Support the Arts
Petition to Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, The Shallow Grave, Mayor Steven M Hunnicutt, Mayor Pro-Tem Nathaniel J Birdsong Jr, Mike Herr, Donna Sheehan, T Michael Stavres, Travis Edwards, Polk County Officials
Save the Grave!
The Shallow Grave (Click here to visit website), a haunted attraction, opened it's doors only a few years ago in Winter Haven, FL. Since then, they have gained NATIONAL attention as being one of the country's leading haunted attractions, winning many awards and "Best Of" lists. Massive changes have been made every year drastically changing the haunt making it exciting for repeat customers. Changes like this are a huge undertaking, taking the majority of the off season to complete and a huge financial undertaking. The Shallow Grave announced on August 21 that they would be CLOSING THE DOORS forever due to continuing operation being cost prohibitive. How so, you ask? A) The city ordinances of Winter Haven, FL only allows them to operate a limited number of nights during the year, therefore limiting the revenue made and ability for public to attend B) The Shallow Grave rents space in a run down warehouse style building. The landlord refuses to change or reduce rent to accommodate this business. C) The haunted attraction industry demands updates. Repeat visitors don't want to see the same haunt year after year, therefore huge cost goes into updating the haunt yearly to make it interesting and different enough for repeat visitors to be excited about returning. The Shallow Grave owners would rather close the doors than cut quality. WHAT WILL CLOSING THE SHALLOW GRAVE DO? A) The Shallow Grave brings thousands of visitors to the Winter Haven area over weekends in September/October. Closing this attraction will diminish this influx of local and out of state visitors to the area, therefore causing other local businesses to see a dip in sales (hotels, restaurants, bars) B) The Shallow Grave has set the industry standard for independent haunts in Florida. Without the bar set so high, the entire industry will likely slip in quality and not strive to achieve this level of quality. C) The arts scene in Winter Haven, FL will diminish. Beyond being scary, the level of artistry in these attractions is phenomenal. The scenic, costumes, make-up, puppets, animatronics and special effects in these houses employ artists who are top in their field. Closing The Shallow Grave will likely leave these artists unemployed and possibly having to leave the area to find work in their field. WHAT CAN BE DONE? A) Reduce the rent to allow The Shallow Grave to continue operation, purchase the building to allow The Shallow Grave to continue at a reduced monthly cost. B) Change the city ordinance, increasing the amount of operating nights per year, allowing The Shallow Grave to operate on a more robust schedule, driving more visitors to the Winter Haven area. C) Find another location for The Shallow Grave to continue that is more cost effective with higher visitor traffic that will allow them to grow and flourish. D) Help The Shallow Grave continue on to allow the ARTS to continue in Winter Haven, FL. Sadly, I only found out about The Shallow Grave and made my first visit in 2015. I visited three times that year, bringing friends from Orlando and Tampa together to visit. I visited several more times in 2016, enjoying the changes and massive updates from the previous year. I also visited their awesome holiday haunt in December 2016, with a complete overlay to their Halloween haunt making it unique and very different. It is heartbreaking to see the news of their closing as I yearn to see the updates and continuation of these skilled artists/experts throughout the years. Living in the Orlando area, my Halloween seasons will feel empty without a haunt of THIS QUALITY in my backyard. It is time to SAVE THE GRAVE. In the meantime PLEASE get down to see everything great that is The Shallow Grave this fall. Bring friends and family to see this one of a kind independent haunt. Support the Arts and Haunt Industry in Central Florida!!
Petition to Donald Trump
Stop Trump Administration from Eliminating Arts Funding Programs
In an effort to begin elminating the countries current deficit, Donald Trump is taking his first steps by ridding of the National Endowments for the Arts, The National Endowment for Humanities and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Funding for these National Endowments is currently at $148 million each, PBS is under $500 million and combined they make up .003% of the nearly $4 trillion federal budget. These 3 budgets together leaves our current federal budget at $3.899 trillion. According to Stephen Moore a Heritage Foundation Econimist who serves as an advisor to Trump he told The Times, "I think its an endeavor to try to get rid of things that are unnecessary." The Arts is a vital part of who we are as an American Culture, its everything that we are as human beings. Ridding these programs puts at risk the loss and hope for many young artists and organizations that provide valuable outlets for many of our youth throughout the nation. Arts programs time and time again, have proven themselves to be vital in not only the creative realm but also has proven to be a valuable tool in academics as well. The elimination of PBS and the Humanities endowment only adds insult to injury as these are programs that help promote and celebrate the diversity of who we are as a culture. If we lose out on these programs, it would be detrimental to the generations after us, as they will have no sense of cultural awareness. Please if you believe in diversity, culture, creativity and the arts on any level, sign this petition and stop Trump from taking away the heartbeat of our creative culture!
Petition to Sachem North
Stop the murals from being painted over at Sachem North
The new mural removal campaign will remove the hard work and history of Sachem North Alumni. Many students have chosen to spend their lives creating beautiful works of art to be shared with the world. Having the ability to start sharing their artwork with all of the students who walk through the halls of our school allows them to start fulfilling this dream. I walk down the halls every day inspired by the beautiful works of art students have created such as the dolphin mural by the Corner Café, which reminds us about the beauty that exists all around us. There is another mural in the art wing that depicts students of all races and religions coexisting in harmony. In the current state of our world, this gives many students hope that one day we will be able to live in peace. Now, some may say that these murals are graffiti, distracting, and must be removed. Many like to see them as the history and the legacy of the students that came before us. There are murals from before many of our current students were born. These murals make our school unique and give students pride in our building. By removing these students artwork a message is sent to our alumni; a message that their time, artwork, and contributions to our building are worthless and underappreciated. For many students pursuing the arts, gaining support of their decision can be very difficult sometimes from their own parents. By removing these murals we are reinforcing the message that art no matter how beautiful and meaningful, will always be perceived as a burden that must be removed, that the artist is worthless, and that the artist should not do what they love and pursue a different career. Isn’t it a school’s job to allow students to express who they are and to shape who they are going to be?