Sean, sorry this has taken me so long to respond to.
1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:
"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."
What the above mean to you? Do you believe that we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry? If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process? Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form? Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term?
This means that we need to find ways to move beyond the competitive aspects of slam, or find ways in which the competition can be put to better use. The major roadblock I see is that people don't want to change the competition or they want to change it for reasons that do nothing to advance the art. I am in favor of the proposal you put for in another thread to generate awards and recognition for poems outside the scoring system. I believe we should be actively looking for ideas like that to promote poets taking chances on stage. It hearkens back to the indies competition where a team might not advance, but a standout poet (from a scoring perspective) could still be showcased. I like that. I would like to hear other ideas that the community has and try those as well. Most of all, I would like for poets to become excited not only to compete, but also to share and grow. As an EC member all I can offer is to be an advocate of these ideas and to do my best to push the EC and other SM's to adopt them.
2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities. How do you feel about this idea? Are your for or against it? Explain your position.
I am for grounding. Most of all, I would like to see NPS grounded.
Here is the breakdown of why I think grounding is good:
1) Very few cities can actually handle a NPS. Access to audience, venues, transportation and hotels. We ask much of a NPS Host City. The list that can do it is short. The number that want to do it is even shorter.
2) Events get better each year they are in the same city. Ask almost any Host City. Venues that were on the fence to host a prelim suddenly can't wait to have you back. Rental Fees go down or disappear. Sponsors finally "get it". All sorts of things are easier once you've done it once.
3) It becomes something the city takes ownership in. Audiences become trained to expect it. Advertisers and Tourism Boards get behind it. The locals take pride that something this special happens in their home every year.
4) The ability to plan ahead and improve things that need improving. Nobody is perfect and mistakes happen. Grounding gives you the ability to make corrections and learn what works (or what doesn't).
I am OK with iWPS and WoWPS continuing to rotate as some have suggested. But again, even with theses events, I think moving them every two years (or less) is detrimental.
So, what I would like to put before the EC and SM's this coming year is something along the lines of this:
Let's develop a new bidding process for all three events that allows a potential Host City to build a sustained relationship with PSi and the Event. I would like to see us encourage bids that would have iWPS and WoWPS for a three year cycle with the option to "renew" for one additional year if conditions are met (perhaps profitability, SM satisfaction, or some other criteria). For NPS, I would go further and say that this should be a five year agreement with a two year renewal.
The starting agreements could be staggered and even if this went into effect today (assuming details were worked out), there would be some natural staggering as agreements for events went into effect.
The basic idea is that events could still rotate, but not annually. We would make an effort to develop a long term relationship between NPS and a Home City (not Host City) that would be mutually beneficial to both the City and PSi. We could work on building staff that know not only the event, but also the location. And in no case would any of this be without strong checks and balances to make sure PSi and the Events were being supported. That is to say, grounding doesn't mean NPS (or another event) will be in one city no matter what for the next five to seven years; It means that we want
it to be in this city and the city wants
it to be there as well. We want to be able to plan, to learn, and to improve the Event.