Located in the Alameda Historic Depot neighborhood, at the western limit of the Las Cruces NM downtown arts district, the West End Art Depot is a member-owned, volunteer-run studio/art gallery/event space. Our mission is to provide a space for artists in all media to work and teach in a communal setting, benefit from shared resources, and connect with as large an audience as possible.
As a cooperative and arts incubator, we offer the freedom and resources necessary to generate original and relevant art while encouraging the artistic development of our youth. Our goal is to support and enhance artistic production and awareness in Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico through exhibits, education, outreach programs and partnerships with like-minded agencies. We welcome local and state-wide groups and individuals to become part of this youth-oriented community project, who are willing to help establish and sustain an arts cooperative that is united, productive, and ever-evolving.
The West End Art Depot concept has been built from the ground up by a group of passionate, dedicated, and skilled artists and volunteers since May 2011. We began renting the warehouse in November 2011 and little by little have brought together a core group of a dozen or so artists and performers working in oils, acrylics, spraypaint, screenprint, relief print, jewelry, costuming, Burlesque, punk and ska. From June 2012 to January 2013 we presented seven art exhibits in the gallery and hosted fourteen community arts events, from Capoeira workshops to Hip hop shows to full weekend arts festivals.
This fundraising campaign will help us complete a handicapped-access ramp and other important facility improvements, including clean-up sinks and gallery lighting. We feel that $5K is a modest and reachable goal, and achieving it will demonstrate further that we have a viable and integral establishment in the arts landscape of Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico.
Risks and challenges
There are some challenges presented by converting the funds raised in this campaign into ample building improvements to meet the codes requirements and facility use needs of the West End Art Depot. It boils down to community support - the money provided by our backers will cover the costs of the materials, but it will require volunteers donating labor to do the work. And this is by design: We.AD is here for the people of Las Cruces and will continue to be built by the people of Las Cruces.
We know we'll be successful in rounding up the volunteers because that's how we've been doing it all along. Member artists, friends and supporters have set up six studios in the warehouse, created original paintings on many walls inside and out, renovated the gallery space, patched the metal roof, spread gravel in the dirt courtyard and countless other improvements in the fourteen months we've been here. For two years before that, our parent organization SumArt thrived at venues throughout Las Cruces, throwing arts festivals and music concerts, and throwing up murals on city walls at the Meerscheidt Rec Center and down a looong bike/pedestrian tunnel.
We collaborate regularly with other artists in the Mesilla Valley, such as the aerial dancers of Project in Motion, headed by creative director Hilary McDaniel-Douglas, and writer Susan Melinda Dunlap, living now in Truth or Consequences, in putting on the first Depot District Arts Festival in September 2012 (seen in the video).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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