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The Fillmore Eclipse - Immersive Theater

Tax deductible
For the past 20 years Walking Cinema has been a collective of filmmakers, digital artists, and developers creating walkable, mobile media experiences of critical historical sites. We have worked with large cultural organizations (like the Venice Biennale and the Smithsonian) and small non-profits (like YouthSpeaks and the Reconstruction Era Historical Park) to make accessible, entertaining smartphone-guided experiences around the world. Most of these projects kinda highjacked brick and mortar spaces to tell their stories (leveraging public spaces and borrowed nooks in shops.) Now we have our own bricks and our own mortar to tell a story in. The spot is a storefront art studio in the heart of San Francisco's Fillmore district. We’re transforming it into a late-night, hot and gritty 1950's Be-Bop club. The story is an extension of our award-winning, long-running, "Museum of the Hidden City" walk, but gets more into how music, Black entrepreneurship, and a diverse cast of characters confront the existential threat of a neighborhood scheduled to be demolished.



Honey Art Studio in San Francisco's Fillmore District. Being transformed into a 1950's Bop club.

The show is called The Fillmore Eclipse , and it's an original immersive theater story written by playwright Cleavon Smith and directed by Michael French . It's innovative not just in the way it combines documentary with immersive theater, but also in how the show is partnering with neighborhood cultural organizations to make a positive impact on the long-term economic and cultural battles the neighborhood struggles with.

To do this we've partnered with two amazing non-profits in the Fillmore: Honey Art Studio and Success Centers to recruit and work with young folks from the community on various aspects of production.

Your Tax-Deductible donations to this campaign will go to job training for neighborhood youth in set design, digital marketing, and construction. More on these programs in this document.

The show will open April 26th and run for three weekends through May 12, 2024. We have already started working on these programs and need your support to be able to fully fund them and integrate them into the show for this run and a potential extension after May 12th. In addition to supporting these Community Training initiatives, your donations will grant you the following gifts:

$5,000: This will allow us to hire a professional mentor and two community trainees to learn about the dramatic arts, construction, or digital marketing in support of the show. In addition, donor's name (or their favorite jazz great) will be hand painted on the back of a chair and they will receive a VIP Table for 4, plus an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

$2,500: This will allow us to pay two community youth trainees to learn about the dramatic arts, construction, or digital marketing in support of the show. In addition, donor's name (or their favorite jazz great) will be hand painted on the back of a chair and they will receive a VIP Table for 2, plus an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

$1,000: This will allow us to pay a portion of the stipend for one community youth trainee to learn about the dramatic arts, construction, or digital marketing in support of the show. In addition, donor will receive a VIP Table for 2, plus an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

$500: This will support a scenic artist to design and paint an era-specific mural for the set. In addition, donor will receive a two tickets plus an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

$250: This will grant you two tickets to the show and an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

$100: This will grant you one ticket to the show and an invitation to our donor's cocktail party on Friday May 3 at 6pm*.

If you would like to make a transformational gift to the show and/or arrange a buyout of a performance, please use the contact button to reach out to us directly.

FURTHER BACKGROUND: The Fillmore Eclipse is an immersive theater project that is set in the Fillmore Jazz scene of the 1950s. The show explores the uncertain fate of a club and a community in a time when Bop was the rage and redevelopment was a "cure-all" for America's slums. The Eclipse was a club where BeBop would roar from the house band and special session guests like John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, and Charlie Parker would show up unannounced. It was a confluence point for San Francisco’s thriving African American community and Japanese Americans returning from internment camps. For more information on the show's story and background see: www.fillmoreeclipse.com.

Walking Cinema is an innovative storytelling studio working on experimental audio and theatrical projects. We focus on immersive stories related to urban history, social justice, and the humanities. Michael Epstein is the Artistic Director, and this GoFundMe is fiscally sponsored by Filmmakers Collaborative.

This production is underwritten by grants from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Creative Work Fund, and the California Arts Council.

*The Donor's Cocktail Hour will be from 6-7pm on Friday, May 3 at "The Eclipse" at 1981 Sutter Street in the Fillmore. Live music, complimentary cocktails, light hors d'oeuvres, and special guests including the show's director Michael French, lead actor Peter Fitzsimmons (aka "The Bop City Baby") whose father was in the house band of a prominent 1950's Fillmore jazz club will give remarks.
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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $15 
    • 25 mins
  • Anonymous
    • $30 
    • 25 mins
  • Denise De Mory
    • $100 
    • 25 mins
  • Sahil Bansal
    • $50 
    • 29 mins
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 30 mins
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Fundraising team (2)

Michael Epstein
Organizer
San Francisco, CA
Filmmakers Collaborative
 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Jax Blaska
Team member

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