The non-profit Casa Regis - Center for culture and contemporary art is in a historic building (late 1700s) in the lower Alps of Northern Italy. The empty rooms, in their current rough and ready state, can be used for inspiration, installation, interpretation, videos, conceptual performances, writing, and group workshops. I welcome thinkers, creatives, travelers, artists and Italophiles of all natures as well as long distance members from around the world. My first fundraising objective is a working, up-to-code electrical system.
To include all budgets for the backer rewards, I'm introducing a special feature where each contribution amount is at your discretion, called, THE PEOPLE'S PLEDGE: YOU ATTRIBUTE A VALUE! Another unusual feature of this campaign is that the rewards offered might be offered by you, in the PEER-TO-PEER sponsor's section for a stretch goal! (s e e b e l o w f o r n e w r e w a r d s )
THE STORY FROM THE BEGINNING
I’m Mikelle Standbridge, an American artist (www.standbridge.net) that moved to Italy 20 years ago, married an Italian, and recently was introduced to this 18th C. building in Northern Italy that was in need of being saved from ruin.
Being an artist, my vision for the place of course centered around culture and the arts. My own experience - having started with experimental and interdisciplinary arts at San Francisco State University for my undergraduate studies and finished with conceptual art at the University of Chicago for my masters - founded my appreciation for locations charged with possibilities for interpretation: mental space for writers; empty rooms for installation and/or video projects; multiple environments to host mixed media collaborations. It is also near to the woods, attainable by foot.
This special current state of the building being empty (with the exception of table and chairs if requested) is ideal for creatives who are self-sufficient with their tools but want an evocative backdrop for a project.
So far, thanks to the generosity of our first donors, I was able to dive right into some aesthetic improvements: removal of the 1960 ceiling paneling covering up the historic wood beams; removal of dated floral carpet (with tenacious, wicked glue!) covering the red terracotta tiles; removal of trash; and removal of the dusty, out-dated wallpaper. We did S.O.S. on the garden and roof and covered costs related to registries, site drawings, city officials and all that biz that I am not going to go in to because I don't want you all to have to think about that yucky stuff!
The next most useful step to make the space more user-friendly is adding a working (safe), up-to-code electrical system. It is currently a "tiny" bit out-dated and outlets either don't work or are dangerous to use. Keeping in character with the style of the house and complying with the strict conservation laws, I am planning on the cloth covered wires hung externally and the use of ceramic switches.
The compound of connected buildings is quite large but for now I am going to concentrate on what is the most scenic section, the "Nobleman's wing". The estimated cost for re-wiring the selected 12 rooms covering two floors (and foreseeing the use of heavy appliances in the future kitchen) is Euro5,400/$6,000
Here is a link to the list of materials and the estimated hours of an electrician's time. The price of the architect's proposal in not included in my kickstarter budget request but will be covered by existing funds. Link for materials
Should I have the good fortune to reach our goal, the next step is plumbing! For the moment we pour a bucket of that nice, fresh mountain spring water from the fountain in the existing toilet and you'd be amazed - it works better than any flusher you've ever had! That said, I am not saying we don't need running water!
If you like what you see and you see the potential of this location one day being a fully equipped art space and residency, you are with me!
THE END RESULT
This building (as the association itself!) is a continuous work-in-progress, but with electricity, artists and writers will be able to plug in their computers, lights, and necessary tools to work. As for when the electrical system is scheduled to be completed, the time frame is for June of 2020, when our first guests would be arriving for the summer season. The time consuming process has to do with the building being protected by the Federal conservation board ("Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali") and each request for an update/modification to the building has to be presented officially via an architect (who takes his/her time) and response times from the federal board can easily take 6 months.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
Here is how you can be involved from near and/or far! As mentioned, I have an unusual backer proposal and it is called, THE PEOPLES' PLEDGE: THE BACKER ATTRIBUTES A VALUE! Having good faith in the reasonableness of backers and their understanding of the now established kickstarter community of pledging, I put the $ amount for each reward at the backer's discretion. Maybe you are financially unstable but feel you could really benefit from a reward, then you offer what you can. Maybe you are financially stable and can offer at the "suggested" value or more. I hope a natural balance occurs between the two.
The rewards themselves are an integral part of the center's philosophy and objective, designed to bring Casa Regis alive through the actual ingredients that make up the artistic community I would like to foster: cross-fertilization, collaboration, and long-term professional-artistic connections. For this objective, firstly, I am contributing my art related know-how to the campaign to enrich backer-guests' understanding of the location. Secondly, the art leaders and artisans who have been sustaining Casa Regis - who have been or will be guest artists and will be offering workshops and guided atelier visits here - are donating their services and art.
