Below is a letter from Grime Studios that I wanted to share with the Babacita community. Grime Studios is a professionally managed rehearsal space for dedicated musicians of all genres who need 24/7 access in a place where it’s OK to play loud. The present location is being developed and they are in the final push to raise funds for a new location. Tuesday at 5 pm is the deadline. As a supporter of artists, creativity and Grime Studios, I wanted to help push out this request. Thank you for your consideration and support!
October, 17, 2014
Hey everyone (friends, supporters and especially the tenants of Grime Studios),
Many of you know by now that 299 Presumpscot Street, Portland has been under contract for over a month to be the next home for Grime Studios, with a 10 year lease and two 5 year renewals on the table. A massive fundraising champaign has been underway in attempts to reach as large of a chunk as possible of the estimated buildout cost, which having had several contractors bid out the jobs, is now expected to top well over $100K. This can be lowered to an extent with sweat equity (stay tuned) but in the interest of time and deadlines, a large chunk of this buildout will have to be jobbed out. At this point, just over $50K has been raised, when factoring in a loan for $35K (which is still pending, though I have no doubts that it will be approved), private donations totaling $13K and the indiegogo champaign which as of this morning was just over $3200.
The largest challenge with raising this money has been time. Time has been very short. The landlord for the 299 site has been very generous with allowing as much time as is feasible for this first fundraising phase to take place, however, at the end of the day, it is quite an expensive space to have sitting vacant, and even though Grime is currently first in line and will retain exclusive rights until early next week, there is a long line of other potential tenants.
Basically, the dilemma is that if I do not sign a lease by 5PM next Tuesday (10/21), Grime will lose it’s place in that line. However, if I were to sign a lease without a large portion of the buildout costs raised, I will be risking the possibility of not being able to raise the rest of the cash in time to finish the buildout to open and start paying rent on time. If that were to happen, I would essentially be breaking the lease agreement and as nice of a guy as the landlord is, he would have the rights to sue Grime (and me as it’s guarantor) for 10 years worth of rent.
The 299 site is building #7 in this insane search for a new home for Grime. I have always thought that no matter how cool any potential “new building” may end up being, none will be even close to as cool as the current building. As special as the spot on Thompson’s Point is and always will be when it is gone, I have to say that without even factoring in the cool landlord and the fact that the numbers work, this spot at 299 Presumpscot St is really amazing.
Grime Studios has become something that I feel is way bigger then I am as a person. That does not mean that running it is too big for me to handle by any means, but what it does mean is that this is not about me or me having a cool job or whatever else. It is about anyone being able to in a creative sense, essentially “be all they be.” That can mean whatever that individual wants it to mean. Indie-folk rock, reggae, grunge warship, funk, prog, psychedelic rock, pop punk, blissed out shoe-gaze, d-beat hardcore, power-electronic noise, the most psychotic blackened war metal imaginable… anything goes genre wise, but if someone just wants to rent an art studio to paint in or set up a potter’s wheel or even set up a dark room with 24 hour access, that works to.
I have no doubts that if I can just get the damn thing built, Grime Studios will for many years to come, allow hundreds of musicians and artists to “be all they can be.” And, a ripple effect of it will be that, yes, Portland Maine will in all likeliness finally earn it’s place as a real music and arts cultural hub, legitimately standing along side Brooklyn, Austin, (the other) Portland and perhaps even the Bay Area.
Personally, I feel like a lot of folks from here in town try to talk this place up as if it is already there. Speaking only for myself, I have always thought that mindset to be silly. Many people I’ve met from Europe, out west or even places like New York City or Philadelphia still don’t even know where Maine is. I am not doing any of this to put Portland Maine on the creative arts map, but I do believe that it will be a byproduct of Grime successfully relocating and expanding. I also believe that if Grime is not relocated, Portland Maine can forget about becoming any kind of legit music town for many years to come. Without a solid local scene, those who book interesting out of town acts are simply not going to be encouraged to take the risk of bringing those tours up here. Maybe every now and then as has been in the past, but for the most part, I think Portland will continue to remain out of focus with most national and regional tours without a solid local music scene in place. Grime is the backbone of that scene.
I think most people reading this know that even though I have been advised against it, if the fundraising is able to reach $80K (even if in commitments and not cash in hand) by next Tuesday, I am going to take the risk and move forward with this. Contrary to popular belief, I am not much of a risk taker. Maybe in the eyes of others but I have very rarely jumped into a situation (of any kind) that I didn’t wholeheartedly believe was not only the right thing to do but would indeed be a success. I may not like asking other people for money, but I do believe in this project. Unless I get hit by a car, I will be personally be seeing it through.
For those who do not yet know, Grime has recently filed with the state to switch from an LLC to a non-profit (5o1-c3) and though it generally takes a year for the IRS to acknowledge this, there is a fiscal sponsor (Creative Space) already in place which means that all donations are tax-deductible immediately (please get in touch via email for more info). Also, the Phase One Indiegogo champaign (link is below) has been extended an additional 30 days. These developments are both good news, but Tuesday is still the day to sign a 10 year lease or to pull the plug on the 299 site and start over from scratch (with $10K in legal, consulting and architectural fee’s down the tube).
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING (any amount) to the relocation of Grime Studios. If you can not donate, please forward this or “like” it or “share” it or “tweet” the link to it or repost it (especially bands!!!) or whatever. Without a place to rehearse and create, there is nothing to bring to a stage or to record later.
Many thanks to those reading this who have already donated. Links are below, as are some attachments with more info and media coverage and please feel free to get in touch with questions.
THE TIME IS NOW. Let’s rock…
DONATE HERE: http://igg.me/at/grimestudios
Portland Forecaster (from last week):http://www.theforecaster.net/news/print/2014/10/07/mettle-metal-portland-bands-face-prospect-vanishin/211638
Portland Phoenix (on stands yesterday): http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/160138-grime-studios-in-final-fundraising-stretch/
Portland Phoenix (from last June): http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/158610-finding-the-practice/#.VBTKoTOF99c.facebook
New 8 (last Thursday): http://m.wmtw.com/news/rock-on-portland-music-institution-must-relocate/29041234