- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
Everyone has followers and friends in their social network they’ve never actually met. But a global movement connecting people in order to benefit outstanding causes is changing that, one city at a time. And it’s coming to San Luis Obispo.
Think of it as a networking mixer without the need to network, update your LinkedIn, or even iron your shirt. Add in some good food, your social media buddies, and a great cause, and you have Twestival (short for Twitter Festival).
On Sept. 13, the local digital community will meet up at the SLO Children’s Museum for free food, drinks, and some witty getting-to-know-ya banter in the name of raising $6,000 to fund an interactive musical garden for the museum.
The event is sponsored by StudioGood, a digital and social media agency with a regional office in SLO, which specializes in promoting online campaigns for good causes, such as “The Longest Day” walk to cure Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year.
“We call this a Tweet-up,” StudioGood President Joey Leslie told New Times of Twestival. “We all have friends on Twitter we’ve never met before. With this, we get people talking about it then get them all in one room.”
The SLO fundraiser is but one of 73 Twestivals scheduled in 35 countries this year. The grassroots movement first started in 2009 when its founder, Amanda Rose, asked StudioGood to develop its first website. Since then, the events have raised some $1.77 million for 297 charities around the world.
It’s not organized by Twitter, but rather locals looking to use the site to benefit their own communities.
“It’s built from the bottom-up,” Leslie said. “The idea is a little ‘power to the people.’”
According to Sheryl Flores, director of operations and guest services for the museum, the new musical garden will be installed on the second floor landing where now a physical garden currently soaks up sun. The set comes from the ‘Weenotes’ collection from Freenotes Harmony Park, and can be viewed at freenotesharmonypark.com.
Research has linked active music making with increased language discrimination and development, math skills, improved grades, well-adjusted social behavior and improvements in spatial-temporal reasoning, a cornerstone for problem solving. Flores told New Times the inspiration to increase the musical options at the museum came out of the popularity of the few they already have, like the steel drums and “earth organ.”
“We’ve found out kids absolutely love music,” Flores said. “They will come in and drum all afternoon.”
So it’s a pretty awesome goal, right? Bet your hash tag it is. Well, here’s some more good news: it’s not too late to get involved! The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the museum at 1010 Nipomo St. in SLO. Attendance is free, but donations are obviously encouraged.
As of Sept. 6, the event’s twitter page, twitter.com/TwestivalSLO, had 101 followers, and facebook.com/twestivalslo had 64 likes, so it promises to be well attended. You can RSVP and even see which of your social media buddies will be there at twestivalslo.eventbrite.com.
Attention young authors and writing instructors! The fourth annual Central Coast Writers Conference is just around the corner and there are scholarships to be had and opportunities to learn from published authors, plus one-on-one seminars with professional editors and literary agents. With the support of both PG&E and Chevron, 25 $80 scholarships are being offered to students 13 to 18 years of age, as well as $160 and $145 awards for credit and non-credit teachers, respectively. This year’s conference includes a panel of published authors, editors, and literary agents, and runs at Cuesta College on Sept. 20-21. Sign up by visiting communityprograms.net or e-mail Director Judy Salamacha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The San Luis Obispo-based company A Place to Grow Recycled Greenhouses is entering the Martha Stewart American Made contest and needs your help to put SLO on the map for sustainable living. The business, led by local couple Sean and Dana O’Brien, creates greenhouses and other outdoor structures out of recycled and reclaimed materials. Learn more about the company at recycledgreenhouses.com, and lend them your vote by visiting marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/80173.
News Editor Matt Fountain compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to email@example.com.