Kurt Cobain Museum

$2,480 of $338.9k goal

Raised by 53 people in 30 months
Jaime Dunkle   PORTLAND, OR
We want to turn Kurt Cobain's childhood home into a museum and youth center.

We're making sure this house is memorialized by us fans so it doesn't end up in the clutches of capitalist greed. This museum will reflect the anti-commercialism spirit of Nirvana.

The youth center will offer assistance and solace for at-risk youth in the Aberdeen area, giving them a place to explore the creative arts, empowering them via producing creative works which will be taught, distributed  and performed through the youth center.

We only had a few minutes in the house to take video and photos. It's not edited, it's not fancy, but it's real. And that's how we want the house to remain. Ideally, it will contain actual donated items from his life. That part is still in negotiation. Right now we need to get the house to make sure it's preserved.

Update: We've worked together on this project since April 2014. Despite the international interest, we've only raised $2480 via GoFundMe and $150 at a comedy fundraiser last year. This has caused me to rethink our plan.

The house went from $500k to $329k since our campaign started. Due to this drop in cost, I have decided to change the fundraiser amount.

At this time, we are now only raising money to buy the property, with additional travel and promotional costs. A total of $338,850 (we subtracted the amount raised at last year's comedy fundraiser).

We are giving the project another year to reach our campaign goal.  Our deadline is December 8, 2016 in memory of my deceased brother Stephen Giarritta who introduced me to Nirvana when I was in fifth grade.

Once we buy the house and get it off the market, we will start a new fundraiser to pay for ADA modifications (construction and parking) and the youth center.

Update:  (Note, the following post was writtern BEFORE the above changes.)

We've decided to move the update posted by Amanda to this portion of the page, as it answers some of the questions we're repeatedly asked to address. So here you go:

"Donating to a campaign hoping to raise $700K might feel like throwing a quarter down a bottomless well.

$700K is a far cry from the $14.95 many scraped together in the early 90s to wander into a record store and buy Bleach, or Nevermind, or In Utero, on record or CD or tape. It was a big choice between what sounded better, and what could be played in a car. The best-loved tapes would have the white lettering worn down to nothing. By the time I retired my first copy of Nevermind, the tape bore only the letter N.

$700K = 46,822 CDs, or tapes, or records. I probably don't need to say Nirvana sold way more than this. Suddenly this sum doesn't seem so daunting.

The "why are we doing this?" I'll leave to Jaime. At the center or any nonprofit or would-be nonprofit is a dreamer with the unique ability to convince others to do things. That's Jaime to a T; otherwise, I wouldn't be writing this. For over ten years now I've been a grantwriter for food, and an author for passion. I know that if I end any meeting with an executive director or a would-be executive director with the notion that the idea I just heard sounds impossible, it's probably what I'm going to do next. In each instance where the meeting ended and the work began, what needed to happen did. And that's how it starts: with an unfulfilled need, and the passion to fill it.

On the surface it's easy to cast this as an abandoned home in Aberdeen sold at an inflated price on account of a former resident, and a family that either wants money or needs it. When I think museum, I think of things preserved under glass and hanging on walls that you can't touch or taste, and that for some reason you pay to see. Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10. They're already in the EMP Museum. These are museums. This is the childhood home of an alt musician who never escaped the 90s. Just living in the Pacific Northwest leaves you trapped in that fashion, right on down to the junkies shooting up in doorways and a homeless population that builds shantytowns alongside riverbeds. The whole region offers up an inherent inescapable bleakness. Why preserve under glass what oozes and molds everywhere?

Then Jaime confessed the time and energy she's already invested in giving a pipe dream smoke. Meeting with fire officials to determine potential hazards and safety issues. Meeting with city officials to measure zoning issues and potential obstacles to completion. Meeting with contractors donating their services in-kind to let her know what she'd be facing in terms of construction and repairs to the roof. These folks outlined ADA requirements, and she realized she'd have to also buy the house next door to Kurt Cobain's in order to carve out sufficient parking and not be a burden to neighbors. The second home she envisions as a safe space for area youth who might like more information about music, or about heroin addiction and suicide, or just some place to summon the sort of new ideas that inform fanzines, bands, performance art. It's zoned for inspiration and activation.

What's $700K actually looks like is a museum, a youth center, parking, taxes, a lawyer who can negotiate the sale, acquisition of nonprofit status for tax exemption (and the lawyer required for that), and renovation so an indoor rainstorm doesn't become a reality.

Nonprofit status also means that the financial habits of the museum will be public record, allowing anyone to check in and see how money is being spent, and to demonstrate that any funds raised (through earned income or donations) are directly reinvested. It also makes the museum eligible for grants and donations that will make it easier to sustain over the long term.

