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This fall, New Orleans Airlift is creating a permanent home for the Music Box Village!
This fall, New Orleans Airlift is creating a permanent home for the Music Box Village!
This fall, New Orleans Airlift is creating a permanent home for the Music Box Village!
709 backers pledged $80,387 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Music Box Village finds a home!

$80,387

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*** STRETCH GOAL!!***

We are so thrilled to have made it this far, thanks to over 500 of you and your support. We can't wait to get started installing The Music Box Village. 
But - what would really help?! 

 The telescoping boom forklift of our dreams!!

We have a chance right now to purchase a used forklift instead of constantly renting them. New, they cost $60,000. This one is $20k. So that is our stretch goal! This means catwalks, treehouses, balconies and transporting musical houses around the city!! Let's make it happen!

What is The Music Box? 

The Music Box is a place where play, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, community and tons of hard work come together as artist-made, interactive “musical houses.” They can be cacophonously played by the public, or harmoniously performed by professional musicians.

The Music Box is an internationally celebrated and locally loved public art project, inspired by the unique musical and architectural culture of our home city of New Orleans. The project pushes artistic boundaries, but more importantly it brings together people of all stripes for a heartwarming, creative experience that has equal appeal for a musical giant such as Thurston Moore or a gaggle of 5-year-olds. 

Now, we’re giving The Music Box a permanent home: The Music Box Village. After building and tearing down several temporary versions, it has been our long-held dream to install our musical houses in a place where we can continue to elaborate on and improve the project, while it grows with its community. 

Roving Village: City Park, 2015. photo by Tod Seelie
Roving Village: City Park, 2015. photo by Tod Seelie

The Music Box Village

We plan to open in October 2016 with a dozen already-completed musical houses, in the Bywater neighborhood just a few blocks from where the project originated. Over time, The Music Box Village will grow, through artist residencies, to become a landmark cultural destination, and a place to grow up in for this city’s children. As an interactive art park by day, and a one-of-a-kind musical venue by night, we know that The Music Box Village will be a site for renewable creativity, learning and play, and a wonderland of awe and inspiration for years to come. 

Our first Music Box, Piety Street, 2011, photo by Morgan Sasser
Our first Music Box, Piety Street, 2011, photo by Morgan Sasser

Background: 

The project is the evolving brainchild of our nonprofit arts organization New Orleans Airlift. Begun in 2011 by local artists Delaney Martin, Taylor Shepherd, Jay Pennington and visiting artist Swoon, the project has grown mightily since its inception through the hard work and idiosyncratic vision of hundreds more collaborators to date.

Many of you have been with us along this journey for the past five years, since our original Music Box project which featured 25 artists and another 50 performing musicians. Since then, we have worked with dozens more amazing artists, musicians, inventors, architects, youth participants and many more voices for this radically collaborative project. The project has visited other cities in the U.S. such as Tampa and Shreveport, and even gone to Kiev, Ukraine.

Most recently, in 2015, we presented The Music Box: Roving Village in a six-week installation in City Park, which attracted over ten thousand visitors and featured Wilco, Solange Knowles, William Parker, Arto Lindsay, Preservation Hall, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Tank & the Bangas and more of our favorite musicians, both locally and internationally acclaimed. Nearly 2,000 students have visited The Music Box for interactive workshops, while roughly 30,000 visitors have created joyous noise with us over the lifespan of the project. 

Our hundreds of Kickstarter supporters have made these projects possible. We will continue to work with local and international creators, providing paid opportunities for artists, builders and performers, as we deepen the meaning and the possibilities of musical architecture for our broader community. 

What will your contribution support? 

This spring, we closed financing to buy a 55,000 square foot forest and adjoining fabrication warehouse, where we are currently hard at work, prepping our grounds and tuning up our musical houses. This summer, we plan to install the houses, along with some exciting new additions, in time for a grand opening this October. 

This is a big gamble for us! We have crazy new expenses and a sizable mortgage - but we went for it because we believe that The Music Box will not only be a culture transformer, but a transformational experience for our organization, and everyone who gets a job, learns a skill, performs, or comes to visit us along the way. How amazing to have created something that we absolutely love, and that can grow and sustain itself! 

