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The Crane will be the new home for independent theater in Northeast Minneapolis
The Crane will be the new home for independent theater in Northeast Minneapolis
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305 backers pledged $29,089 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$29,089

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We are nimbus, and we are building a new home for independent and devised theater in Northeast Minneapolis.

When we opened our first venue in 2011, we thought we were just giving our own company a stage. But it quickly became a valuable resource to the entire Twin Cities theater community.

Now, we're ready for the next phase. We want to do more. We want to offer more space, more shows, and more resources for everyone who comes through the door - artists and audience members alike.

The Crane Theater will be an invaluable part of the performing arts landscape of the Twin Cities - but we can't get there without your help.

The Crane Theater floorplan
The Crane Theater floorplan

 

To accomplish these goals, we have recently relocated to our new home: the historic Kennedy Building. Located at 2303 Kennedy St. NE in Minneapolis (a block off Stinson between Hennepin and Broadway Avenues), the Kennedy Building originally functioned as a Westinghouse factory that manufactured lamps, small appliances, and passenger elevators. Our new 7,000 square foot space features a gorgeous brick exterior, a visually striking industrial interior, and dramatic 30 ft ceilings. We have entered into a 10-year lease with our new landlords, who want to build a long-term relationship with a quality “anchor” tenant.  

What most captured our attention about our new space was its 5-ton overhead crane, which inspired us to give our new home its name, The Crane Theater

The new facility will be much more than a theater. The Crane will have two stages: a 100-seat mainstage and a smaller studio with 48 seats. Our plan is to offer this intimate studio to newer theater companies from the Twin Cities and beyond as an affordable space in which they can build their brand and audience-base. The Crane Theater will also serve as a space to host readings of new works from Twin Cities authors, as well as collaborative workshops for actors, directors, and playwrights to test out and polish works in progress.

Both the main stage and studio will share a common lobby, where we will encourage artists and patrons to engage in conversations about the art they had just experienced. We will offer for sale non-alcoholic beverages as well as beer and wine to fuel these interactions. 

In this way, The Crane Theater will be so much more than just another venue. It will be a home for the Twin Cities independent theater community.

Photo: Mathieu Lindquist
Photo: Mathieu Lindquist

While The Crane Theater will ultimately become an invaluable part of the performing arts landscape here in the Twin Cities, we can't make this dream a reality without your help. We are going to need generous donations of your labor, time, and most importantly money.  

Money raised from this campaign will fund: 

  • City permitting and licensing; architect fees 
  • New electrical distribution
  • New HVAC distribution (Our landlord is installing a new HVAC system)
  • Window coverings 
  • New lit sign outside building 
  • Bike rack

This campaign is just the beginning of our multi-year strategy to help The Crane Theater reach its full potential. Stretch goals and future fundraising will be necessary to fully build out the facility. We will also need:

  • Full-height walls around the mainstage and studio spaces  
  • Fully renovated bathrooms  
  • Addition of second fire exit  
  • Fire alarm upgrade
  • Wheelchair lift next to main door
  • Additional soft goods, lights, and speakers for both spaces
The Nimbus company
The Nimbus company

 We would not be where we are today without the amazing support of the Twin Cities theater community. Thank you for joining us in this next phase. Your support is essential, and we are very lucky to have you.

Risks and challenges

Running a venue isn't easy, and converting an empty warehouse into a theater is a huge undertaking. However, we have done it once before, and we bring the knowledge and experience we gained at our first location to this project. We also bring a lot of stuff - we already own seats and risers; a full inventory of sound, lighting, and video equipment; tools, hardware, lumber, and shop supplies; and a stock of set pieces, props, and costumes.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Founder's Wall

    All donors will be permanently recognized on our Founder's Wall

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Stickers!

    Stickers! Stick 'em on everything!

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    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited edition t-shirt

    Limited edition t-shirt printed by local artist Heidi Berg. These shirts will only be available through the Kickstarter, nowhere else
    (T-shirts will be available for pickup. If you want it shipped, there will be a $4.99 shipping charge.)

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Limited edition Crane Theater t-shirt
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    nimbus tickets

    2 tickets to opening weekend of any nimbus show

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • 2 tickets to any nimbus show
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed nimbus script

    Choose your favorite original nimbus show from the past few years. We'll give you a bound copy, signed by as many people involved in the production as we can rustle up.

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Signed edition of an original nimbus script
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Limited Edition Crane Theater Poster

    Deck your walls in style with this limited edition Crane Theater poster, block printed by local artist Heidi Berg. Only available through the Kickstarter

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Special Edition Crane Theater poster
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hang with the Artistic Directors

    Next time you come to a nimbus show, co-Artistic Directors Josh Cragun and Liz Neerland will join you for a beverage before or after the show

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Social hour with Liz & Josh
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Sign the Crane!

    All donors get their name on the Founder's Wall. But only special donors get to sign the gantry crane. We'll have a signing party, and take you up in the lift to permanently put your name on The Crane's crane.

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Your name on the gantry crane
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dinner with Josh & Liz

    Co-Artistic Directors Josh Cragun and Liz Neerland will join you for dinner before a performance. Ask them anything you want!

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Your name on the gantry crane
    • Dinner with Josh & Liz
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Free event space

    Great for groups or businesses - you'll get access to The Crane Theater for one private event - date subject to availability

    Includes:
    • Your name on the Founder's Wall
    • Crane Theater sticker
    • Your name on the gantry crane
    • Use of The Crane for one private event
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Your name here

    The building already has a name. But if you want to make a significant gift, let's talk about what your name can go on.

    Includes:
    • Naming rights
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Funding period

- (28 days)