To keep people motivated, we've set some initial benchmarks, the first of which is $5,000. GoFundMe is not like other sites "“ you can use the money as it arrives, and take as much time as you need. With $5,000 a lawyer can be hired to speed up negotiations with the house's realtor. Should the price come down in a way that lowers the overall total, we will lower the amount of funds needed on this website. We will also lower the total amount of funds needed should donations arrive in other forms of payment. Please contact kurtcobainmuseum@gmail.com for more information about this.

If you don't have money (and many of us have little to spare) there are other ways you can help. You can share the fund with your social networks. You can send us your fan-created art for celebratory display on this page. You can send us your stories and testimonials about the influence his music and life have had on yours. You can donate a year of webhosting service to help us get a museum wordpress site going. If you're a lawyer with knowledge or expertise in nonprofits, you can be our best friend forever. You can send us your zines (we like zines). You can also donate your coffee to our bellies, because no one is going to be sleeping any time soon.

All this will allow Kurt Cobain's adolescent house to be used as a home, for his fans, by his fans.

There's no place I can think of that is just for fans. That most of his fans understand the magic of adolescence, when the first big ideas bloom and get etched out and plinked out on instruments you can barely play, when magazines are cut into pieces with the realization that in looking through the pages, you never see yourself. And I think that if I were Kurt Cobain, I'd want my legacy to be more ideas cooked by younger minds that observe their presence missing from the mainstream, and who have an active desire to alter how we understand art, music, life.

This weekend, consider donating $20 for the 20 years since his death, or however many dollars for the years you've been alive, to help ensure that 20 years from now his childhood home will have a reputation as a hive for creativity. That creativity is his legacy. Not tabloid fodder and tragic death." -Amanda

Please check our donation levels below. We are working out other rewards. Thank you for your
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Update 16
8 months ago
I've thought about it a lot and decided the youth center will be INSIDE the actual house. I think this will serve to inspire the teens seeking assistance and solace. Kurt's bedroom will be the main part of the museum, along with the rest of the upstairs. The garage will be used to present the creative works of the youth involved in the center, which could be anything from music to installation art, or even book readings.

A collector has confided in me that they will donate meaningful artifacts to the museum. Friends of mine have offered their expertise and talent, and will donate music lessons. I myself have a background in creative writing and performance art and will provide workshops on those artforms.

I want to reiterate, to anyone who stumbles onto this page, that I have given an actual deadline to raise the money. If donations don't reach the goal by this time next year, I'll have to come up with a new plan. Any ideas are welcome.

Thank you for your support and encouragement,
Jaime Dunkle
+ Read More
Update 15
10 months ago
1
1
Dear supporters,

We've worked together on this project since April 2014. Despite the international interest, we've only raised $2480 via GoFundMe and $150 at a comedy fundraiser last year. This has caused me to rethink our plan.

The house went from $500k to $329k since our campaign started. Due to this drop in cost, I have decided to change the fundraiser amount.

At this time, we are now only raising money to buy the property, with additional travel and promotional costs. A total of $338,850 (we subtracted the amount raised at last year's comedy fundraiser).

We are giving the project another year and a half to reach our campaign goal.

We will start a new fundraiser to pay for ADA modifications (construction and parking) and the youth center, after we've purchased the house.

We went to the house recently to make a better video. Keep checking back for updates.

Please follow us at www.facebook.com/kurtcobainmuseum.

Sincerely,
Jaime Dunkle
1210 E First St., Aberdeen, Washington
+ Read More
Update 14
23 months ago
We'll be going to Aberdeen on Saturday, Sept. 20!
+ Read More
Update 13
27 months ago
KCM founder Jaime Dunkle dabbled in comedy once upon a time, and appeared on the famed Ed Forman show as well as its short-lived temporary replacement, the Chuck-N-Buck Show.

Jaime has since reached out to Aaron Ross (aka Ed Forman) to see how he feels about Nirvana and the Kurt Cobain Museum, and here's what he said:

"Growing up in 20 years ago in Portland, Oregon, Nirvana was my favorite band. That fact remains the same to this day for me, and many of us here in the Pacific Northwest. The Kurt Cobain Museum would not only be a fitting tribute to an artist that we adore, but also a history lesson of how he came to be in the place he was raised. Jaime Dunkle has the perfect passion and work ethic to make this vision a reality." - Aaron Ross, late-night talk show host

Thanks, Aaron! We adore you! Keep Portland Funny!
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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 986 total shares
Jeni Lubertazzi
29 months ago
1
1

I love Kurt Conbain and Nirvana as much as the next person, and would love to find ways to keep his memory alive, but if any of you recall, he HATED being famous. He didn't want that life, it just kind of came upon him. He wasn't for the fame or the money, he did it for the music. and I mean no disrespect in my comment, but why disrespect his memory or go against what he was about by trying to do this?! I HATE Courtney Love, but she has done a very good jobof keeping his things private in the last 20 years, including unreleased music and photos, what makes you think she won't fight for this as well?? Just some thoughts. Rest Easy Kurt!

