Tag Archives: Indiegogo campaign

LIC’s Secret Theatre turns to fundraising campaign to survive

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Orestes Gonzalez

One Long Island City theatre is looking to raise enough money to help keep its doors open.

Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., has started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign after having to deal with financial difficulties starting in late 2012.

The difficulties came after the Department of Buildings found the landlord’s certificate of occupancy was out of date, which meant that Mazda had to pay DOB fines, hire architects to get correct permits in place and also move the site’s Little Theatre to an alternative spot in the 23rd Street building.

“We were under the threat of closing one space and just having the big theatre, or closing both spaces and literally calling it a day,” Mazda said. “No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t dig our way out just from our normal thin profit margin.”

Mazda continued to explain that the Secret Theatre breaks even with the money coming in from ticket sales, but to pay for the “unexpected costs” they now had to turn to the community to help cover some debts and also continue offering programs to the community.

The Secret Theatre opened in 2007 and has since produced weekly children’s theatre shows, held classes for students, provided coaching services, and produced in-house and co-produced productions.

“I am comfortable that we will raise a good amount of money,” Mazda said. “I am very moved by the support we are receiving so far and I look forward to being able to thank more people.”

Along with raising the money to pay for expenses, Mazda also said he hopes to bring change to the Secret Theatre and turn it into a nonprofit organization.

The Indiegogo campaign has a goal of $10,000 and will run until Sept. 4.

“At this point in time I don’t think we will close. We are still in trouble, but the reaction from people has been incredible,” Mazda said.

For more information visit secrettheatre.com. To donate to the Secret Theatre’s fundraising campaign, click here.


Arts nonprofit raises funds for new space as 5Pointz set to be demolished

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Carolina Penafiel/Local Project

As the wrecking ball gets closer to 5Pointz, one nonprofit that calls the graffiti mecca home is now looking for help to fund their new space once it’s time to move out.

For the past five years, Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, has housed its headquarters and gallery space at 45-10 Davis Street in Long Island City inside the warehouses of 5Pointz.

After the property’s owners decided to sell the location to construct two high-rise apartment buildings, Local Project was left waiting for the inevitable — and also wondering where they would go from there.

On Tuesday, August 21 the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan for the two towers to be built.

“Local Project belongs to Long Island City, everybody knows us,” said Carolina Penafiel, founder and director. “The day they demolish this is going to be very weird. I believe in changes, I believe in progress, but I don’t believe in mistreating people. They just want to get us out of here.”

On August 7, Local Project started an Indiegogo campaign called “Keep LP Spinning” to begin raising funds needed to pay for a new home, moving fees and construction. There is a $27,000 goal the group hopes to reach by September 30, when they must leave the warehouse.

Local Project is looking to move into a new space on 44th Road in Long Island City, close to their first location prior to the 5Pointz warehouses. The group was able to get this location due to the help of Susan Peters, a big supporter. Although the space is leased, Local Project still has to raise the funds in order to move in.

“We’re trying to grow and trying to provide a bigger place,” said Penafiel. “We’re trying to create an experience for people.”

Continuing the work with local and emerging artists to host exhibits and create community events, Penafiel said the new space will allow Local Project to give back more to the community. She said the new space will allow the group to be more organized and active, and to provide more services like workshops, afterschool programs and help for to local schools.

“We’re going to come in stronger and last longer if this comes true,” said Penafiel. “It’s like a dream. It depends on people. The hope is in our collaborators and those who want us to continue. We need the support.”

To contribute to Local Project’s campaign you can visit www.igg.me/at/LocalProject.