Dear Friends of Basilica Hudson (and everyone who misses being at an alternative music, cultural art event in a crowded old factory anywhere on planet earth!),
I am writing to you today because Basilica is launching our first Kickstarter Campaign and because I wanted to talk to you personally about why I hope you’ll support us.
This spring would’ve kicked off our 10th year of public programs, and this past month would’ve been the always anticipated return of our most visceral, dynamic and gutsiest of music programs: Basilica SoundScape: A Weekend of Music + Art… We anticipated our decade milestone at Basilica to be an explosive celebration of what we do best, while diving deep into reflection to propel a necessary evolution into our next era of enhanced focus on the climate and social crises at hand. But instead of celebration, the world changed and a life of uncertainty and challenges became the new global reality, which only enhanced our need to transform.
This shift in the world reveals that these connections and experiences are more important to us than ever before, and sheds a new light on all that we love and miss at Basilica: our creative partners, our fellow freaks, independent weirdos, earnest voices, angry voices, hard working, struggling artists and activists, renewable energy enthusiasts and all who long to live and connect with likeminded alternative culture groups in real-life analogue timeless ways. We have been unable to present our beloved in-person programs that celebrate the people whose livelihoods depend on such events.
Like so many other nonprofits and independent art centers, we have been left with no in-person exchange and no cash revenue. It is heartbreaking, but we are grateful for all the supporters and partners (old and new!) who put their heads together to make a reimagined version of Basilica possible in 2020 through 24-HOUR DRONE AT HOME; the expansion of our ecological mission BASILICA GREEN; our Non-Fiction Screening Series at the Greenville Drive-In; Toolshed’s partnership enabling us to host artist-in-residence Mary Mattingly; an online Basilica Farm & Flea Holiday Market, and more to come this month. Thanks to our devoted community, we have made it this far into 2020, but we still need your help to make it into the new year.
Basilica was built on a dream to provide a platform for the kind of human connections older than the brick and mortar buildings in which we gather. The loss of these ancient exchanges that bring so much connectivity and warmth into our lives has been a profound shock to our local and global communities, and a major disturbance to our most basic human instincts. I personally am experiencing one of the most surreal losses in one of the biggest parts of my life. 2020 is the first year since my 1982 elementary school choir performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that I have not participated in a live music mass gathering.
Cultural mass gathering is a central part of my being and my relationship to my fellow human community. This loss has changed me, as it has all of us, each in our different ways. We are all over six months into our abstinence from such joyful experiences, and we are feeling for our fellow musicians, performers, live event presenters and indie organizers, that are struggling and longing to get back to it as much as we are.
We will be transformed and full of gratitude when we find each other on the other side.
We have worked hard to find additional funding and have cut operations down to the barest bones, but we are seeking to raise $35,000 on Kickstarter to help carry us into the new year and plan for the future. Any amount you can give counts; a big group of caring people donating $5 adds up, as we know from all the grassroots campaigns simultaneously happening worldwide right now.
This year has revealed the challenges we communally face and how important it is to unify and support one another. Our current environmental, economic and social systems must be reinvented, and Basilica believes that artists and activists together can help communicate and create the change we want to see in the world. Supporting Basilica, in turn, supports the creative minds that make change.
Stay strange but don’t be a stranger, even in these strange times…
Thank you for your generosity of spirit.
Melissa Auf der Maur
Basilica Hudson Co-Founder and Director