WHAT’S “THE MUSE” / WHO ARE WE?! The Muse is a vibrant, circus-based performance venue and training space in Brooklyn, New York, that began in 2011 as a completely raw warehouse space. Under the direction of Angela Buccinni Butch and with the efforts of dedicated volunteers, a glorified garage was transformed into the home of the warm and welcoming Muse community. Fostering the collaboration between circus, music, dance, and every other imaginable iteration of performance art, The Muse provides an affordable space for artists to develop and showcase original works.
At The Muse, anyone can join in the fun of the circus. We cultivate a safe, non-judgmental, dynamic environment for professionals and novices alike. Our professional teachers offer classes for all skill levels, and frequent workshops feature artists from around the world. Monthly showcases and special events give students the opportunity to grow as performers while offering professional members of the community a place to showcase new work.
After a few beautiful years of growth and transformation, we will be losing our home on South 1st Street at the end of 2014. The entire building is slated to become the new offices for Vice Magazine. While we are saddened by this loss, truth be told, we were already beginning to outgrow the space. We are ready to secure our new home and rebuild something even better than what we had before – this time with three years of experience under our belts and the power of the community that we have fostered.
A NEW HOME !!!
After an extensive search process, The Muse has found a perfect new space in Bushwick, off of the Wilson stop on the L train. With approximately 7000 square feet of floor space and 30 foot ceilings, and outdoor space, The Muse is poised to become the largest independent performance venue and circus training space in Brooklyn.
WHY DONATE? SO BROOKLYN DOESN’T LOSE THE MUSE!!!
In the past year alone, multiple spaces for artists have closed and have yet to reopen their doors. A growing number of artists are abandoning NYC for more affordable places to train and perform, and that means they are taking inspirational and innovative shows to audiences far, far away. The Muse community is determined to keep its artistic sanctuary open to the people! Our sense of family is thriving and STRONG, and we lovingly invite you to join us in our fight to ensure that art by Brooklyn can stay in Brooklyn!
WHERE YOUR MONEY WILL GO
We are so grateful for every penny that is donated and will spend it wisely. $60,000 is really just enough to get the ball rolling so that the space can be a safe and comfortable place to train and host events. WE really need $120,000 to fully execute the dream build out of the new space that we have already located.
As far as that first $60,000 is going. The breakdown of funds will be allocated accordingly:
Lease Deposit - $10,000 - We have already put down $21,000 to hold the space, a remaining $10,000 will be due at lease signing. We will have a 5 year lease on the space with the option to renew for another 5 years. We are getting our first 2 months of rent abated to allow for renovation.
Bathroom, Locker Room, and Kitchen Fixtures - $9,000 - We have negotiated for the landlords to provide a plumbing allowance to install additional lines for toilets and showers in the locker room area, as well as by the stage area, but we are responsible for finishing the bathroom & kitchen. The kitchen will be a great amenity for our students and teachers as well as an attractive feature for special event rentals. We're hoping to host lots of circus weddings.
Stage Build Out - $7,000 - We will have an elevated 25' x 30' stage with storage areas underneath for rows of seating. It will be large enough for apparatuses like Cyr and German Wheel. There will also be a sizable backstage area.
Sound and Lighting - $5,000 - Given that the stage alone in the new space is roughly the size of the entire old Muse, we need to make some serious investments in sound and lighting. This $5,000 will be enough to set up a basic lighting grid and adequate sound system, taking into account what already have. If we surpass our goal, this would be one of the first places we allocate additional funds.
Training Equipment and Rigging Supplies - $9,000 - At 30 feet we are looking at twice the height of our current space. This means we will be upgrading a lot of our equipment. We need to purchase much more robust crash mats, higher rated beam clamps for rigging points, more hardware and new aerial apparatuses. This is another place where the sky is the limit in terms of how much we could spend. If we surpass our $60,000 goal more money will be allocated here
Office and Green Room Build Out $11,000 - Less exciting than flying from the ceiling, but for an organization to run smoothly there does need to be space for administrative functions. We will be building a second floor that will only cover the first quarter of the space for office and green room areas. The green rooms will allow performers to have a comfortable safe space to warm up for their acts.
Moving expenses - $3,000 - We'll enlist as much help as we can with the physical move. That said realistically we'll likely be having to pay for some of the schlepping and storage fees for items that need a safe home during construction.
If you've been adding this up, you may notice that we're $6,000 shy of $60,000, that's because we've factored in the 10% that will be taken out between Kickstarter and Amazon Payment fees.
Our dream build out items include: a more bangin' sound system, additional lighting, professional stage curtains, marley dance flooring for the entire space, and a scissor lift for easy and safe access to those high rigging points. All of these dream items would be super awesome to have, but are not necessary to get the Muse moving.
Maybe your heart doesn't beat circus, but you'd like to donate for a reward for someone. Give the gift of circus this season and if the delivery date on our reward is later than December just message us and we will make sure to get you a gift certificate on time for the holidays.
Risks and challenges
As a community accustomed to flying through the air and accomplishing astounding physical feats we are no strangers to risk and challenge.
We acknowledge that in undertaking any venture of this scale, we are likely to encounter setbacks and hiccups, but we live by the mantra “the show must go on!”
While we may sometimes create illusions on stage, we won’t do that in terms of our plans. So here are our big challenges:
1. Loading out the current Muse in a careful and timely fashion - The current Muse, which was so lovingly built, is a great resource for us. We already have a lot of materials that we will use in the new space and we need to be careful in removing and transporting them. We anticipate that we will be able to accomplish breaking down The Muse the same way we built it up, on a tight budget with a small army of volunteers.
2. Renovating the new space. Large construction projects are notorious for taking longer and costing more than expected. In order to mitigate the risk of running out of money midway, we are already starting with the work that needs to be done in order to get the venue in good condition to rent our for special events and weddings: The windows and roof are being repaired, the space is being power-washed, the bathrooms are under construction.The kitchen is slated for immediate build out. This means that the Muse will be fully functional for special event and wedding rentals so we can have additional funds coming in ASAP.
3. Renovating in a timely fashion - Our main goal is to create space where our community (which means YOU) can train, learn and play together. We will prioritize construction timelines towards functionality and add the bells and whistles later.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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