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Robert's Shoes Displacement Fund

$20,879 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 461 people in 2 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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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. 

Thankyou.
Alex Uhrich
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Hey everybody! I wanna start by saying thank you again to everybody who organized and donated to this campaign over this summer. The initial timeline I had in mind was to close off donations and allocate all funds by the end of August. I have decided since there has been a lull in donations and some of the fundraising events that were in the works didn't come to fruition, to go ahead and stop donations to the general fund. I will be allocating the rest of the funds (just under 700) to an artist in the building who submitted a claim after the deadline.
This fund has taught me a lot about organizing and transparency, and I would be the last to say it ran smoothly. I appreciate everybody's patience with me as I managed this fund and a summer full of traveling plans and artistic pursuits that I had planned before this happened. I would still do it again, as it was inspiring to see people around our community and outside of it empathize with this situation and use their energy and resources to donate and share.
For those that still wish to donate, there are still several funds that remain open and unfulfilled and I would encourage you to donate to these artists and organizations directly. KFAI organized an excellent resource list and you find it with a google search.
Thanks again everybody, I'm proud of what we accomplished. As usual, if you have any questions, you can contact me directly on any of my social media platforms or through the email listed here.

Best,
Alex
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On Sunday, we had our first meeting to distribute funds. All in, including funds received outside GoFundMe and after the cut that they take, we raised close to 20,500 for this first round of allocations. Our committee was made up exclusively of residents of the building. In talking about the best way to distribute funds, we tried a few methods; first, we read all the forms and considered what would be most essential to replace from a livelihood standpoint, but we found this to be too subjective to make judgment on from our perspectives.

Instead, we have decided to grant everybody an equal amount from this allocation to do with what they think will best set them up for success. If a claim was less than the average, the additional funds were returned to the general fund and then split evenly amongst remaining folks.

The folks who filed claims have received a private email with more details, I didn't think it was appropriate to share what they'd be receiving on this platform.

This doesn’t nearly cover most of what was claimed, but it’s a start in the right direction. We decided an even distribution felt like the most fair way to handle this amount of money. We still have more work to do.

There are several fundraising events in the works for the rest of the summer, and I'll do my best to post updates here as more info comes in.

We’re planning another meeting in August to distribute more, and you’re all more than welcome to join us. It was very healing to talk with other affected people face to face and it made me hopeful that we can all get through this. Thankyou so much for your patience in this trying time, this project was more successful than I would have imagined.

As usual, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Best, 

Alex Uhrich
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AN UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION:

We will be having our first fund-allocation meeting at Moon Palace Books this coming Sunday, July 8th beginning at 5 pm. I have the space for 3 hours (with some flexibility) and people are welcome to come and go as they are able to. The purpose of this meeting is to meet and connect members of the community and start peer-reviewing claim forms and hashing out how to distribute money. The goal is to get folks the first round of money within the week. I would like to look at each case in small teams to help determine the essentials for helping people recreate their lives and livelihoods with the funds we've raised. I will be making folders of each case that omit personal info so that we can avoid conflict of interest when talking about who gets what. We will not be able to cover all the losses claimed at this point, but we can certainly make a positive impact, and we need a team to help decide how to allocate. So far I have received just over 20 claims from all different types of folks in the building, and I am still accepting more until the meeting on Sunday. Everybody interested is welcome to come to this meeting, including those affected and those not affected, but I am specifically looking for folks with backgrounds in fundraising and money management to step up and help out. All help is very much appreciated as the success of this project has left me admittedly overwhelmed and I want to see positive growth come out of this tragedy. I think there are plenty of very qualified people who can help make this work the best way possible.

If you or someone you know has not received a form, please contact me so I can send the file ASAP!

There are several more fundraising projects in the works this month (more updates to come on that), so we will do another round the first week of August. Dick Blick in Roseville has generously volunteered to donate art supplies, and I am meeting with their manager today to see what that looks like and will bring an update to the meeting.

Once again, thanks to everybody who has put time, care, love, resources, and thought into making this campaign a success. I am excited to move to the next phase of this project.

If you'd like to be involved or have specific questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me either using the email listed here, my personal email (alexanderuhrich@gmail.com). I am also on Facebook (alex uhrich) and Instagram (@truthlizard). GoFundMe advises me not to post my phone number here, but if you'd like to talk please send me a message and I will give you my number.

Thanks and best,
Alex Uhrich
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Completely amazed at the amount of money we’ve been able to raise in just a months time! Thankyou so much for your generous support. There are several organizations that have offered to have fundraisers in July, but GoFundMe requires that I withdraw this money within a month and thusly I will be doing an initial round of allocations in the first half of July. I’ve reserved Geek Love Cafe for a meeting to begin this process on July 8th from 6-9 and am still looking for people interested in helping with reviewing claims and allocating funds, please get in contact through the email if this interests you, specifically if you have experience with this type of fundraising. I think it is essential to have a group consensus when deciding how to split these funds and I can’t do it alone. Please continue to donate, share the fund, and let anybody you know affected about it so I can get a claim form to them! Thankyou so much again. —Alex Uhrich
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$20,879 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 461 people in 2 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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DG
$250
Daniel Grittner
2 days ago
WI
$5
wih ihioh
3 days ago
AS
$20
Allison Sharkey
11 days ago
$25
Anonymous
25 days ago
MS
$25
Matthew Singer
1 month ago
$40
Jon Mavetz
1 month ago
AK
$20
Audra Kincart
1 month ago
HP
$40
Hannah Porter
1 month ago
TF
$252
The Drop-Off & Friends
1 month ago
SD
$75
Sophie Durbin
1 month ago
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