+ Read More
Ron Stricklin
29 months ago
1
1

Luckily this is going to fail.

+ Read More
Jami Cooper
6 months ago

I think this is a cool idea, buuut... I really want to buy this house for myself someday. Which as for me... I wouldn't change anything about the house. I'd make it a bed n breakfast.

+ Read More
Egor Tolochko
26 months ago

Hey, in Russia ther is pretty big community in the local social network. For example, http://vk.com/search?c[q]=nirvana&c[section]=communities It has, like, a quoter of million subscribers! Why would you try to post there for donation? We, Russians, still cherish Kurt`s heritage! Just wanted to help. ) (big fan btw)

+ Read More
Amy Renhard
29 months ago

The tax assessed value of the property is $65,790. Contact Wendy yourself to get a reasonable price before asking people to donate money.

+ Read More
Tom Welsh
29 months ago

Found out about this on willamette week. The garbage comment is way out of line, and i can only imagine the commenter lives a life of negativity and psychic pain. My comment is about the 500K home price. In Aberdeen? WTF? His mother is the seller, right? This seems like it has her greed written all over it. Guess i would need to know more....

+ Read More
Mary Wheeler
29 months ago

What if you don't get enough to buy the house? What will happen to the donations?

+ Read More
Pedro Vale
29 months ago

hello im From Brazil estou com vocês nessa batalha valeu.. viva Kurt Kobain e Viva Grunge

+ Read More
Julia Winchester
29 months ago

Don't do this, please! I don't think Kurt would appreciate his old home to be put on display for everyone to see.

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

do you have a account to make a deposit of $15?because i live in brazil and i can't use the gefundme

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

È uma pena eu ser tão pobre, com certeza nunca irei visitar o local, mas fico feliz em ajudar de alguma forma. Tanta gente diz se importar, mas onde estão suas doações?grunges Brasileiros, ajudem!

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

Gostei da ideia, irei ajudar, gostaria de trabalhar no local no futuro,até mesmo como voluntaria! ótima ideia Jaime :)

+ Read More
Amber Nelson
29 months ago

Amazing & Brilliant idea ... definitely sharing this everywhere

+ Read More
Justin Boger
29 months ago

you might consider putting this on indigogo.

+ Read More
Justin Boger
29 months ago

I think this is a great idea! I hope you raise the 700,000 and then some.

+ Read More
Jennifer Baran
29 months ago

Have you thought about maybe partnering with suicide prevention organizations? I think it's a great idea to preserve the house in addition to raising awareness about how serious the issue of suicide is - sell out or not - a human life matters.

+ Read More
Carson Hall
29 months ago

Ms. Benson, I feel the same, I would not give 5 cents to help YOU out either, if you want to be so negative, go somewhere else. How DARE you call Kurt garbage. Seriously, HOW DARE YOU

+ Read More
Ron Stricklin
29 months ago

So you are going to buy Kurt's childhood home so people can have a Graceland to go to and somehow on top of that you are going to try to push some kind of Anti-Commercialism? This is some sellout BS.

+ Read More
Preston Schellhaas
29 months ago

I don't know if enough people still care about Kurt Cobain to make this happen. Only seven donors so far. I'd like for the home to be preserved. I'm not the biggest Nirvana fan but I've felt a weird kind of connection to Kurt Cobain ever since I read about his suicide in a note that I found on the school bus when I was nine years old. His music only deepened that connection when I became a teenager. If the dream of the nineties really is still alive in Portland, then hopefully they can turn this house into a museum. Cool video of his bedroom btw.

+ Read More
Donna Benson
29 months ago

I wouldn't give you 5 cents for that piece of garbage

+ Read More

$2,480 of $338.9k goal

Raised by 53 people in 30 months
Created March 2, 2014
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
15 months ago (Monthly Donation)
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
16 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$25
Anonymous
17 months ago
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
17 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$25
Nicola Agnolon
17 months ago
$100
Kathleen O'Neal
18 months ago

This is a wonderful ideal and I am so proud to be a part of it. I know that Kurt Cobain is smiling down from Heaven on this effort. As fans of Cobain's music who are fortunate enough to having been touched by his artistry, we have a collective obligation to preserve the memory of the man and his music for the current and future generation of music fans, critics, historians, and artists.