Our original long-term vision for the Village... photo by Will Widmer
Our original long-term vision for the Village... photo by Will Widmer

Some of the costs we will incur in the next five months of build-out, before we open our doors: 

  • Arborist work on our grove of trees 
  • Drainage: in heavy rain, our lot becomes a pond... 
  • Building our parking lot
  • Landscaping and building a “green” fence around sculptures 
  • Installation of our musical houses
  • Sound and lighting system
  • Seating, walkways, other connective infrastructure
  • Staff and extra hands for events, production, and more

Nearly ten years into the journey, this is the year we transform - with your help - from a nomadic, peripatetic organization into a fully-fledged arts institution.

Pitchbow House, by Alyssa Dennis and Ranjit Bhatnagar created with Airlift at a residency in Tampa Bay, 2016, photo by Alyssa Dennis
Pitchbow House, by Alyssa Dennis and Ranjit Bhatnagar created with Airlift at a residency in Tampa Bay, 2016, photo by Alyssa Dennis

Now, for the first time, we invite you, our audiences, friends and collaborators, to become supporting members of New Orleans Airlift as we put down serious roots. We are, right now, developing an exciting lineup of local and international performers to present in the 2016-2017 season, and new works, including a Mardi Gras Indian house with Big Chief Darryl Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas

We need a lot of help - our staff is only five people! This is a huge project with many dimensions, and we are putting our hearts and souls (and wallets) into making it happen this year. Our greatest strength has always been our multitude of diverse collaborators, volunteers and supporters from the city of New Orleans and far beyond. 

We especially encourage our out-of-town supporters, if you love New Orleans, to plant a seed here which will grow into a fantastic destination. Come lend a hand, and give now, to help build the permanent Music Box you will be able to return to again and again. 

We can’t wait to re-open our doors and welcome you to our new, magical village this fall. 

NEW Rewards:

Work in progress - sticker design by READ
Work in progress - sticker design by READ

Legendary New Orleans graffiti artist READ is creating a series of images for our stickers and t-shirts!

Just added: Oversize Photo Prints!

by Jonathan Traviesa: Rosalie "Lady Tambourine" Washington shaking it out and thanking the skies above on the very last night of the original Music Box
by Jonathan Traviesa: Rosalie "Lady Tambourine" Washington shaking it out and thanking the skies above on the very last night of the original Music Box

 

by Wil Widmer: Quintron, conductor of the Shantytown Orchestra, flanked by Caitlin Cowlen and Erin Wilson, contributors to the civic design of The Music Box and ushers that evening
by Wil Widmer: Quintron, conductor of the Shantytown Orchestra, flanked by Caitlin Cowlen and Erin Wilson, contributors to the civic design of The Music Box and ushers that evening

 

Dithyrambalina by Tod Seelie, 12x18 in.
Dithyrambalina by Tod Seelie, 12x18 in.
Theris, by Melissa Stryker
Theris, by Melissa Stryker

 

              
Piety, by Jose Fernandes
Piety, by Jose Fernandes

    

Quintron, by Rush Jagoe
Quintron, by Rush Jagoe

 

by Bryan Tarnowksi
by Bryan Tarnowksi

 

Symphonium cyanotype by LiveWork Collective
Symphonium cyanotype by LiveWork Collective

 

Tote bag design by Alita Edgar featuring a variety of our musical houses by co-founding artist Taylor Lee Shepherd.
Tote bag design by Alita Edgar featuring a variety of our musical houses by co-founding artist Taylor Lee Shepherd.

  

example print by Alyssa Dennis, collaborating artist, who is creating a new 17x22 inch print especially for the Music Box Village Kickstarter. Limited to an edition of 100.
example print by Alyssa Dennis, collaborating artist, who is creating a new 17x22 inch print especially for the Music Box Village Kickstarter. Limited to an edition of 100.

