[PyAR2] Funding pyArkansas

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Wed Aug 6 04:47:08 CEST 2008


I am writing on behalf of the Arkansas Python Users Group, Python
Artists of Arkansas (PyAR^2).  Our group is just over 6 months old and
are planning the first annual "Python Arkansas" conference on the
campus of the University of Central Arkansas (www.uca.edu) on October
4th.  This will be a 1-day conference currently planned from 8:30AM -
4:00PM with an emphasis on introducing Python to High School and
College students.  We have Jeff Rush scheduled to teach a "Python 101"
track and well as other group members presenting talks on file/text
processing, Django, packages/modules, pyGame and database methods.
There will also be a panel discussion/Q&A to end the day.  We have
commitments from PyMagazine, O'Reilly, WingWare and Elegant Stitches
for swag as well.

The venue for the event is the Computer Science Department at the
University of Central Arkansas.  I wrote Dr. Hu (the department
chairman) about the event not expecting much in return but they have
been extremely encouraging, committing not only 3 classrooms (with
computers) and a wireless network. but making sure the UCA cafeteria
can handle us and they are tossing in at least 2 faculty members as
well.  One faculty member has recently moved to Arkansas from Georgia
Tech (where he taught Python to non-CS majors) who has offered to
teach a class on modules and packages.

To promote the event we plan to send a letter to all High Schools in
Faulkner County as well as all of the adjoining counties (17 High
Schools) and all of the 2 and 4 year Universities (12 if my count is
correct).  I am putting the letter together and Chad Cooper (group
member) is putting together a flier to post as well.  We will try to
get announcements in the University newspapers, but we don't know
what's involved with that.  I would like to see 100 people attend, but
we really have no way to know the numbers at this point.

To raise funds, we are asking businesses in Central Arkansas that we
know use Python (Acxiom Corporation, Novasys Health, and others).
David Goodger suggested that we check the Python Job board for other
that use Python, and we are looking at listings on Internet job
boards.  We do not want to charge the attendees if at all possible,  A
very modest proposed budget is:

$  75.00 Promotional mailing and fund raising letters
$ 600.00 Speaker (gas (from Texas), 2 nights hotel, meals and stipend,
currently aimed at Jeff Rush)
$ 100.00 MIsc. Expenses

It's modest, but a big part of this is due to the response we have
received from UCA.  Lunch will be the responsibility of each attendee
at the UCA student center (one member is working on getting meal
tickets for all organizers and volunteers).

We are asking for any monetary support you can provide.  We will
provide receipts to account for all funds you can provide, as well as
a report on how the conference went (what went well, what flopped,

Thank you for your consideration,

Greg Lindstrom, on behalf of PyAR^2

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