Help #FinishtheAvenue Theatre!!

$19,040 of $14,780 goal

Raised by 141 people in 15 months
Created May 17, 2018
HELP! This beautiful 5 year-old building has been sitting vacant in a community falling slowly into blight due to all the abandoned commercial properties and vacant lots.

My name is Reenah Golden and I am the Founder/Artistic Director of the new Avenue Blackbox Theatre located at 780 Joseph Avenue in Rochester, NY. I grew up in this neighborhood and I made it out despite it's statistics of housing the country's most at-risk youth per capita under the age of 14  in the state.

29836150_15262680370_r.jpeg(5 year-old Reenah and my big sis, both drama queens from birth ;)

Here in Rochester there is a tale of two cities; one is a vibrant, culture and arts-rich, craft beer and foodie town and one is culture-rich but art-starved where families struggling below or at the poverty line don't bother to even dream of a subscription to an arts institution out of their budget range. It's unimaginable these invisible lines separating people from art and creativity in their lives could even exist especially seeing that they have two important resources in common; PEOPLE and the culture they bring with them.

I knew I would come back to this neighborhood someday and the timing couldn't be better! I'm soooo ready to provide the artistic direction, blood and sweat needed to make this happen that I can taste it! When we open our doors on June 7th we will provide year-round FREE THEATER FOR KIDS, address-based sliding scale membership, music and drama workshops, theatre tech training and more.

Here's what we've been able to accomplish so far and why we need your help:

We have secured a $1 lease on this beautiful building for two years and a host of dedicated community partners interested in seeing something amazing happen at 780 Joseph Avenue.
- We raised the first $15,000 of our 30K goal with word of mouth and private donors who endorsed this project. Those friends even asked their friends to give gifts and they did!
- We have raised over $63,000 in-kind for renovations, construction of an additional wheel-chair accessible bathroom, painting, electrical re-wiring, more painting, light carpentry and more! Now we need your help to get the rest of the way.

AND here's the thing...
- We have to make this happen by Fall 2018 Opening Season to show our generous donors that this is a worthy investment in the community.
- Plus, our noDrama summer program serving youth ages 10-15 and apprentices 16 and up begins July 9th and we need theatre tech for their training and certification.  
- Plus, our opening is scheduled for June 7th beginning with a ribbon cutting with our Mayor Lovely A. Warren!

AND THEN, the real fun begins! Several local performing artists  have donated performances for opening weekend so that we can hit the ground running with free shows and open house events for the community. Please help us buy chairs, risers, a fire-safe curtain, toilet & sink, box office technology, projector, custom-built storage, lighting and a sound system to transform this gorgeous, empty building into something that neighbors can be proud of. It would mean the world to me, the volunteers and the young people who are already fundraising and donating their time!

ALSO, If you are in the Rochester or western NY region PLEASE COME TO OUR GRAND OPENING WEEKEND JUNE 7-11 because -- we already know we're going to do this!

(Oh and we'd love to show you love with rewards but remember you can remain anonymous also! Plus, all rewards can be transferred to a neighborhood family if you are unable to attend.)

We are beginning to withdraw and purchase the finishing touches and want to make sure you're in the loop on what we're doing and when!


Phase 1 completion to open as a fully functional facility certified by NYS to function as a place of assembly:

- Stage lighting rig $750 (began 5/23, to be completed 5/30)
- Sound system $1200 (purchasing from Applied Audio -shop local!)
- Mandated additional WC accessible bathroom $3150 (5/29 -5/31)
- House & back hallway lighting $400 (purchasing 5/30-31 for 6/1 installation)
- Projector and wiring $600 (purchasing 5/30, to be installed 6/1)
- Custom blackout window coverings $1200 (tbd)
- Lobby/Box office system, counters, benches, lighting $2000 (tbd)
- Finish storage & dressing room; storage, shelves, counters, paint, seating $2000 (tbd)
- Seat risers & remaining chairs $4000 (tbd)

If we go over our goal (*FINGERS CROSSED), after opening weekend we will put it toward: 

- Construction of control booth above green room overlooking stage ($8000)
- Window display case and lobby monitors ($500)
- A smart classroom ($1,500)

+ Read More
Hey, cool kids! I have lots of exciting news to share! 1. We bought a ladder. (Ok I’m excited about that! It’s a 10ft ladder!) 2. The lighting rig is up ready to receive the stage light cans! 3. We are more than halfway to our goal in just 8 days of fundraising! 4. An amazing angel just created a match for all donations up to $3000! So....please share this news with everyone that if they give their donation will be doubled! We are so grateful!
Say hello to my little friend!
The rig is up!
Halfway there—Let’s #FinishtheAvenue!!!
+ Read More
Hey cool kids! Did you know you can copy the link and share the
A match made in heaven!!! Check it out!
+ Read More
Check out this video update.
#TeamBlackTuesday Challenge!!!
+ Read More
DAY 4: Did you see that we have exceeded $5100 in the 4 days we’ve been fundraising! You are amazing for supporting and sharing and cheering this campaign on! Can I ask you to keep it up? Be loud & proud on The Avenue! We appreciate you so much!
ACT project youth after their 1st show!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$19,040 of $14,780 goal

Raised by 141 people in 15 months
Created May 17, 2018
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Emilie Dawson
2 months ago
3 months ago
Derrick Wright
12 months ago
Jodi Beckwith
13 months ago
Christopher Coles
13 months ago
Judi & Jim Fonzi
13 months ago (Offline Donation)
Angel Match THANK YOU!!
14 months ago (Offline Donation)
Daniel Ryan
14 months ago
14 months ago
Reb Lom
14 months ago
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.