The Morris Needs Some Love!
Who we are
The Morris Burner Hostel is an amazing and dynamic shared living community, art space, and performance venue that strives to live the Burning Man 10 Principles year round.
Over the last three and a half years, we have built a beautiful community space, but this is too much for us to handle on our own! We have gifted far more than we've charged for, it's in our nature =) We have worked very hard in the last years to be just about at break-even level for basic monthly expenses, but there is no fat in our budget and we have little to no reserves. These additional costs have the potential to be catastrophic for our little community. Please read below....
(Jonah creating the art for the DaVinci Room)
Why we need helpThe Quick and Dirty:
In the last year we have been hit with potentially catastrophic unanticipated costs due to a Reno improvement project spearheaded by the RTC requiring legal counsel.
Additionally, we may need to obtain a change of use permit we did not realize was required for our indoor venue potentially requiring a $30-$50k live feed fire suppression system and other updates/permitting expenses in our Steampunk Saloon and Ballroom venues.
Update/clarification added 4/5/17:
As we continue with this struggle, we may need to use funds to help with on-going monthly expenses as we navigate this whole process. We've lost about half our income recently.
How you can help...
- The money given in this campaign is to help us continue to exist as we move forward and wade through all these regulations and changes. Our income has been cut in at least half. We need to off-set legal fees pertaining to the easement that has been inflicted on us by RTC (Regional Transportation Commission)
- To allow the Steampunk Saloon and Ballroom to purchase and install a live feed sprinkler system and pay any fees for the change of use permit or other costs pertaining to this to be covered.
- To fund legal and accounting fees pertaining to the establishment of the Morris Art Network (MAN) Foundation non-profit, 501(c)3 to move the Arts portion and funding forward in a sustainable and accessible way.
- Any remaining funds will be used towards Morris Burner Hostel capital improvements, a complete list of which are forthcoming along with our business plan on how you can be a part of things moving forward.
The Whole Story:
Late last year, we were notified by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) they were doing a street reconstruction and wanted to relocate some utilities to the area directly behind our back lot, and they needed to create an easement that would span the length of the Morris property on our back lot. We have transformed this back lot from a urine-soaked alley into a dynamic, homey gathering place that contains a performance stage, community garden, and area to be able to work on and create art as well as do community outreach. The initial offer for our lot was laughable, taken from when it was still a vacant lot and not the oasis it currently is. We then got notification that RTC was going to sue us for eminent domain, which forces us to seek legal counsel and incur legal expenses.
Additionally, when the building was purchased, we also worked with the city to turn what was a University practice boxing gym, into arguably one of the coolest and most unique performance venues in town. We have tried to do everything we can do to do this legally and above-board. We have asked questions and tried to understand the labyrnth of regulations and talk to all the agencies and departments involved. We recently applied for a change of use because we were told we had to, even though we had previously been allowed to conduct business without it. Based on that, we were given the news that any change of use on our part would have to involve us aquiring a live-feed water sprinkler system for fire suppression, from the fire department. Everyone wants to be safe, we want to be safe and in compliance. This is a huge unforeseen and unanticipated expense for us that there was no way to plan for. We need some help.
(The above pic from a past drum circle, held weekly at the Morris)
Here's a great article about the Morris that appeared in the Guardian
We also received a slew of other donations as others visited us. We aren't going anywhere without a fight! This was our first crowd-funding effort, we started asking for $100k, then decided that specific projects might be better, and will also try different formats and crowd-funding platforms. We send a huge shout out of thanks to Burners EVERYWHERE, with dusty playa hugs and love from the Morris!
Oh, my gosh...it has been a crazy three months, and we've learned so much about this wild ride we are on! We keep doing what we're doing, and we aren't going to stop until there's absolutely no choice.
We want to thank our supporters SO MUCH! Your support has kept the Morris going during the last months of hardship. We are not out of the woods yet, by any means. This is the first time we've tried this crowd funding thing, and we've learned a ton. We are going to close down this campaign. We still need help, we still need to obtain these needed upgrades, but we are looking at different options and plans, to see what might be feasible for us.
We got our 30-day notice from RTC, so now it's time for us to go into the mode of working well, as neighbors, with RTC, keeping all our poop in a group, enjoying what we can of Artown, looking at our options, and preparing for the Burn. To that end, our good friend Kiwi has returned this year, to build a project AT the Morris called Solipmission, from the Netherlands, that seems oddly appropriate to happen at our hostel. They reached their crowdfunding goal, which is amazing, and we may be hosting some of them in-house. Check back, or stop by if you want to help. This picture is from the build, which started this week.
Please stay tuned on our blog at http://morrisburnerhostel.com, or on our Facebook page. There will be another campaign. More to do, ways to get involved and as always, the Morris is YOUR community center, so come and make the dream live!
Busy fun and productive week at the Morris Burner Hostel we have some really awesome folks staying this week (of course we have awesome folks there every day!)
It isn't just about the Morris, it's about community. Aric Shapiro has done an amazing job creating Sculpture Fest, now in its third year. Seeing the Reno arts community come alive the last years has made me proud to live here!
Tomorrow we are doing a Mo table then tomorrow eve I want to grill out for our guests and residents. I think it's gonna be a fun weekend.
If you are local to Reno or close and looking for something to do this weekend, check out Sculpture Fest! It's free to walk around downtown!
Our very own new-ish resident, Maddy, is in the process of finishing up an art room, the canvas at the Morris continues to evolve and this one is spacy and should be super cool! Stay tuned for more details. We are welcoming new residents as others move on and we are gearing up for Burn Season! We will also be publishing a wish list soon in case our members and friends have resources they may be able to gift or need to get rid of.
There is good news and not so good news, as always. We believe we are on the verge of having a complete estimate for the sprinkler system. We will let folks know once we have the estimate.
That's it for now. The two pics here are from a recent drum circle, the Morris' longest running on-going event.
Thank you supporters, for dedicating more than $7,000 towards our goal! Every bit helps, become a member come visit us, partake of this amazing Burner clubhouse and community center!
If anyone is interested in teaching or facilitating a play shop for Burn Month, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, ladies and gentlemen, take care and dusty playa hugs all around!