I'm nearing the finish line at 1001 Winterville Rd where I hope to relocate my musical wonderland called Rabbit Hole Studios. After many weeks of visioning, due diligence, crunching numbers and doing inspections at the new building, I'm still committed to purchasing this property. However, there's still a few small kinks to work out. Synovus bank has graciously given preliminary approval of the loan but they've since added the need for a 20% downpayment, some of which will be credited with collateral assets. But that doesn't leave me much capital for development costs to improve and renovate the space.
The building itself is in good shape and incredibly cheap per square foot compared to other buildings so close to town - I only dreamt of acquiring it because the seller cut the price in half, substantially less than its appraised value. An excellent credit score and nearly zero debt has proven my integrity and reliability in managing the responsibilities of owning and operating businesses. I've had many failures, but each one was a learning opportunity and prototype for future successes. I know the numbers now. I know what it would take to meet the expenses of this space and it is entirely possible in a post-Covid world when we can return to fellowship with one another. Failure is the greatest teacher. That's what craftsmanship is all about. Trying and then trying again. This is the plight of artists and creators engaged in the unending process of perfection in their work - The transformation of our sacred inner vision into outer form and function. It is perhaps what defines humanity and sets it apart from other species.
Sadly, Covid-19 has wiped out much of my income due to cancelled events and services. To add to this struggle, the county health department is also requiring a new septic system, grease trap and aerobic digester to use the bar and kitchen commercially - current estimates for these repairs and other maintenance and improvements could easily run over $40,000-50,000 dollars and many months of labor to get the space fully operable and up to code.
So I hate to ask, but I need help in securing this space for our creative community. It's more than a business and a livelihood for me, it's a community space, art gallery and maker space with charitable events and educational programming like free tie-dye workshops, song circles and open jam sessions. I have been hosting monthly events free of charge for over 3 years to benefit the artists of our community and provide a safe space for fellowship and collaboration. We hope to expand our charitable offerings with weekly a chess/board-game club, a free library, donation-based music and theatrical entertainment as well as subsidized office or storage space for non-profit organizations working to reform and uplift our great country and its citizens.
Here's the best part - I'm willing to convert your donation into a gift card which you may use for any of our events, membership fees or services offered by the studio. This could include custom-built instruments and art pieces we may have for sale, tickets to our art exhibitions and live-recording sessions we call the Hidden Hare House Shows, credits for our Eden's Vegan vending machines, rehearsal or recording time, musical museum tours and demonstrations, music lessons, event space rentals for conferences, business meetings or birthday parties, storage, studio or office space - the list goes on. The only limit to this gift card would be a maximum of $50 in credit redemption per month so I'm not on the hook for large donations right off the bat.
I'm willing to risk everything to make this dream a reality, so that it can be shared with my friends and family and eventually be converted into a charity. I wish to leave a lasting legacy after my short and glorious time here on Earth - To serve others and not just myself. Anything you can spare would be greatly appreciated and returned to you in a million different ways.
We can use this space to provide ultra-affordable meeting, storage and office space for progressive non-profits and political organizations, like the Wild Rumpus charity - whom we have proudly sponsored for over a year now! We also donate to Athfest with accommodation and production services and hope to expand ur charitable activities to the full extent of my budget and ability. We hope to plant a community garden and reach out to our beloved neighbors in the Nellie B district, a known food desert where fresh and healthy produce is hard to find. There is even a chance that Eden's Cafe could be resurrected with a sober bar featuring medicinal teas and natural remedies!
Artists need a flexible and affordable incubation space here in Athens to create, commune, collaborate, display, perform and sell their artforms. They can rehearse, record and find counseling at Nuci's Space (where I got my start!), but where can they go to jam with new friends, paint together and dye their clothes? Where can they display and perform their art freely and openly? Where can they collaborate, socialize, play games and read books with a community of like-minded people working toward similar goals to make a living doing what we love? Where can musicians and artists thrive before depression or substance abuse strikes them due to the lack of an open and inclusive community recreation space or a supportive network of friends and fellows? friendship is the greatest medicine and the secret to happiness. In many ways, Rabbit Hole Studios was both inspired and built upon the rock of Nuci's Space, the death of my first bandmate and brother Phil Carpenter, as well as my own struggles with depression and drug abuse that I overcame many years ago. It's safe to say my rock and roll days are behind me and now I seek to settle into a life of service and sobriety, sustained by pure water and all the bountiful fruits and flowers that Mother Nature can provide under that great ball of fire in the sky.
To my friends and family - Thank you all so much for supporting me here in Athens over the last 13 years and I promise to return the favor in every way I can, to give back to the community that has uplifted me. The American dream is in many ways a reality for me and I can only hope to share that and help others to aspire towards good health and fulfillment. I have a duty to be charitable and to help create a more equitable and beautiful world for all generations to come. You have my word on that! I am at your service and my rabbit hole is yours, too. Everything is better when shared. Happiness and fulfillment depends largely on healthy community and fellowship. Mental health benefits from having a supportive community and a safe space to create and collaborate while fostering healthy, meaningful friendships. A healthy society needs open and accessible spaces for fellowship. We're all equals here, following the white rabbit... I'm just the janitor ;)
I take no credit for this grand venture. I stand upon the shoulders of giants and try to walk the path many great souls have walked before. I've found signposts along the Way, always pointing me toward greater health and happiness. This is the Mission of my Temple of Art and Music. Similar spaces exist in bigger cities, with The Bakery in Atlanta or Alex Grey's Entheon serving as beautiful examples. These are temples of art, fellowship and education. Charities of creativity. We can provide that and so much more here at a space we where can grow and transform in the long-term! You and I and all of us together can make this space a truly legendary fixture of compassion, creativity, inclusion and fellowship in this great city of Athens. All are welcome Here, where the people of all colors, creeds and faiths can craft away in peace and harmony.
Please visit our website to learn more about what we offer :
Here's some info on the vision and business model for the space:
Your humble servant,
-The Knight Who Says Nico
- Brady olson
- Phyllis Beifuss
- Michael Meadow
- Brian Connell