The Auburn / Opelika area has a special venue where local musicians, artists, authors, and others can show off their work. The Gnu’s Room is a non-profit bookstore and community art space. It has been the cornerstone of their independent arts community in Auburn Alabama. Due to the difficulties of high urban rent and waning financial support, The Gnu’s Room is struggling to make ends meet and fulfill its mission of promoting literacy and the arts in Southeast Alabama.
The Gnu’s Room is running a Kickstarter project to move The Gnu’s Room into a huge, low-cost warehouse space in the new Arts District of Opelika. (supported by the Alabama Arts Council, The Railyard independent venue, and the future Cotton Seed Studios) To make this move, they need your support!
Don’t let our favorite meeting place for all things artistic, inspirational, and happily weird disappear! The Gnu’s Room plays a vital role in serving the area with rare volumes of nearly-forgotten wisdom and creating more arts through their publishing house, Solomon & George Publishers. They want to use the freedom of the Opelika Arts District space to expand community services to include e-publication archiving of these rare works, i.e. the Gnu Library, in-house printing services, art galleries, and a scrap exchange program for resident artists.
The biggest challenge facing their organization is pursuing often non-existent arts funding in our state and region. They hope to overcome that difficulty by providing useful services in a retail format. For example: they re-sell donated books in the bookstore. The Scrap Exchange will sort and recycle materials to bring low-cost arts-and-crafts, packaging, and garden supplies to their proactive community members. Their e-publication service will partner with other publishing houses to archive older texts in a subscription format, with much volunteer labor in the transcription process. Expanding their in-house publishing will enable writers in the region to print and publish their works.
All of these services correspond to their mission of promoting arts, music, and literacy. The problems of the current location includes a high rent cost with not enough space to offer most of these services. The new location will create not just more opportunities for their mission, but continue their ability to provide a common meeting place for the forum of artistic and creative solutions. Our community is heavily marginalized in the predominant culture of today… and those who love books, independent films, and local music have got to come together and show their support!
As of June 4th, this Kickstarter project has around $2,550 of the $3,000 goal they need to be funded. And as you know in Kickstarter, a project is not funded until the fundraising goal is reached! This project only has 10 days left to reach the $3,000 goal. For a pledge of $10, you will get a ticket to their benefit concert on June 8th at The Railyard in Opelika, featuring over a dozen local, independent bands to entertain and support the relocation of The Gnu’s Room to the new Opelika Arts District. For a pledge of $25, you will get a beautiful, original piece of multimedia artwork from local artists of Opelika and Auburn. There are other pledge levels like a re-purposed glass bottle vase, a custom, hand-painted ivory scrimshaw bookmark, and a surprise book.
To learn more about Save the Gnu’s Room and to pledge money go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/savethegnusroom/save-the-gnus-room?ref=home_location
Learn more about The Gnu’s Room at: http://www.thegnusroom.com/
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