Project image
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$12,096
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
170
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, July 2 2019 3:00 AM UTC +00:00.

$12,096
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
170
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, July 2 2019 3:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About


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.

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Support

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    Play|Date

    Named after our short-lived live theatre karaoke. For any donation amount come to a special thank you party thrown just for our Kickstarter backers!

    Includes:
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    Shanty-aoke

    Named for our early sing-alongs with PDXYar. For less than a movie ticket, get a two-volume playlist of all our favorite pre-show tracks

    Includes:
    • Steep & Thorny Pre-Show Music Volume 1 (digital download)
    • Steep & Thorny Pre-Show Music Volume 2 (digital download)
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    How to Be a Ghost

    Named for the eponymous workshop, attend ANY one movement class with Speculative Drama's Megan Skye Hale on us!

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    • admission to one movement workshop
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    Deathclub

    Named after our very first regular gothic DJ night. A selection of our famous themed cocktails, a digital zine with 8 recipes, one for each year in the life of Steep and Thorny!

    Includes:
    • Cocktail Recipe zine (digital download)
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    Dark Arts Social Hour

    Named after our original mini variety show. A taste of what Steep and Thorny has to offer with one pass to each of our 3 monthly events.

    Includes:
    • One pass to each monthly event
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    We Poor Players

    Named for resident theatre company Speculative Drama's Shakespeare gala. Own a piece of Speculative Drama history and take home a prop from one of their magical shows!

    Includes:
    • one prop of our choosing from a past Speculative Drama show
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    🆕 Birds of a Feather

    Named for our 2017 Night Carnival of flight. A surprise grab bag of treats, tickets, and/or toasts from our arts community around town. Donors include Booklover's Burlesque, Crush Bar, Enso Theatre, Prismagic Events, Readers Theatre Repertory, Sir Cupcake's Queer Circus and MORE

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    • Grab Bags
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    🆕 Mask and Cape

    Named for our 2015 superhero and villain Night Carnvial. A specially curated custom tote bag full of comics selected by Portland's best comics recommendrix: Katie, owner of Books with Pictures. You choose the theme, she picks the best comics for you!

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    • Tote Bags
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    Oddville - A Year of Laughs

    A custom punch card good for any 12 shows of our monthly event Oddville: A New Vaudevillian Tradition

    Includes:
    • admission to any 12 Oddville shows
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    SEANCE - A Year of Hauntings

    A custom punch card good for any 12 shows of our monthly music event SEANCE

    Includes:
    • admission to any 12 SEANCE shows
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    The Siren's Call

    Named after our third ever Night Carnival the 2013 "night carnival of drowning". Name a cocktail! We give you a theme, you come up with the name. Plus we'll comp you your first taste of your masterpiece.

    Includes:
    • Contribute a name to one of our legendary themed cocktails
    • Your first drink, on us
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    The Angel of the Odd

    Named after our retired regular literary and atmospheric music night. 2020 Night Carnival Season Tickets! General Admission tickets to ALL SIX 2020 themed variety show/costume parties!

    Includes:
    • 2020 Night Carnival Season Tickets
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    Art Walk Confidential

    Named for our early-years First Friday SE Artwalk afterparty. Become a Lifetime Member before we change our format! We are moving to a monthly membership format in September, so get in as one of the last of our guaranteed lifetime members!

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    • Lifetime Membership
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    What Dreams May Come

    Named for our VERY FIRST Night Carnival, before they were even named the night carnival! If we're lucky enough for this hail-mary tier to be bought, we will throw you an all-inclusive mini Night Carnival style private party for you and your friends. Up to 4 performers, a DJ, and a hosted bar included, theme optional and your choice!

    Includes:
    • A fully produced private party for you and your friends
    • Our, seriously, undying gratitude
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    Deathclub (early bird)

    Named after our very first regular gothic DJ night. A selection of our famous themed cocktails, a digital zine with 8 recipes, one for each year in the life of Steep and Thorny!

    Includes:
    • Cocktail Recipe zine (digital download)
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
    Less
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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Intermission

    Named after our monthly queer mixer. One pass to each monthly event PLUS a Steep and Thorny tee shirt and "Make Portland Weird Again" sticker pack.

    Includes:
    • One pass to each monthly event
    • A screenprinted Steep & Thorny t-shirt
    • "Make Portland Weird Again" sticker pack
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Art Walk Confidential (early bird)

    Named for our early-years First Friday SE Artwalk afterparty. Become a Lifetime Member before we change our format! We are moving to a monthly membership format in September, so get in as one of the last of our guaranteed lifetime members!

    Includes:
    • Lifetime Membership
    • a ticket to our backers-only party
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 17 backers
    $
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