WHERE WE ARE NOW: Every dollar we make from this point forward goes toward our accessibility goals! Accessibility is important because not only is it the right thing to do, but because it significantly increases our ability to negotiate for an affordable long-term lease, in addition to making additional avenues of funding available to us via project and facilities grants!
MOONSHOT GOAL $30,680 - Fund a wheelchair lift to become a fully accessible space! Due to our high loading dock entrance, temporary or ramp-based accessibility plans are not available to us. Any and all money raised beyond our viability goals will go into a fund for this accessibility device, and we hope to fully fund the $15000-20000 construction project if possible!
The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven is Portland’s longest running entirely volunteer DIY performance space and arts venue.
Steep and Thorny was artistically founded by Myrrh Larsen and Megan Skye Hale, a couple of working artists who stumbled into providing a space that is one part night club, one part performance venue, and one part arts incubator. Most of what we do is offer a safe place to foster ambitious and creative work from performers of all disciplines.
We sat down with the building's new owners to finalize the new agreement and discovered that the effective rent increase is actually significantly higher than what we were given to understand from the offer.
We adjusted our plan to meet the new math:
$9,830 - Fund 9 months of our expanded responsibility in the space, to provide a contingency fund while we ramp up our fiscal sustainability plans. This includes 3 extra months at the higher rate in order to accommodate for the extra funds we will need to raise and give us time to work our plans up to that higher rate.
STRETCH GOAL $10,680 - Fund new avenues of revenue intake via filing for tax-deductable status for our resident projects. This way Speculative Drama and Susurrations Productions can pay The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven rent for their use of the space, helping to cover overhead costs.
Facing a significant rent increase, we are looking to fundraise a nine month grace period to keep this vital Portland landmark alive — and implement a long term plan for finances that doesn’t compromise the dedication to artists AND audiences that we are known for!
For the last 8 years The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven has been Portland’s home for the underground arts. With performances ranging from aerial circus, to dance, to our resident musical artist Myrrh Larsen and theatre company Speculative Drama, we have spent the better part of the last decade encouraging the growth of high-quality performance arts in the inner Southeast Portland Industrial area.
Now the realities of a growing city have caught up with us and we need YOUR HELP to enact a sustainable long term financial plan.
With 100% of in-house production door proceeds going directly to performers, and helmed by two struggling artist working as volunteers, overhead costs are largely paid for by rentals, donations, and concession sales of our infamous virgin and adult beverages.
Our budget includes six months of Myrrh’s financial burden in the venue, and any additional funds raised go directly toward essential fundraising avenues and a permanent accessibility plan in the form of a wheelchair lift. We have nearly ten years of successfully running a Portland institution on a shoestring, and our backer rewards include some of the best art, events, and cocktails in the city. The risk is low, and the rewards are high for backers of this project!
In addition to these stretch goals, we will be posting milestone rewards for you, our public support system, here on our Kickstarter project page! These rewards include behind-the-scenes interviews with our Artistic Directors Myrrh and Megan, blooper reels from the kickstarter video, a live cocktail lesson and toast with us when we reach our goal, and more!
What your Money Goes to:
- 9 months of Myrrh’s financial responsibility at The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven (total rent partially subsidized)- $8910
- Estimated Kickstarter Fees - $920
Risks and challenges
Some of the challenges of running a DIY space come in the form of limited accessibility, limited space for audience, and a heavy investment of volunteer labor. These are challenges that we, as Artistic Directors and producers of the venue have weathered and learned about over the last 8 years. Steep and Thorny is intimate and our dedication to providing paid work to performers and financially accessible art to Portland audiences means that traditional funding such as ticket prices has never been on the table for us. Knowing that from the beginning gave us a unique perspective on fundraising and financial sustainability which we are expanding upon and carrying forward into the next phase in the life of the venue.
We are confident that our plans for sustainability are solid, and we are seeking the advice of financial professionals and other creative and business people in our community to ensure that we do this responsibly and keep the risk for backers as low as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)