About this project
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What the money is for
- Fund our next year in Boston, New York City, and San Francisco.
- Launch Seattle!
Each $100,000 raised above our initial goal means one more city: DC and Chicago are at the top of our list. We want to bring Groupmuse to your city.
Groupwhat? Classical house party what now?
We are a new organization solving an ancient problem: how do we bring meaning to our lives? We think part of the answer is sharing great music with great people. We believe in classical music. We believe that it can reach across centuries of space and time and grab us by by the hearts and by the throats: that it can shock us, charm us, inspire us. We don’t think the music we love so much deserves to be isolated in an ivory tower and reserved for the enjoyment of experts.
This music is ours. It belongs to all of us, and all of us deserve to enjoy it. Share the great masterpieces of music with old and new friends — in your living room and throughout your city. Because art is better with your friends. Because music can’t hear itself. Because we need to feel together. Because we all need to be alive.
Groupmuse is the social network turned social movement, a phenomenon that with almost no funding and a staff of six has created over 1,000 house concerts worldwide and raised more than $300,000 for young musicians.
Groupmuse’s origins can be traced back to the Allston apartment of pianist Cristian Budu, in 2010. There, musicians from New England Conservatory would gather for chamber music house parties that would rattle the rafters with the sweet sounds of Brahms late into the night. Groupmuse founder Sam Bodkin was lucky enough to be invited to these concerts, refined the idea while working for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and put on the first groupmuse in January of 2013. Every week, the Groupmuse platform brings hundreds of new listeners to classical music.
So If You're So Damn Successful, Why Do You Need My Money?
Our traction is very strong and the response to Groupmuse has been overwhelming, but if we take cash from a typical startup investor, there will be a lot of pressure to grow revenue at all costs, and that pressure was going to be coming from places outside of our community from people who don’t actually go to groupmuses and don’t fully appreciate how miraculous what we’ve created really is.
We’re committed to our mission and our community above all other things, and that’s not the way to raise capital these days.
We don’t want quarterly pressures to bevel and genericize this strange and marvelous movement that has brought so much depth and beauty and warmth and connection into people’s lives. We want to stay bizarre; we want people to continue to regard this odd idea with some initial skepticism, and we want them to all, one by one, come to a groupmuse, and be blown away by the power of the experience and by the sincerity and optimism of its ambitions.
But we do need capital. Groupmuse has become too big and too important for us to continue to do it justice with our shoestring budget and our skeleton staff. We want a world covered in groupmuses. We want an international community of people who believe in the power of this great art and who give up their living rooms for a night to share a moment of humanity with their friends and neighbors. We want summer Groupmuse festivals. We want warm homes where you can find shining faces and profound masterworks in any city you might be passing through.
We don’t just want to change the way communities interact with art – we want to change the way communities interact with themselves. It might sound too good to be true, but it already is true. With practically no resources, we’ve put on 1,000 groupmuses in less than three years. We have tens of thousands of users. We’ve raised more than $300,000 for young players. We’ve gathered crowds of hundreds of millennials dancing like pagans to live performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. We’ve had crowds of new listeners demanding an encore of a Bach Fugue under the implied threat of mob violence.
We all want to live in a world where something as wonderful as Groupmuse can survive, but we’ve got to create that world.
Risks and challenges
We make house parties in random cities and homes! We are a young and new organization. The risks, the challenges, are too real.
Here's what we can say: in two years of doing this, our safety-check systems and zero-tolerance policy (and amazing staff and community) have made Groupmuse virtually problem-free. We have the technique for city-by-city expansion worked out. Now, we need the capital to grow our staff to get there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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