+ Read More
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
18 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$25
Anonymous
18 months ago
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
19 months ago (Monthly Donation)
JC
$15
Jill Cullen
20 months ago (Monthly Donation)
Jeni Lubertazzi
29 months ago
1
1

I love Kurt Conbain and Nirvana as much as the next person, and would love to find ways to keep his memory alive, but if any of you recall, he HATED being famous. He didn't want that life, it just kind of came upon him. He wasn't for the fame or the money, he did it for the music. and I mean no disrespect in my comment, but why disrespect his memory or go against what he was about by trying to do this?! I HATE Courtney Love, but she has done a very good jobof keeping his things private in the last 20 years, including unreleased music and photos, what makes you think she won't fight for this as well?? Just some thoughts. Rest Easy Kurt!

+ Read More
Ron Stricklin
29 months ago
1
1

Luckily this is going to fail.

+ Read More
Jami Cooper
6 months ago

I think this is a cool idea, buuut... I really want to buy this house for myself someday. Which as for me... I wouldn't change anything about the house. I'd make it a bed n breakfast.

+ Read More
Egor Tolochko
26 months ago

Hey, in Russia ther is pretty big community in the local social network. For example, http://vk.com/search?c[q]=nirvana&c[section]=communities It has, like, a quoter of million subscribers! Why would you try to post there for donation? We, Russians, still cherish Kurt`s heritage! Just wanted to help. ) (big fan btw)

+ Read More
Amy Renhard
29 months ago

The tax assessed value of the property is $65,790. Contact Wendy yourself to get a reasonable price before asking people to donate money.

+ Read More
Tom Welsh
29 months ago

Found out about this on willamette week. The garbage comment is way out of line, and i can only imagine the commenter lives a life of negativity and psychic pain. My comment is about the 500K home price. In Aberdeen? WTF? His mother is the seller, right? This seems like it has her greed written all over it. Guess i would need to know more....

+ Read More
Mary Wheeler
29 months ago

What if you don't get enough to buy the house? What will happen to the donations?

+ Read More
Pedro Vale
29 months ago

hello im From Brazil estou com vocês nessa batalha valeu.. viva Kurt Kobain e Viva Grunge

+ Read More
Julia Winchester
29 months ago

Don't do this, please! I don't think Kurt would appreciate his old home to be put on display for everyone to see.

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

do you have a account to make a deposit of $15?because i live in brazil and i can't use the gefundme

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

È uma pena eu ser tão pobre, com certeza nunca irei visitar o local, mas fico feliz em ajudar de alguma forma. Tanta gente diz se importar, mas onde estão suas doações?grunges Brasileiros, ajudem!

+ Read More
Mirian Gainsborough
29 months ago

Gostei da ideia, irei ajudar, gostaria de trabalhar no local no futuro,até mesmo como voluntaria! ótima ideia Jaime :)

+ Read More
Amber Nelson
29 months ago

Amazing & Brilliant idea ... definitely sharing this everywhere

+ Read More
Justin Boger
29 months ago

you might consider putting this on indigogo.

+ Read More
Justin Boger
29 months ago

I think this is a great idea! I hope you raise the 700,000 and then some.

+ Read More
Jennifer Baran
29 months ago

Have you thought about maybe partnering with suicide prevention organizations? I think it's a great idea to preserve the house in addition to raising awareness about how serious the issue of suicide is - sell out or not - a human life matters.

+ Read More
Carson Hall
29 months ago

Ms. Benson, I feel the same, I would not give 5 cents to help YOU out either, if you want to be so negative, go somewhere else. How DARE you call Kurt garbage. Seriously, HOW DARE YOU

+ Read More
Ron Stricklin
29 months ago

So you are going to buy Kurt's childhood home so people can have a Graceland to go to and somehow on top of that you are going to try to push some kind of Anti-Commercialism? This is some sellout BS.

+ Read More
Preston Schellhaas
29 months ago

I don't know if enough people still care about Kurt Cobain to make this happen. Only seven donors so far. I'd like for the home to be preserved. I'm not the biggest Nirvana fan but I've felt a weird kind of connection to Kurt Cobain ever since I read about his suicide in a note that I found on the school bus when I was nine years old. His music only deepened that connection when I became a teenager. If the dream of the nineties really is still alive in Portland, then hopefully they can turn this house into a museum. Cool video of his bedroom btw.

+ Read More
Donna Benson
29 months ago

I wouldn't give you 5 cents for that piece of garbage

+ Read More
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