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Zeitgeist Moving Expenses

$1,850 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 15 days
Created January 8, 2019
Incredible news!

Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center celebrated it’s 32nd Anniversary last November.  32 years of bringing a world class array of alternative films, filmmakers, creative music, theater, performance, spoken word, visual art, dance, burlesque and community events to the New Orleans area.  

For the past 19 of those years we have brought our incredible programming to Oretha Castle Haley Blvd and we feel that we have been an intricate part of the streets rebirth and revival.  

Now it is with great pleasure and excitement that after all of these years Zeitgeist will be moving to a venue as world class as our programming.  Gone will be our days of what the NY Times called “shabby chic”.  

After months of rumors and speculations it is now official…

Zeitgeist will be moving to the old VALIANT THEATRE AND LOUNGE at 6621 St. Claude Avenue (between Studio Inferno and the St. Claude Arts Studio in the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District).

The new venue features ample parking, a 125 seat black box theater, a small kitchen area for pop-ups, two 3 stall ADA restrooms and a magnificent cocktail lounge that was elegantly designed and renovated by Mitchell and Erica Gaudet and developed by the Meraux Foundation.  

The new venue has an illustrious history as the Joy Lounge (one of the first black music clubs in Louisiana) which later became Buster’s Bar and Lounge, then inexplicably for decades it was a pawnshop and a Carnival Mart.  

"Zeitgeist will be located on a two-block “arts campus” assembled by the Meraux Foundation as a public interest project to accelerate the growth of the Old Arabi Cultural District and improve the economy and quality of life of St. Bernard Parish. The stretch also includes Studio Inferno and St. Claude Arts, a collection of studios and galleries."

We will continue programming at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd through the middle of February while we pursue all of the required permits, inspections and licenses.  We will then move during the weeks leading to Mardi Gras. We hope to open on Friday, March 8th.

As soon as we have received our occupational license we will schedule a small Open House with food and drinks from some of our new neighbors and possibly some live music.  The evening along with this GoFundMe Page are designed to give everyone a preview of the amazing new space and a fundraiser to help with costs associated with the move (ie, a new sign, some minor electrical work, 4 metal and glass poster cases for the front of the building, keg refrigerators, two small ice bins, the massive cost of a liquor license and the other fees, etc.)  So bring your credit cards or checkbooks.

We are  creating this GoFundMe campaign to help with the immediate costs of moving as well as looking to line up volunteers to help pack and move once we have officially leased a new venue.

Our new neighbors include Studio Inferno, St. Claude Arts Studio, Rally’s, Waffle House, Canseco Market, Whiskey Bayou Bar, Gerald’s Donuts and Burgers (24 hours), AutoZone, Kitchen Table Cafe, Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant, Old Arabi Antiques, Arabi Food Store, Old Arabi Bar, Stella Maris Restaurant & Hookah Lounge,  etc.

Oh, and even though St. Bernard Parish allows smoking in bars, Zeitgeist (including the lounge) will remain Smoke Free.

We will also be expanding our programming in the main theatre to include daily matinees, film series, classic repertory titles, along with much more live theatre and performances events.  And in the longe we will present “1001 ARABI NIGHTS” nightly music, spoken word, comedy and other events nightly events.

Thank you for your support.  This is going to be absolutely great!
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Update 3
Posted by Rene Broussard
11 days ago
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People keep asking or speculating about why we are moving. Here is why.

I have been on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd for the past 19 years and was not really looking to move. I have been very happy there.

People kept telling me I should look at the theatre space on St. Claude and Desire that had been scheduled to be Indywood. It was a great space, but no parking. Still I was interested until I saw the Valiant Theatre and Lounge.

I go to Gerald’s Donuts often after Zeitgeist closes to eat with my friend Ellis Fortinberry who runs Chalmette Movies. He mentioned that he had seen a for lease sign on a theatre a couple of blocks away on St. Claude so I called the number. Looking at it I knew right away Zeitgeist could never afford a venue this incredible, but the property manager told me that when she told the owners that Zeitgeist was interested in seeing the space, luckily our reputation proceeded us. The owners are the Meraux Charitable Foundation, Artify LLC, whose main concern was luckily for me not just about money, but what tenant would best advance their development and promotion of the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District. When I saw a drawing for St. Bernard Parish and the Meraux Foundation's plans for the district I knew Zeitgeist had to move.

