Spark Contemporary Art Space is a community-based art center that has existed in Syracuse, NY for the past 20 years. Traditionally, SPARK was a “DIY” room rental open to a multitude of cultural programming and events. Under new ownership, the vision is to transform SPARK into a full-time live music venue, art gallery, used book store, small cafe/lounge and movement/dance space. This plan embraces cooperative values of growing artistic community & a “DIO” (Do It Ourselves) mentality.
WHAT IS SPARK CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE
Spark Contemporary Art Space is one of Syracuse’s longest standing community-based art centers, operating for the past 20 years. Traditionally, the multi-room, street level commercial venue was operated as a “DIY” space rental, acting as a home base for a large group of artists from all backgrounds and mediums: photographers, directors, musicians, cinematographers, illustrators, dancers, producers, inventors, writers, performers, editors, designers, and more.
Under new ownership, the vision is to respect the grassroots, organic history and the affordable, amorphous use the space has provided Syracuse-area creatives, while simultaneously working to transform SPARK into a full-time live music venue, art gallery, used book store, cafe/lounge and movement/yoga/dance space. It also has sites on producing other SPARK branded events.
This crowd fund campaign aims to “Spark The Arts,” embracing cooperative values, building regional partnerships, supporting our surrounding neighborhood and offering a “DIO” (Do It Ourselves) mentality. Located in fast developing downtown / university neighborhood, SPARK is primed to serve a larger youth market hungry for a local hub, funky culture and lively outings.
You as a contributor will help build an affordable, inclusive venue that will encourage students, artists and patrons alike to unite under one roof. SPARK is perfectly triangulated between college lifestyle, urban housing and other creative neighborhoods in Syracuse. All these groups and more should feel welcomed into a space where they can perform, create and even simply kick up their feet, read a book and sip some coffee. Every little bit you provide brings Syracuse closer to creative community, using SPARK as the intersection between all artistic paths.
One of the most exciting elements is the effort to bring a coffee chop element into the space! Discussions are in the works to fully activate this element of SPARK by Spring 2018 .
WHO WE ARE
Since the summer of 2017, SPARK has been co-owned by Patrick Tuohey and Jacob Roberts. Patrick, a seasoned talent buyer, promoter and musician, and Jacob, an artist, business owner and property developer both have a desire for SPARK maintain its avant-garde art gallery vibe, hosting art exhibits, film /video, poetry, dance and other arts endeavors, while also becoming the premiere, small capacity sound stage in Syracuse, NY, hosting regional and national acts.
Jacob and Patrick are anything but new to the local art and music community. Back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, Jacob worked as a professional artist and designer in downtown, while acting as the Executive Director of ThINC, The Institution of a Now Culture, Inc. an enterprising 501c3 that activated the local, street-level, art scene, while also revitalizing many dormant commercial properties. Jacob was also instrumental in launching 40Below, a successful young professionals organization, was a founding member of the Arts and Culture Leadership Council of Onondaga County (ACLA), was briefly involved in local politics, and has recently launched a new venture called Crystal City Creative Spaces, an “Art Space” real estate investment cooperative, as a way to continue the legacy of groups like ThINC and 40Below, and awesome places like SPARK, that have contributed to making Syracuse a fun, exciting, vibrant and creative city.
Likewise, Patrick has been a crucial part of enriching area venues and the artists that play them for years. Having been an active musician in a number of Syracuse based bands (Forfeiture, Only The Chosen, Secrets Kept, etc.) he saw the importance of producing live entertainment. Going from booking shows independently, to joining NonZeroSum Presents (owners of 1Fest, perhaps best known for their Ithaca, NY series) to now working for Upstate New York’s largest independent events company After Dark Presents, there’s a strong history in bringing people together for the purpose of sharing, creating and performing music with one another.
Pursuing a Bachelor’s in Music Business from Berklee Boston (#1 Independent school of music in the world), working for Soundgarden Syracuse (one of only a few independent record stores left in the area) and operating a small web development and graphic design firm called Phantom Pain Media, catering specifically to artists and musicians are just a few of the other projects that places Patrick in the right place to lead an initiative like SPARK The Arts, which depends so closely on a connection with the community. Operating out of so many different clubs to support regional music has provided insight on how to run the future of SPARK as a successful venue.
WHAT WE NEED
It’s time to SPARK THE ARTS! We all want the same thing: a community that supports the arts, venues to appreciate them, and places to produce great work. The better our amenities are, the safer the structure is, the more efficiently we operate, the more attractive the space is to spend time in, and the better we’re able to offer great professional services to the local cultural sector.
To grow our business, and its offerings, we first need to spruce the place up a bit. Whether it’s for live music, gallery exhibits, classes or workshops, SPARK is growing in demand and, unfortunately, our personal cash infusions and sweat equity has only been able to stabilize the ship so far – and now’s the perfect time for us to renovate and revitalize the entire physical site.
With your assistance, SPARK will be able to acquire the basic means to function as a true multi-media production house, where creatives make, study, share, experiment, network, and evolve.
Today, our ability to function and facilitate quality productions are limited by a lack of basic resources: updated light and sound gear, proper storage to organize our sets, props, etc.; updated PA system and the ability to record audio for live shows, video shoots and recording sessions; as well as an interactive website that features all of the content produced at SPARK.
Here’s a rough breakdown of what we need:
$30,000 build out: sliding partitions, mixing booth, office, storage, lighting, doors, windows, sound proofing, carpet, insulation/padding, bass traps, curtains, hardwood flooring, trim, lumber, hardware, bathroom vent, bins, green room, makeup station, awnings, barn doors, cafe bar, etc.
$23,000 studio gear: computer, camera, projector, mixer, speakers, monitors, stereo, mics, headphones, cables, plugins, adapters, hot lights, strobes, stands, rollers, sand, dolly, jib, etc.
$7,000 new website: design, development, programming and up-keep.
WHAT YOU GET
Your donation to the “Spark the Arts” campaign works to improve a long time community space and exhibition center for local and visiting artists, ensuring it continues to thrive into the future.
By pledging a gift to this Indiegogo you are supporting the arts sector in a very direct way, by allowing artists to assemble in a clean, affordable, functional (and cool) facility where new works can be conceived, practiced, produced and exhibited on a daily basis in Syracuse, New York.
As a reward for helping us to improve the venue and enhance our services, contributors will receive a number of fresh perks, such as: coffee comps, bookstore discounts; merchandise; event tickets; RSVP party invitations (final date, talent and activities TBD); and original art In exchange for your kind contributions.
In addition, for the next six months SPARK will be working under The Alchemical Nursery Project Inc., a 501c3 fiscal sponsor. This makes us open to other types of donations, sponsorships and/or partnerships beyond this campaign.
Please contact us if you, or someone you know, would be interested in donating any music gear, video equipment, building materials, art studio supplies, etc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your support! We can’t do it without you.
Thank you to our partners: Alchemical Nursery, Spark Orange, Syracuse Music Collective