NOTE: Each GALA PARTY reward = one guest spot. If you would like to bring a date/ a friend, they need to set up their own Kickstarter user profile and pledge themselves to get the GALA PARTY reward--there is no way for Kickstarter to accommodate more than one pledge per user profile.
If you have other questions about the GALA PARTY, please read the FAQ at the bottom. We've been inundated with the same questions over and over--save time and read it. Don't get left out!
Our names are Katherine Bergeron (aka Katrina Galore) and E. Stephen Frederick (curator of The Empire S.N.A.F.U. Restoration Project). We are the founders of Torrent Engine 18.
We were both born into families of
artists and have been breathing art-fumes from day one.
We've been active in the arts and performance all over the east coast since the 1990s. We met each other for the first time in 2003 and have been inseparable ever since.
The seed of Torrent Engine 18 grew from our experiences while Katherine was living at an underground performance space in Boston named Pan9. Pan9 was a large loft in an old factory building that for many years hosted variety shows, combining art and performance of all genres. Pan9 nurtured a supportive creative community and launched many artists and performers, including the band The Dresden Dolls who played their first public performance there.
But on December 29, 2006, faulty electrical wiring ignited a fire that blazed through Pan9.
The damage caused by the fire, though significant, could have been repaired. Instead the landlord opted to subdivide the large loft/performance space into tiny condos, leaving its former occupants homeless, and leaving Boston with one less venue for incredible stuff to happen in.
We were sick of watching one arts community
after another be destroyed by the whims of landlords and we were determined not
to let the feeling of community we'd experienced at Pan9 die.
In March of 2012, after years of research and planning, we finally purchased a magical building to create a new underground art space in Boston.
The building was originally built as a firehouse in 1869. It was later owned by a preschool, and then by a church. We decided to return to calling it by its original firehouse name: Torrent Engine 18.
Torrent Engine 18 will serve three purposes:
- to house resident and visiting artists
- to permanently house the Empire S.N.A.F.U. Restoration Project
- to be a flexible theater/art/performance space for local, national, and international artists of all stripes (performance, interdisciplinary, film/video etc.)
EVERY PENNY of profit from this Kickstarter goes directly into Torrent Engine 18's restoration. YOU CAN PLAY A PART IN UNDERGROUND ART HISTORY!
Most of the rewards are self-explanatory, but we must go in more detail for one--our GALA PARTY, which will take place in a secret location (note: NOT the Torrent Engine 18 firehouse) in Boston on Friday, December 21st, 2012, aka MAYAN DOOMSDAY.
Finally I can draw back the velvet curtain and reveal the secret performers for our GALA PARTY:
Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman
If, by some chance, you have no idea who these people are:
1) my condolences on your unfortunate incarceration
On the official Last Day on Earth, you will be sure to enjoy decadent music, mystery readings, and ritual burlesque while sipping fresh-fruit-infused libations by Booze Époque in a grand ballroom. If we are all going down, we are going down IN STYLE.
Want to go? Pledge one of the select $125 (or more) rewards--please read the reward carefully to make sure you are picking the right one (it will contain the phrase "GALA PARTY"). There are very limited guest spots (less than 200). Guest spots for the GALA PARTY will ONLY be available through this Kickstarter--no tickets will be sold at the door.
For the financially blessed, we have a personal theater experience to be performed by a bevy of Boston's most well-known burlesque dancers--a tribute befitting the Apocalypse. Pick one of $200+ rewards that contains the phrase "personal theater experience." Again, please read the reward carefully to make sure you are picking the right one (some of the higher-level rewards do not include a gala spot).
Risks and challenges
Torrent Engine 18 was originally constructed using the highest quality brick, granite, lumber and iron, but there was almost no maintenance in recent decades. We have begun restoration--our sweat equity and powers of DIY are mighty.
But decades of neglect cannot be reversed overnight. There are many problems with this building (some of which were not detected during our pre-purchase inspections) which will require professional help.
The firehouse's needs and estimated costs are:
- Structural repairs + repointing of masonry for entire building = $60,000
- Structural engineer/architectural plans = $10,000
- New asphalt shingle roof for entire building + repair of roof decking = $25,000
- Prep/repaint exterior woodwork = $5,000
- High efficiency gas furnace + hot water heater = $17,000
- Plumbing = $5,000
- Insulation = $5,000
- Electrical upgrades = $12,000
- Driveway/curb cut = $6,000
- New windows/wrought iron security grating = $15,000
- New deck + point of egress from second floor = $12,000
- Kitchen and bathroom improvements = $5,000
- Flooring improvements = $5,000
- Miscellaneous interior improvements = $5,000
- Regrade yard = $10,000
- Landscaping / plantings = $2,000
Total estimated cost = $199,000
Torrent Engine 18 has a fantastic team working for them, including Cindy Larson of Centre Point Architects, and Rene Mugnier, an award-winning structural engineer, working to restore this historic building to its former glory.
If all goes well, we will have enough repairs completed by late spring of 2013 so that we can begin hosting arts events then. But with a major historical restoration like this, promising a specific date is tempting fate. Our construction timetable will be at the mercy of city inspectors, contractors, and the weather.
Even after the initial phase of emergency repairs is complete, for years to come we'll be continuing to pour time, labor and equity into the building, as we adapt the interior to better suit artistic purposes, and to be as "Green" as possible.
We are committed to this project for the long haul!
Art is our religion. We chose to embark on this insane adventure solely so we can provide YOU with a venue to experience exciting underground culture in Boston. There is no plan B. It's too late for us to change our ways. We will live on ramen and peanut butter for the next 30 years if that's what it takes!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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