Signing up to become a member at Casa Regis is the single most helpful action you can take to propel us to our goal. You do not have to be an artist to be a member, but if you are, you can benefit from the possibility to access/rent the Casa Regis space for your project (coming as a group or single artist) plus early communication for all open-calls and "insider info" in the member's newsletter (valuable for non travelers as well!). 5 Year and Lifetime memberships get some extras beyond this (see rewards!). Sign up for membership during this kickstarter campaign and receive 50% reduction on 2020 weekly rates at Casa Regis, €300/$333 instead of €600/$660, (our season is June-Sept, first come first serve) and benefit from a reduced fare at affiliated lodging. Link for lodging
I will be offering an individualized tailoring of information related to local art locations or experiences that will enrich a person's study/artistic production/research while working at Casa Regis. You can even make an art request (use your imagination) if you can think of something beyond this list:
For long distance: (1) 15 minute personal phone call to discuss how I could personally offer you an art related service. (2) Under the donor's page on the Casa Regis website, I list your name and website/activity (3) Join my random artistic match maker game where I randomly choose two backers and I put you in touch with each other as star aligned professional collaborators.(4) Join my conscious artistic match maker game where I thoughfully choose two backers and I put you in touch with each other as potential professional collaborators. (5) Commission a photograph by me for your book cover. (6) My guidance in alternative ways to exhibit photography.
For those coming to Italy: (7) 15 minute personal phone call to discuss how I could best facilitate your use of the Casa Regis space. (8) My indications for the coolest contemporary art locations in the Piedmont region (including Turin) or in Milan. (9)Take you to my favourite spots (or the theme of your interests i.e., museums/galleries, cafes, artisan productions) either in Genova, Milan, or the Biella area. (10) Take you around the coolest contemporary art institutions in Milan. (11) Take you around locations in Milan, Genova, or Biella for your art/photography inspiration. (12) Guided walks in the Italian pre-alps around Casa Regis, stopping for your creative inspiration. (13) I will pick the most "interesting/arty" object under 10 Euro at the antique market and save it for you when you come.
From the generous contribution of involved art professionals, I present:
Each "Peer-to-Peer sponsor" is donating to Casa Regis an experience-service related to their professional career in the arts that will help move Casa Regis down the path of being an active and connected center for culture and contemporary art. It works like this: you consult the reward list and I hope you see something you like! It is first come, first serve and there is 1 (one), or otherwise indicated, offering per sponsor. I have listed the normal value but since kickstarter is about getting a better deal than normal, I am also giving a suggested price, usually half. However, this campaign is about THE PEOPLE'S PLEDGE so please pledge according to your capacity and level of perceived value. Thank you.
I truly hope you will join us in short and long term endeavors, from near and far. I appreciate all your involvement and help!
PARTICIPATE IN OUR CAMPAIGN BY ADDING YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE/ ITEM TO THE SPONSOR'S SECTION FOR A STRETCH GOAL. IF IT CAN RELATE TO PROMOTING THE ARTS THROUGH CASA REGIS OR HELP THE CENTER'S GROWTH, BE CREATIVE AND PLEASE SEND ME YOUR DONATION PROPOSALS A.S.A.P.!
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.casaregis.org
Hey everybody, keep checking back in for new backer rewards!
S T R E T C H G O A L S A D D E D !
As of today Sept.15, we have some stretch goals!
-By native New Yorker, Magaly, a walking tour exploring areas of historic and cultural interest in Brooklyn's DUMBO and Vinegar Hill neighborhoods. This is not a commercial service and Magaly is just sharing her experience with you as a New Yorker interested in contributing to an international cultural experience and connection with Casa Regis supporters!
-special treat at www.galeriehuit.com (France) Ask me about it!
-Dyeing with plants. Piera's family has a dyeing business in Biella and she will be offering an introduction to the use of natural dyes from plants for wool yarn or fabric.
-Original art work. You receive a digital file for a photo print or one time publication when you sign up for the 5 year or lifetime membership.
Risks and challenges
The most unpredictable element I face is time. There are certain bureaucratic things that have to be completed before I can engage an architect to make a project design for the re-wiring system. As mentioned, the building is protected by the Federal conservation board ("Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali") and each request for an update/modification to the building has to be presented officially, in the form of a project, via an architect. I have not yet identified the right architect to work with. Once that is done and the project is sent, the federal board can easily take 6 months to respond and they might not approve the first proposal (especially since they consider the whole building and not just the electrical aspect). Should I not be able to achieve the goal by June, artists can still use the space since there is natural light until 10:30 PM in the summer and we can connect with an extension cord to a near by source for special projects. So, our summer program would still move forward with a little flexibility by everyone.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (36 days)