PresenTense 2012 – Meet the Fellows!

May 30, 2012 at 10:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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5 Minutes with David Franklin
Venture: Jews, Rock and Roll: Jewish America told through Music
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Who inspired you to launch this venture?

In speaking with Terry Stewart, President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was inspired by his passion and respect for Judaism and deep understanding of the role Jews have played in Rock and Roll.

Where will your venture be in a year?

With start-up funding, we’ll begin the design and fabrication of the exhibit. Our design firm will build a prototype to help funders better visualize and understand the exhibit. We will have a fundraiser on January 8 in New York City.

What is your vision for the fellowship program?

Ongoing opportunities to learn from this community of dreamers, artists, community organizers and business people both personally and professionally. I imagine a partnership with Shaker LaunchHouse.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Securing seed funding to design and build the exhibit is our current challenge. Gaining funding commitments without physical representation has been challenging. Jewish arts funding is still rare.

What change do you hope to make?

Arts education and informal education events in surprising spaces both have potential to reach new and otherwise unaffiliated Jewish audiences. The exhibit offers positive Jewish connections.

What person do you relate to in Jewish History?

Nahson Ben Amminadab. During the Exodus, when the Israelites reached the Red Sea, it did not automatically part. Once he was up to his nose in the water, the sea parted, offering leadership from faith.

What is the biggest question you’re grappling with now?

How can Jews, Rock and Roll continue to build momentum and gain exposure for the exhibit that translates into investor interest, partnership, and funding?

What is the biggest challenge facing our community today?

How do we help Jews remain highly engaged and highly connected to their sense of being Jewish? How do we inspire large numbers of Jews to live Jewish lives of meaning and purpose?

What is the most valuable thing learned from the program?

Support. Learning to give and receive support is not obvious. The journey of the entrepreneur can be lonely. Emotional, strategic and technical support from cohorts, mentors and consultants is invaluable.

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