Saturday, April 22, 2017

The nonprofit formerly known as Whimsicalitea

22 April 2017 - Whimsicalitea has its first fundraiser, with big changes on the horizon.

I'd been a contributor to arts organizations since I was in college. I can't tell you how much Top Ramen and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese I consumed because I'd donated my meager funds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Huntington Library, and Orange County Performing Arts Center.  Over the years, as I watched arts funding being cut in schools, I increasingly cherished the idea of starting an arts nonprofit with an emphasis on supporting arts in peril of being 'lost'.

A friend and I teamed up to open a brick and mortar spot, having both had experience owning retail eateries. She was going to have a tearoom there 3 days a week. The rest of the week would be dedicated to theme events and arts classes: acting, singing, harp, piano, Fantasy Fitness, you name it. For a variety of reasons, it seemed natural to finally set up an arts nonprofit. Because of our dual interests, we combined them into Whimsicalitea.

By the time of our last fundraiser at the end of the year, she was forced to back out of the project and I was left holding the bag. It wasn't possible for me to man a place 7 days a week, so I switched gears and took over the nonprofit and starting devoting time to the Omni project—something I could not have done if the shop had come to pass. It was at this point I finally got the hint that greater forces were at work moving me toward Omni. I still didn't know what it was all about, but felt irresistibly compelled to keep going. While on the surface it appeared that one thing after another had fallen apart, I secretly sensed things were actually falling together. They just weren't the things I expected.

Since the time of Whimsicalitea's incorporation as a federally recognized 501c3, I've been bombarded with emails selling or seeking tea paraphernalia. It became apparent, the nonprofit's name needed to change. As the nonprofit is now officially affiliated with the Academy, it seemed natural for the charitable organization to have a name as equally ridiculous as the reset of Omni's projects. Hence, we are now Whimsicalidocious, and couldn't be more pleased. Things are truly gelling, and it's a marvel to watch.