Elsewhere is a living museum set in a former thrift store in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The museum houses the 58-year collection of Sylvia Gray, who amassed an immense inventory as proprietress of the downtown thrift/surplus store, left without purpose upon her passing in 1997. In 2003, her grandson, George Scheer, and a group of artists moved into the store, declared nothing for sale, and started reorganizing these things to make way for a new kind of place for collaborative production and interaction. Twelve years later, Elsewhere is a museum, artist residency, and education laboratory known globally for its innovative approach to combining people and things.
Each year, 50 artists from across the world spend a month or more creating works in Elsewhere’s museum and in our downtown Greensboro neighborhood. We host over 10,000 visitors to the museum per year, who participate in events, workshops, and projects led by artists and neighbors. Our education program embeds artists in schools through programs like Foodlab and Queerlab, and we host tours, retreats. We collaborate with partners across Greensboro and the globe to develop public projects that build a more intimate, engaged, creative culture.
About the Restoration Project
In 2003 when we moved in, there was only one electrical outlet, no floor, and you had to go outside to go upstairs. Since then, we’ve been working on the building constantly, restoring and repairing bit-by bit. But now, with a 40-year lease in-hand, it’s time to shore-up and officialize this amazing anchor in the South Elm neighborhood and enhance the legacy and capacity for exchanges between Greensboro and the globe.
Restoring our 100-year old historic building will enable Elsewhere to become more accessible, safe and sustainable. It will enable Elsewhere to provide year-round programming, create twelve live-work artist studios, and three-floor public museum access--substantially increasing our capacity for artists and the public.
Currently without a heating or cooling system, Elsewhere closes the museum every winter from November through March. Year-round operations will extend our programming season, expand our national and international networks, catalyze momentum, and create new opportunities for connection and growth. A smart HVAC system will enable airflow and keep people comfortable year-round. Live-work residencies for artists in downtown Greensboro will sustain vitality in our developing neighborhood. Other aspects of the restoration include sprinkler systems, electrical upgrades, residential and assemblage coding, and structural reinforcements. Fire safety will enable public access across the museum's three floors.
Our team, Vines Architecture, created architectural plans that have been fully reviewed and approved by Greensboro's Inspection Department. Contractors are ready to begin work in November 2015 for an estimated 14-week construction timeline.
- Living Museum open year-round
- Three-floor public museum access
- 12 live/work artist studios
- 15+ additional visiting artists per year
- Estimated increase of 7,000 visitors per year
- Momentum sustains and grows
A South Elm Street Anchor
Elsewhere has inspired South Elm’s revitalization as a cultural anchor and contemporary art destination. Our public projects and programs innovate downtown’s creative character in partnership with local businesses, nonprofits, and neighbors.
North Carolina’s Creative Legacy
Elsewhere forwards the legacy of experimental art and social vision in North Carolina. Elsewhere celebrates our city’s characters, stories, and histories, while seeding new models and examples for the next generation.
Local and Global Collaborations
Elsewhere is a destination for local and global artists of all kinds exploring site-specific art, social creativity, and design innovation through public exchanges. Elsewhere is a hub and home for Greensboro neighbors and artists from across the globe.
Elsewhere has raised $600,000 of the $800,000 needed to restore the building. This generous funding has come from the Kresge Foundation, the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Greensboro's Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Kevin and Elizabeth Phillips, Katherine Phillips, The Carol & Seymour Levin Foundation, ArtsGreensboro, Lorillard Inc, Landmark Builders and cash pledges.
With $200,000 left to raise, we are reaching out to our local and global networks to join us. With your support we will continue to imagine new futures and keep Elsewhere a home for global artists and neighbors for years to come.
Elsewhere is a 501(c)3 non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible.
The Elsewhere Team
Elsewhere is produced by a team of curators, a cabinet of leaders, artists, fellows and interns, volunteers and neighbors. We are incredibly grateful for all of the amazing contributions since 2003. Thanks to all who have contributed!
Rewards and Gifts
We're offering a host of rewards and gifts for your pledges. Whether digital, analog, 2D, sculptural, experiential, or magical, here's your chance to own a little Elsewhere elsewhere. Our rewards are all individually-created by a team of artists selected for their skills and passion for all things Elsewhere.
Rewards Made by Our Artists
Colin is a sculptor, tinkerer, writer and sometimes fake astronaut. Born and raised on the island of Manhattan, he now lives and works in Providence, RI. His personal work tends to explore the emotional lives of objects, and how those emotions coincide, or completely butt up again those of humans. His sculpture ranges from devastatingly permanent and heavy to fleeting and transient. For nearly a decade he has worked as a key member of a public art and education collective, making large, temporary, collaborative murals with tape, and using them as a tool for education.
More about Colin : http://colinbliss.com/
While a resident at Elsewhere in 2012, Colin built the front window swings.
Emily is from Durham, NC and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her interest in kitchens, farming, housekeeping, hospitality, homesteading, and living systems culminates as the House(pitality) Curator at Elsewhere. Her work includes an urban farming project on a historical site, handmade guides to hometowns, Alive in the Kitchen, experimental shelter and cooking research, a presentation at Open Engagement, and a show at the Flux Factory. She has two alter egos, Composty and the Kitchen Witch, and a never ending love of waste management, making-it-work, motorcycles and all-around domestic feelings.
Cyrus is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in sculpture, interactive art, radio, publication, and performance. He was part of the first graduating class at Portland State University to receive an MFA in Social Practice, a form of art that encourages interactivity, communication, and social engagement. Cyrus also worked on the exhibitions team for the Portland Art Museum and Tacoma Art Museum as an installer and designer. When he is not making art, you may find him playing music, taking the long way home, or sleeping under the stars. Cyrus is the Building Curator and lead screen printer at Elsewhere.
Risks and challenges
Restoring a building is an enormous undertaking. Restoring this historic building is especially complex because it requires care and precision to ensure the history, culture, and atmosphere are not lost in the process of securing and developing its future. This restoration project has been underway since 2012. We've been working with architects, the city, our cabinet, and artists to put the plans and permits in place. This Kickstarter campaign is an important piece in the puzzle, not only for making the restoration happen, but in demonstrating our shared support to a national movement of art projects and spaces making exceptional places for artists and publics to live, imagine, and collaborate.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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