Making the decision to move outside of Orleans Parish (by one block) was a hard one. I don’t know if my audience will follow me or be willing to travel across town and across the industrial canal. Luckily the response has been overwhelmingly positive and people seem extremely excited about the new location and the off street parking. I think this will be the best thing to ever happen to Zeitgeist. The new venue gives us a chance to expand our programming and the Lounge gives us a great opportunity to increase our audiences and our revenues.

Thanks again to everyone for their generous support. For updates about the move and our programming you should go to our website and sign up for our weekly e-mail blast.
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Update 2
Posted by Rene Broussard
11 days ago
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Reading all of your wonderful comments I am overwhelmed. To paraphrase Sally Fields, "You like me. You really like me!" Let me say to each and one of you. The feeling is mutual.

It feels great to feel so appreciated, something after 32 years is greatly needed.

I want to thank everyone who has made a donation, signed up to help us move or approached me about performing or exhibiting their work at the new space.

I also want to especially thank the Meraux Charitable Trust for giving Zeitgeist this incredible opportunity to move and grow. I look forward to becoming a part of the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District.

I also want to thank my good friends Ellis Fortinberry, Mitchell Gaudet and Gregory Rome for all of their help and council as I maneauver through the labyrinthine world of permits, licenses and inspections. Everyone in St. Bernard Parish have been very helpful and inviting. I look forward to becoming an active member of the community. I already know I love all of the restaurants...

I will be spending a good bit of time at the new space this week with meetings and inspections. If anyone wants to come and see the space or talk to me about performing or exhibiting your work at the new space give me a call and I can tell you when I will be there. I like showing off how beautiful the space is.

Plus everyone needs to see the brilliant SHOOTING GALLERY exhibition at Studio Inferno. You will thank me.
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Update 1
Posted by Rene Broussard
12 days ago
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Things are moving fast. We just finalized the lease and announced on Wednesday and we have already gotten big articles about the move on nola.com, Gambit Weekly and The New Orleans Advocate. We just passed our Fire Marshall inspection, changed the water account and the GoFundMe account and enthusiasm about the new space and it's location are very encouraging. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed.

ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES AT THE NEW
ZEITGEIST THEATRE & LOUNGE

After 19 years on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, Zeitgeist will be moving over Mardi Gras to a beautiful new theatre & lounge @ 6621 St. Claude Ave. (in the Old Arabi Cultural Arts District.

We will be continuing to present our programming on OC Haley through February 21.

So before we leave the Boulevard, it only makes since to have a huge, Nawlins style

ZEITGEIST MOVING PARTY & BENEFIT.
Saturday, February 23 @ 8:30 pm

CALLING ALL ARTISTS:

If you have performed at Zeitgeist over the years and would like to do so one more time on Saturday, February 23 @ 8:30 pm until…
please contact Rene at Zeitgeist to get on the line-up.
_________________________________

CALLING ALL NEIGHBORS & FRIENDS:

If you are willing to donate food or drinks for the party please contact Rene at Zeitgeist

_____________________________________

CALLING ALL ARTISTS:

We will be opening the new ZEITGEIST THEATRE & LOUNGE on Thursday, March 7th. We have NESLORCHESTRA playing @ 7:30 pm. We would like to book a big Blow Out Show for 9:30 pm. If you would like to perform please contact Rene at Zeitgeist

We will be booking music, spoken word, comedy in the lounge nightly while we screen films or performance events in the theatre. If you would like to screen, exhibit or perform in the new space or you are interested in booking or curating a series contact Rene at Zeitgeist
____________________________________

Volunteers needed:

We will be moving February 25 through 28. If you are available to help us physically move please contact Rene @ Zeitgeist
____________________________________

HELP WANTED:

As we expand our programming and our hours of operation we will be hiring people with experience to run the bar and the theatre. You may your send resume or vitae with a brief cover letter to Rene Broussard at Zeitgeist.
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$1,850 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 15 days
Created January 8, 2019
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