 

Swoon's work table: Sneak peek  -- Co-founding artist Swoon is designing a series of 3 papercut masks, and a new limited edition print, which are only available through this campaign...
Swoon's work table: Sneak peek -- Co-founding artist Swoon is designing a series of 3 papercut masks, and a new limited edition print, which are only available through this campaign...

 

One of Swoon's new Music Box-inspired Carnival masks, available only through this campaign
One of Swoon's new Music Box-inspired Carnival masks, available only through this campaign

 

As a 501c3 nonprofit, your donation is tax-deductible! Contact us for a receipt along with your reward.

Thanks to Fredric King, our video director!

 

Risks and challenges

New Orleans Airlift has completed several large-scale installations of the Music Box over the past five years, including two successful completed Kickstarter campaigns. We also produce events and shows involving hundreds of participants, so we are well-versed in pulling off crazy ambitious dreams. We have some great advisors and help in this new venture, and do not foresee any stumbling blocks.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you!!

    A heartfelt thank you shoutout from us!

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    Meme

    Airlift Co-Founder Jay (DJ Rusty Lazer) will send you a thank-you meme of his choosing...

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Sticker

    We'll send you a commemorative 2016 New Orleans Airlift art sticker, plus a meme & a shoutout.

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    Mixtape

    We'll send you a downloadable mixtape of exclusive tracks by an assortment of our amazing Music Box collaborating musicians.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    T-Shirt Package

    A Music Box Village t-shirt and sticker, with commemorative 2016 graphic,
    plus our new downloadable mixtape by Music Box performers.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Tote Bag Package

    A Music Box Village tote bag featuring drawings of our musical houses by co-founding artist Taylor Lee Shepherd and sticker, plus our new downloadable mixtape by Music Box performers.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Individual Membership

    Individual Membership!!
    Includes:
    * one year of free admission to public hours of The Music Box Village,
    * one free ticket to a performance of your choice in our 2016-2017 season.

    More details about our membership program here: https://musicboxvillage.com/2016/05/26/membership-giving/

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    New Audiences sponsored membership

    Be a hero! New Audiences Memberships: $80 provides an annual membership for a family of four with free admission to public hours, and four tickets to a performance of their choice.

    We are excited to offer these memberships to families who would not otherwise be able to afford admission, in the interest of sharing The Music Box Village with diverse audiences and our community. This is a great way to support as a member, even if you are not local to New Orleans.

    More details about our membership program here: https://musicboxvillage.com/2016/05/26/membership-giving/

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    Print by Alyssa Denis

    Limited edition imaginary architecture art print by Alyssa Dennis (Music Box Artist from Tampa Bay project, 2016)

    plus our new downloadable mixtape by Music Box performers.

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    Photo Print

    Some of our favorite photographers have generously donated prints of their favorite Music Box shots over the years. This is an opportunity to collect a large professional quality print, suitable for framing at 11x14 or 12x18 inches. See options at the bottom of the page, and specify which print you would like.

    This offer is exclusive to our Kickstarter and will end with the campaign! If you like what you see here, check out our photographers' other work online.

    #1: Tod Seelie: Dithyrambalina
    #2: Militia Stryker: Theris
    #3 Jose Fernandes: Piety

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    Photo Print by Rush Jagoe

    Rush has made available one of our favorite images from our City Park installation, a portrait of Quintron. There are only 10 available of this oversize print.

    All photo prints available can be found at the bottom of the page.

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    Photo Print by Bryan Tarnowski

    Bryan has made available a gorgeous photo, available only through our Kickstarter for a few more days. Find the image at the bottom of the page along with our other available photo prints.

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    Photo Print: Wil Widmer

    Quintron flanked by our ushers from the Piety Street Music Box.

    A great opportunity to collect an oversize print suitable for framing. Limited to ten.

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    Photo Print: Jonathan Traviesa

    Rosalie "Lady Tambourine" on the last night of the original Music Box on Piety Street.

    A great opportunity to collect an oversize print suitable for framing. Limited to ten.

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    Swoon original Carnival Mask

    Co-founding artist Swoon has created a series of 3 Carnival masks for us featuring her iconic paper cut designs. We will send you one of them. Exclusive to this campaign!

