Vault1031 invests in the arts and banks on Kickstarter
Toss around the pros and cons of Louisville all you want. Weigh in on what Louisville needs to become a “first class city.” Opine about what Louisville is ‘missing.’”
Nearly all of those discussions are fueled by subjectivity. Just look at the debate over whether or not Louisville “needs” an NBA team.
(Author’s opinion: No, it does not; what it needs is an NHL team. Discuss.)
But here are two inarguable facts about our fair city:
1) Louisville is not wanting for quality theatre. We have more “first-class” theatre groups in Louisville than any one theatre fan can handle. Some weekends fans are faced with a veritable “Sophie’s Choice” of theatre options. Going to one play means you’re never going to see another.
2) Louisville is in desperate need of venues to house and rehearse these productions.
“We have dozens of great performance art companies in town,” says Jon Huffman, Co-Artistic Director of The Armored Car Theatre, “loads of talent. But we only have a handful of dedicated performance and rehearsal spaces. Local performance arts groups are scrambling for space, and many companies have to cancel parts of their seasons because there isn’t any place to rehearse or perform.”
Enter Vault1031, located on the Limerick block of Old Louisville at 1031 S. 6th Street, a building owned by Nancy Cogan. Vault1031 is currently undergoing renovations to become a coffee bar, art gallery, rehearsal and studio space and 130 seat performing theatre.
According to the venue’s Facebook page: “All businesses will be for profit and will become an engine for economic development in their evolving urban area… The Art Gallery and Art Walk will display regional, national and international art in spaces designed to museum specifications and security requirements. The coffee bar located in the Art Walk will be a common denominator for neighbors to socialize and new patrons to experience the highest quality of customer service by Concierge Baristas.”
But it’s the theatre and the performance space that are causing the most buzz in the arts community. The 130-seat theatre will be called the Armored Car Theatre. Barb Cullen will serve as Co-Artistic director of the theatre and rehearsal space with Huffman. Bunbury Theatre, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble have already begun rehearsing at Vault1031.
According to Huffman, “Originally, the building was The Armored Car Company, where millions of dollars was stored for Louisville banks and the regional Federal Reserve. It’s extremely secure. We plan to use one vault as the VIP pre-show room for The Armored Car Theatre, and another one–The Big Vault– as Green Room and Prop Storage.”
The city is excited to see the project succeed and has designed and rendered drawings for a new facade that will meet all zoning requirements. The city also facilitated introductions between the players in the venue and investors.
Last week, Insider Louisville covered Tyler Deeb’s playing card Kickstarter. Deeb’s campaign continues to climb; there are 15 days left, and he’s raised 1453% of his goal (keep up with Deeb’s progress on Twitter by following our hashtag #deebswatch).
Vault1031′s Kickstarter hasn’t been as explosive. Cullen and Huffman are seeking $15,000 to fund a new rehearsal-and dance-friendly floor (bamboo, with a ‘spring floor’ underlayment) and the new facade.
With just a week left, the project has earned only a little more than a third of its goal.
As with all Kickstarters, the fundraising efforts are an all-or-nothing deal. If Cullen and Huffman don’t meet their $15,000, they won’t see a penny.
Huffman says, “When presented with the possibility of opening a theatre inside Vault1031, Barb and I looked at each other and immediately thought the same thing: ’We’re Mickey and Judy–Dad’s got a barn, we can put on shows!‘ But then, we nearly instantly realized that what the region needs is NOT another theatre company–there are dozens of extremely good companies with their own constituent audiences. What the area needs–desperately–is another venue for these companies in which to rehearse and perform.”
The Armored Car Theatre hopes to open its doors at the end of the year with Vault1031 fully-renovated by the end of 2013.