UPDATED GOAL: If we can hit $15,000 before the fundraiser ends we will be able to immediately bring our architect and contractor in to do drawings and cost estimating for the new space! THE GOAL: PHIT is at the center of Philadelphia's exploding alternative comedy scene - supporting all varieties of humor. We are 150 dedicated local performers who have produced over 500 original performances in the last five years. These shows are open to all ages and typically cost $10 or less. We are also the only longform improv and sketch comedy training center in Philadelphia. This year 300 new students will enter our classes and workshops, studying with instructors ranging from local comedians to people you'd recognize from TV shows like Saturday Night Live, MTV's The State, and 30 ROCK. Our alumni network of over 1,000 students and performers have gone on to appear at major comedy theaters and festivals in places Chicago, Los Angeles and New York - as well as on television. More importantly, PHIT training propels the success of the Philadelphia comedy scene; creating new performers for our local stages.
All this work gives us a strong foundation to launch our campaign for a permanent home: a combined theatre, black box, training center and office that will serve as the hub of alternative comedy in Philadelphia - an institution like Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, or The Second City in Chicago. As the largest city in the nation without such a venue, we firmly believe the time to make this move is now, and that after five years of grassroots growth we have the resources and talent to sustain such a massive undertaking. HOW WE'LL GET THERE: PHIT has already received a challenge grant from a generous anonymous donor: if we raise $50,000 before by the end of the year, that total will be matched. The release of these funds is for construction of our space. We must raise the necessary money to do the advance work (completing the execution of a lease, design of our new home, permitting, construction bidding, materials purchase, etc.). Some of this work has already been completed by a combination of dipping into our cash reserve and working with professionals who are willing to delay billing until our new space's location is finalized.
In addition to construction, we'll also need to pay for fixtures like sound and lights, seating, and office equipment. The majority of these items are already donated - including our full video projection system, office furniture, and seating for our main stage area (150 beautiful 1920s movie palace seats) - but we expect to purchase a few specific furnishings for our lobby and some of our lights. If our budget allows we also hope to obtain audio and video recording equipment that will let us to tape shows and pursue a host of other multimedia projects. WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR: The $10,000 (or more!) that we raise through this project will be used to pay the fees to our lawyer for negotiation of a commercial lease and cover our architects' fees for technical drawings.
If we surpass our goal and raise $20,000, the additional money will cover the purchase of new sound and lighting equipment for our permanent home. If we raise $30,000, the extra funds will be placed into our cash reserve, allowing us to open with 1 month's operating expenses. Additional money will give us budgetary flexibility should we encounter delays or unexpected costs in the lead up to our opening.
Learn more about PHIT by visiting our website at http://www.phillyimprovtheater.com
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