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A Permanent Place to Make My Work

$6,855 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 202 people in 4 months
I wrote a blog post ( https://www.stevelocke.com/blog/i-fit-the-description )a few years ago that detailed the experience of being detained by the police.  It’s gone viral a couple of times and when it does a lot of people ask me if there is anything they can do for me.  I usually just chalk this up to folks being kind, but friends have advised me to let people help where they can.  That’s why I set up this page.  

history

As many of you know I have had studios all over the city of Boston.  This also means that I have moved around a lot over the course of my career here.

I had a studio I loved in Hyde Park for many years, a condo I bought into.  The developer was, well let's just say he was motivated by something other than trying to create artist housing.  People had varying or non-existent commitments to contemporary art practice, so there was no dialogue about art, a hallmark of a thriving artist community. The 10+ year lawsuit  took its toll on friendships, my art work and my health and once I was able to get the building's roof fixed (it used to rain in my studio) I decided to sell the place and move.  You can read about the whole ordeal here. https://www.stevelocke.com/blog/welcome-to-my-nightmare 

I have a great realtor (thanks Larry Lawfer )  who was patient, smart, and knew what I needed was a place for a studio.  He helped me find a house in Dedham that belonged to a retired stonemason. It wasn't in the best shape (neither am I) but the structure was good and more importantly, it had an above grade basement with a carport that I could turn into a studio.

project
The goal here is to turn the existing basement and carport into a working artist's studio with appropriate lighting, access, storage, and ventillation. To do this:

Upgrade electrical system to code and replace electrical panel to allow for the use of a variety of power tools.

Remove and replace inefficient (and gigantic) oil-heat furnace and water heater with wall mounted gas
models that with smaller footprints and better venting to increase working space.

Remove walls, reinforce joists, remove existing chimney, and regonfigure space to create work areas and storage.

Close off, insulate, and build out existing carport to increase working space.

The wonderful Patti Seitz of Seitz Architects  http://www.seitz-architects.com has drawn up plans for how this could work.  I'm deeply grateful to her for her excellent work and patience.  

35448050_1545185307684134_r.jpeg
The orange outline is what I am currently using for my studio.  The blue is the space that will be available after the project is complete.
35448050_1545185419525776_r.jpeg
I cannot stress what an impact having this studio will have on my work.  I will have a stable place to make my work that will not be subject to the vicissitudes of rentals or other people.  I will finally have a home studio to work in.

If you want to learn more about my studio work, go here www.stevelocke.com

Thanks for considering.
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Thanks to you, the campaign has reached the $6,500 mark. I am deeply appreciative. Also, thank you to those of you who have shared the campaign with your friends/families/contacts on Social Media. The more people who see the campaign, the better chances I have of raising the needed amount. Getting the work out his very helpful and your help has made all the difference. Thank you.

In terms of update, I wanted to address something. A number of people have asked (in nice and in not so nice ways) why this project is so expensive. They can't understand why closing in a carport can cost so much.

I understand their confusion. I was shocked when I got the bid myself. The thing that I did not realize was that while it would be "easy" to just close in the space, it would not be safe or stable or insulated. And since we will be dealing with an exterior wall, things have to be done in a way that do not compromise the structure of the building. This is why I have an architect and a structural engineer.

The image shows how much foundation work is necessary for this to work properly. Like I said, I didn't know this going in and in order to get the proper building permits, I had to have it done correctly and safely. I can do fly-by-night construction.

So this is part of the reason the campaign was created-the scope of work to have the studio built is very large. I have attempted to get financing and I have discovered that it's very hard for an artist (even one who a tenured professor and who has paid off all of his credit cards) to get financing for a project like this. Most banks do not see studio spaces as "adding value" to a home. I have tried 3 banks with little success and a lot of excuses.
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I wanted to give you folks some a link to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance. Three years ago, I gave them the permission to use "I Fit the Description..." as part of their work free of charge. They have crafted curricula for grades 9-12.
https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/texts/i-fit-the-description

Also, I thought you would like to see how it was written about in the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION so I have that link from three years ago as well.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Week/234585

Be well,
S
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Hey folks,
You've raised about $4,000 at this point and I am deeply grateful and frankly, stunned. I started this campaign in the wake of that viral post to get some of the folks whom I did not know to contribute to my work. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only are strangers donating, but friends are donating as well. I am deeply humbled by this. My friends have done SO MUCH for me over the years that it feels huge to have them contribute. I'm so thankful.

Also, thank you to everyone who has shared this campaign and to those of you who will share this campaign with your friend. The viral repost has reached well over 200k shares. Every time you respond with my website and/or gofundme, it corrects the narrative and allows people to engage not just with a story of my victimization, but to engage with the work that I make.

I thank you so much for your help in this,
S
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So, two photos. The first is my original post on FB that links to my blog post #ifitthedescription. The second is a screen shot from the page of the person who copied and pasted my text and my photo onto their Facebook page. My original post has 19 shares. The second post? Almost 200,000. That is a lot of social media currency accumulated at my labor and expense. And these days, social media currency can lead to the other kind of currency.

If each of those people who shared/posted my written account just donated $0.50 to this campaign, I'd be able to build a permanent place to make my work as an artist.

I don't have to tell you about the tightness of credit markets right now-financing is difficult to obtain for everyone-even me with no credit card debt. There is a real shortage of space for artists in the greater Boston area that is getting worse.
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$6,855 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 202 people in 4 months
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