We've recently launched our first Indiegogo campaign to crowd source some necessary items to make the husART Design Collective a reality. It's a very humbling experience to expose our concepts and ideas in this fashion, and I really give everyone credit who's previously run campaigns. I'd like to talk a bit more about why this campaign is important and what we hope to offer by means of a community.
The primary reason for starting a campaign of this nature aside from the sheer financial burden, is the realization that you cannot be a community of one and fundraising allows others to take part and find ownership in the project. With a shared commitment, there is room for other ideas to influence and grow the concept of the design collective - it is not intended that this will be a singular movement of one mind, though a framework has hopefully been laid that offers flexibility and room for growth. This framework in brief is a four part approach offering co-working space with rentable conference rooms to serve as an incubator to business in our community; a community showcase of local artists; an available event space; and finally an ongoing discussion salon that cross-pollinates ideas among different disciplines and concepts.
I think the biggest challenge any space like this faces is finding the right location. I have a long history in Logan Square and in many ways, the lessons about community building I learned and experienced in Logan formed the basis of this idea. From the growth the Dill Pickle Food Co-op to the community that grew a Bread and Beer night and underground dinners to the restaurant that is Cellar Door Provisions, I saw neighbors coming together in a beautiful way. In the search for an office space, I realized I didn't want to work alone, in a vacuum and that creating a space for others to grow and influence and be a part of would be a win for all of us. So the question becomes, why leave the support of my community and friends and try to start this down in Pilsen?
I was drawn to Pilsen for a number of reasons. The first is simple - I was priced out of Logan and I came across a beautiful sunlit storefront easily accessible to the train and expressways that could work within my planned budget. I had become reacquainted with the neighborhood through my artist residency at the High Concept Laboratories and enjoyed the artistic discourse taking place in the area. But the biggest reasons were personal, familial roots. There has always been a Husar in Pilsen. Growing up, my Aunt Jezzie lived in a gorgeous funky loft, long since acquired by Pod Majerskey. It overlooked a garden that would smell of barbecue and baking clay from the on-site kilns. During the summer I would run through the connected court yards playing games and speaking with artists about their work. Pilsen had a magical feeling to it that has stayed with me. I've seen different demographics existing concurrently in this neighborhood throughout my lifetime and I would like to create a space that allows for this diversity to continue to co-exist and to thrive.
As a space, we've begun our event series with the opening of Object Reality, hosted events for "She Is", begun planning the discussion series beginning in January, and formed a partnership with Extra Medium for future artist showcases. There are exciting things happening and we'd like you to be a part of it, but we cannot succeed without a community of support. Please, take a moment and consider contributing to the Indiegogo campaign, and help spread the word to reach other creators in our community.