Robert's Shoes Displacement Fund

$20,027 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 450 people in 22 days
Last night, at 10:30 on May 27th, the old Robert's Shoes building caught on fire on the corner of Chicago and Lake Street. It burned for hours and eventually the roof collapsed. The building is skeletal; everything burnt out.

What some people realize and others don't is that Robert's Shoes is a long standing institution for the south Minneapolis arts community. The building was in use by many artists creating a vast array of art work over the years. In addition, there are several living spaces that have been destroyed.

We are now displaced. Some are without a home. Many of us have lost all our resources to make art, which is how a lot of us sustain ourselves. We are asking for a donation to collect and distribute between those who have lost something in this tragedy. 

My name is Alex Uhrich, I am an artist and activist who lives near Powderhorn Park and shared a studio with several other artists and musicians. I am a film photographer who grew up in the Twin Cities, and I lost my entire catalogue of film to this fire. Hundreds of negatives and polaroids. My partner, who I share a studio with, lost his laptop and all of his drawings and materials and illustration equipment. Our studio mate lost hard drives of musical work from over the years. I know a musician whose amplifier was destroyed. There are countless stories of people affected by this because Robert's was a hub for all types of people, and there is a lot of work to be done.

This is an initial post to get the ball rolling. Several people are connecting with ideas of how to fundraise within our respective communities. We will be adding several members to keep this page updated with relevant information and events.

Right now, we are simply starting a general pool of donations. A small committee is being formed to help hash out how to allocate the funds directly to the artists and businesses right now, more updates on that to come. 

Alex Uhrich
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Incredible to see that we’ve made it to almost a third of our goal!! I’m going to keep the pool open for the month of June in hopes we can hit it. Please keep sharing and please also donate to direct action funds started by residents and artists in the building! Also! If you were affected by the fire, Springboard for the Arts has an emergency artist grant for 500 dollars. My partner just applied for it yesterday and was already granted it! Please keep spreading the word!
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KFAI has compiled a list of direct action fundraisers on their facebook page! I tried to include it here but the HTML is wonky. Please consider donating to those artists who have more immediate needs for their livelihood!
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I have completed a claim form for people affected by the fire! Please send a direct email to get a form for yourself or somebody you know affected by this tragedy. My goal is to try to get all of them collected by the end of this month to start the allocation process.
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A few thoughts and updates as I continue to process the fire and continue fundraising:

-I feel incredibly privileged to have shelter after this event. I was not a resident of the building, nor I did not make my work primarily out of it. I simply used our shared studio as a place to store my archive of work, and so thankfully my loss was not monetary; it was sentimental. There are folks involved who lost literally everything and those are the ones I'd like to prioritize, thusly, I do not be taking any donations of the money I raise.

-I've been getting lots of questions about how these funds are going to be allocated and what the timeline is. The current plan is to try to connect with everybody affected who needs support. I have built a "claim" sheet for folks to list the things most essential to getting their lives or creative practices back on the ground. The main goal right now is CONNECTION so I appreciate everybody sharing and linking me with other folks in the building I didn't know.

-I am working on assembling a small committee of people to review the claims and help allocate money. I believe this needs to be a community effort with different voices represented and am working with that in mind. Please let me know if you think you or somebody you know would be a good fit for this part of the project.

-I think a realistic timeline to get everything out would be by the end of the summer. I'd like to get all the claims distributed in June, have a committee formed and functional by the end of July, and have direct action by the end of August. I am also open to expediting this process.

-That said, there are tons of campaigns floating around for IMMEDIATE AND DIRECT support for those effected who need it. It is not my attention to draw funds from those campaigns because I've made something centralized or general. Please consider donating directly to these folks directly ASAP, they are very much in need. I'm gonna list all the ones I've seen in the comments.

-I've set up an email for this project. Please use this as primary contact so we can keep everything in one place.

thanks for the outpouring of support, what a wild and beautiful community we have. Lets keep unifying and trying to connect to each other in this challenging time.
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$20,027 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 450 people in 22 days
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