact at its best.


sparking a network of social innovators

The symbolic paper lanterns were hung in the window to kick off the first spark club.  A couple of us snuck out to slam a beer at Bolsa and plan the final details for the evening.  Most important was to keep it simple, fun and flexible.  The goal of our first gathering was to bring together social entrepreneurs and leaders to network and share ideas.  We were already excited by the “virtual” response and if only HALF of those who RSVP’d, we would consider it a success.

The first to arrive was Steve Rainwater, @steevithak , of Dallas Personal Robotics Group.  He talked about his upcoming cybernetic sound instillation he is working on for La Reunion TX on November 22!  That was just the perfect way to kick off the first conversation.  As others trickled in and we reached a critical mass, my partner Bob Wright and I welcomed everyone to the first Spark Club and introduced fellow co-conspirators Sarah Jane Semrad, Jill Krumsick and Christian Caldwell.

The speed networking kicked off with ten rotating chairs and participants sharing what they are up too in 2-3 minute slots.  Business cards were exchanged and everyone switched.  Doubters were sold on this format.  It turned out to be a great way to quickly connect with others in the room and share ideas and latest projects.

Kevin Obregon and Venassa Neil, of The Cube Creative Gallery, volunteered to capture the evening by video.  We look forward to seeing what all was contributed as folks were asked, what is your 3 minute elevator pitch, or describe yourself in five words.

The evening was about making connections.  I met so many interesting people up to amazing things for social good.  To name a few…we had an organic food co-op and sustainable ag professional for a local health club, and a luxury lingerie line that provides microfinancing to women in poverty. SoapHope was there, and so were our socially impactful coffee houses in Dallas – Urban Dog Coffee and It’s a Grind.  Artist Lisa Lindholm, and DIY guru and Indi-Fashionista Julie Kim McCullough were there along with Green Spot Market. Nonproftit leaders representing Oak Cliff Center for Community Studies, Pre-GED, Promise of Peace Community Garden and TECO Theatre also joined us.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of those who were there, and the network we have yet to build!  Special thanks to Good Space and David Spense for allowing us to use that amazing space.  There is an offer to host the next one at CoHabitat.  We’ll be visiting with them this week to check out the space.

We recieved awesome feedback to create some targeted and deeper conversations around social media and new business models for social impact.  If you were there, please tell us what it was like for you and provide us with any ideas for the next one.  Be sure to link to your website so we can continue to promote each other.

Happy Halloween and stay tuned for the announcement of our next Spark Club!

Final Walk-Through for Spark Club 10/29

Just walked through spark club location #1 to run down details.  This is going to be fun!  We accidentally crashed a small yoga class that was using the space.  They were excited about what we are doing, and it’s cool to have that energy flowing in the building.

If you haven’t RSVP’d, now is the time!  REGISTER NOW

We’ll have some light snacks and drinks.  Bring you business cards and business swag, with the assumption it is socially minded in some way.

See you there!

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