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    2nd Tier Membership

    2nd Tier Membership!
    Includes:
    * free admission for you + a guest to The Music Box Village public hours for a year,
    * two free tickets to a show in our 2016/2017 season,
    * plus a sticker, and our downloadable mixtape...

    More details about our membership program here: https://musicboxvillage.com/2016/05/26/membership-giving/

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    Indiv. + New Audiences Membership duo

    One for you, one for others! Includes one individual membership, plus you sponsor a New Audiences membership for a family of four.

    More details about our membership program here: https://musicboxvillage.com/2016/05/26/membership-giving/

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Cyanotype Print by LiveWork Collective

    These hand-coated cyanotype prints are from a numbered edition of 40. The negative was produced inside the Symphonium at Music Box: Tampa Bay by using its camera obscura as a giant pinhole camera. The image documents the Symphonium's view of the Hillsborough River in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa.
    Oversize print of 18 x 24 inches. Find the image at the bottom of our page. We have five available only through our campaign.

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    2nd Tier + New Audiences Membership

    2nd Tier Membership, plus one New Audiences membership.
    Includes:
    * free admission for you + a guest to The Music Box Village public hours for a year,
    * two free tickets to a show in our 2016/2017 season,
    * plus a sticker, and our downloadable mixtape...

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    VIP Ticket Package

    VIP tickets to any one of our first three Orchestral Concert grand opening shows!! October/November/December, your choice. You get a pair of tickets, early admission, mingle time with the artists and musicians during setup, and beverages from our concession. Early seating too.

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    3rd Tier Deluxe Membership

    3rd Tier Deluxe Membership! Includes:
    * free admission to public hours for a year for you + 3 guests
    * four free tickets to a performance in our 2016/2017 season
    * early seating
    * advance notice of shows, backstage access and special events
    * Tote bag + sticker + mixtape
    * Invitation to our annual membership party

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    Series of 3 Carnival Masks by Swoon

    Get the whole set of 3 Carnival Masks by co-founding artist Swoon. These beautiful objects feature her intricate paper-cut designs. Wear them on your face or on your wall. Exclusive to this campaign!

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    3rd Tier Package + New Audiences

    3rd Tier membership package + you sponsor a New Audiences membership for a New Orleans family of four:
    * free admission to public hours for a year for you and 3 guests
    * early seating
    * advance notice of shows, backstage access and special events
    * Tote bag + sticker + mixtape
    * Invitation to our annual membership party

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    5 New Audiences Memberships

    New Audiences Membership Package: Contribute toward five family memberships, serving up to 20 New Orleanians who would not otherwise be able to afford a membership with free admission to The Music Box Village for a year, and four performance tickets per family. If you do this you will have really good karma for a long time!

    More details about our membership program here: https://musicboxvillage.com/2016/05/26/membership-giving/

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    Picnic

    Picnic package: You + three friends get early admission to rehearsal time at The Music Box Village, plus a picnic provided in our forest.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Limited edition art print by Swoon

    Handmade paper Swoon original depicting her contributions past and future to The Music Box Village.

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    Sunset Tour

    Music Box Artistic Director, Delaney Martin, leads a private sunset tour and picnic with other artists of The Music Box Village, for you + 3 guests.

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    Dinner Party

    Private dinner party for 10 in the magical Music Box Village: catered, with music and lots of musical house playing by you and your friends!

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    Lifetime Deluxe Membership

    One time only, Kickstarter exclusive, permanent membership to The Music Box Village! Includes all benefits of the 3rd tier membership, with no expiration date.

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    Host a Free Public Hours Day

    Open House Day: sponsor a free admission day at The Music Box Village, in your name, your business name, or to support a cause of your choosing. So many people get to have fun because of you!

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    Your Event

    Private event rental of The Music Box Village for your own special night including catering and bar. Contact us for specifics.

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    Name a House

    Naming rights to one of our original musical houses, presented in your name, or by a cause of your choosing.

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Funding period

- (29 days)