Cavern is an interdisciplinary installation of dance for video which will be shown within an abstract cave sculpture.
Jen Mesch
Edmonton, Alberta
3 Team Members

Caves are fascinating places, and I really wanted to make a dance in one.

My name is Jen Mesch. I'm a choreographer. 

I am interested in remote places and geological formations. The time I've spent in caves inspired me to work on Cavern.

jen mesch 

My idea is to film dance in an actual wilderness cave, then design a large cave sculpture in which the video material will be viewed.

I received a grant from the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton which covers about 60% of the project.

We've finished Phase I:

Filming dance in a cave and developing a series of short films that convey our cave allegory

ainsley hillyard and kate stashko 

We need help for Phase II: 

Building the abstract cave sculpture, and installing the sound and video.

We are applying for additional grants. 

But that won't cover our whole budget

Your support will go directly toward building the cave.


1. Building materials

2. Hardware

3. Tool rental

4. Projectors and speakers

5. Cables, power cords

In addition to the great feeling you'll get for being an important part of breathing life into our project, we have some great gifts for you to show our gratitude. 

Depending on how much you can give, we're offering everything from original music from the project, a short video version of the project, a copy of the Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy Cookbook with recipes from past collaborators, a live dance performance in your driveway, or even your own adventure in the same cave in which we filmed the dance scenes of Cavern!

In the event that we do not reach our financial goal, Cavern will be shown in galleries as a series of dance videos. Depending on funds, we may create a less elaborate cave environment. We want to be able to realize our vision, but we will do the best we can with whatever funds we can raise.

The Impact

Cavern is a truly unique collaboration of artists who also love caves. Cavern adds something very special to an existing body of art that references many aspects of caves and what we imagine about them. We hope other people will become intrigued by cave exploration, cave lore, and the unusual features unique to caves and karst topographies.

We plan to show Cavern throughout North America in gallery spaces, museums and independent spaces over the next two to three years. Because we are predominantly Edmonton artists and our first grant was from the Edmonton Arts Council, Cavern will debut in Edmonton.

Other Ways You Can Help

Even if you can't help us financially, we need other kinds of help, too.

1. Volunteer

We need occasional help with everything from help with build and/or the set up of the structure with the guidance of our technicians to helping with mailings. Any amount of time is appreciated!

2. Help bring Cavern to you

 If you know of a place in your city that might like to host a 12' cube cave/dance/sound/video piece, let us know!

3. Spread the word about our campaign

Let people know about our unusual and exciting project and our fundraising campaign. 

4. Visit a cave, and then tell us about it

Ok, this doesn't really help on a practical level to help us to fully realize our project. But from our own experiences, we know that spending time in a cave can be a real physical and psychological challenge. We'd love to hear about your cave experiences.

Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to making Cavern happen.

Jen Mesch

Find This Campaign On
raised by 71 people in 1 month
78% funded
No time left
$7,000 CAD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 14, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10CAD
    A squeeze!

    A little goes a long way! I'll be grateful and give you a hug when I see you for showing your support. Unless you don't want one, and in that case, I'll just be grateful! (A squeeze in a cave refers to a small crawl space.)

    7 claimed
  • $25CAD
    Music from Cavern

    You'll get a copy of Frank Lewin's music from Cavern, remastered by Scott Smallwood. And a squeeze!

    18 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $50CAD
    DVD of Scenes from Cavern

    Maybe you can't see it in person. But you can see some of the video! Shot by superstar Matt Vest and Scott Portingale, danced by Ainsley Hillyard, Jen Mesch, Alida Nyquist-Schultz and Kate Stashko, music by Frank Lewin, sound by Scott Smallwood. You'll also get a squeeze!

    9 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $100CAD
    Original Cavern Action Figure

    One little handmade figures of Jen, Ainsley, Alida or Kate. Please allow us to select one for you. PLUS your choice of a CD or DVD And a squeeze!

    10 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $150CAD
    All of the Above!

    Squeeze! CD! DVD! Cookbook! Action figure!

    2 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $250CAD
    Dance Show in Your Driveway

    Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy will perform in your driveway - or other mutually agreed upon location! At least one dancer and at least one live musician will perform our work for up to 30 minutes. Perfect for your garden party or family gathering. Available year round in the Edmonton metro area* PLUS your choice of a CD or DVD AND a squeeze! *We will work with a variety of situations that are mutually agreeable. A simple contract may be drawn if needed.

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $250CAD
    Action Figure Set Deluxe

    The full set of Cavern action figures (Jen, Ainsley, Alida and Kate) DVD! CD! Squeeze!

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $500CAD
    Cave Adventure for Two

    Two gift certificates for tours of our cave with Canmore Cave Tours! Located just outside the quaint village of Canmore, Alberta, Canada, 20 minutes from Banff, 40 minutes from Lake Louise. This is a great cave for beginners and experts alike. And maybe you'll recognizes some locations from Cavern. You'll also get a CD, a DVD, and of course, a squeeze! This cave tour was recently ranked #4 out of 849 attractions in Alberta! (Transportation and accommodations not provided.)

    1 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $1,000CAD
    Cave Adventure for Four Deluxe

    Four gift certificates for a cave tour with Canmore Cave Tours PLUS Gift certificate for The Drake pub in Canmore. PLUS Two tickets to a Good Women dance performance! CD! DVD! Cookbook! And of course, a squeeze! (Transportation and accommodations not provided.)

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
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