The path to THE PATH
My name is Damien Allen, and this fundraiser is the next step in a journey I have been on with my dad, Greg Allen, since 2008. Over the years, we have been brought closer together by our love for music... traveling hundreds of hours all over the southeast to see thousands of bands play on dozens of stages. During this time, we have also attempted to provide a stage for these bands to play, in various areas and settings. From Found Skatepark in Ellijay, GA (a huge warehouse) to The Box in Tate, GA (a double-wide trailer in the parking lot of a small southern Baptist church), we have have tried working with existing organizations to make our dream a reality. This dream is to provide a safe place for people of all ages to go without worrying about drugs, alcohol, or the other pressures of the outside world. Our primary motivation for this is sharing the love of Christ with those who may not feel comfortable or welcomed by traditional churches of today. Along the way, we have met so many people who share this vision, and we have gained the support of several people in the community that are helping make this vision a reality. (Anthony, Graham, Kyle, Krista, Katie - here's to you guys!)
Recent shows hosted at The Box have brought in crowds of 50-100 kids, teens, and adults from Jasper and the surrounding areas. In these crowds is a huge variety of personalities, beliefs, values, and walks of life. The thing is: every single person there has a great time and enjoys a sense of family. There are Christians, atheists, vegans, meat eaters, smokers, straight edge kids, punks, goths, preps and jocks singing, jumping, dancing, and laughing together. They all say they feel at home, welcomed, unlabeled, and loved when they come to a show at the Box. THAT is our goal, and THAT is our dream. To give the kids in this area a place to call their home away from home... Somewhere where they can go and enjoy themselves with worrying about all the stresses of life.
IF THINGS ARE SO GREAT, WHY DO YOU NEED MONEY?!
Unfortunately, we will not be able to book shows at The Box anymore. Due to legal reasons, the church that has graciously let us use their facilities has asked us to discontinue having concerts there. While there are no hard feelings between us and the church, this has put us in a bind. Our options are to either give up, or to keep going in our own facilities. Getting our own building will result in a slew of new expenses, and that is why we are reaching out to our friends, family, and community (both our physical community and our national music community) to help. Below is a break down and explanation of our $25,000 goal. While we could squeak by with less, the goal is not to only survive, but to GROW. We would like to eventually become a premium music venue, able to handle large touring packages that will draw people from areas such as Atlanta and Chattanooga.
- $1200 a month for a facility and utilities is our maximum target, and we will need at least enough money to fulfill a one year lease. ($14400)
- We need a few more items to complete our PA system. We receive complements all the time on our high quality sound system, but in a larger room we will need some additional speakers, power amplifiers, and a new mixing console. ($3600)
- A stage! While most bands are alright with playing on the floor, it would be nice to have a quality performance area for all of the talent that comes through our new venue. In addition to building a stage, we will also eventually need lighting as well. ($5000)
- Basic decor and furniture will be needed to make the venue comfortable and inviting. Down the road, we hope to offer a cafe style refreshment bar, so having tables and couches is a must. ($1000)
- A reserve fund for paying bands in the event that there aren't enough paying attendees to cover the cost of the performing bands, or deposits for larger touring packages.
- We will also be using any remaining donations, along with out of pocket money, to form a 501c3 not for profit organization. This is in no way about making money, and any money made from operation of The Path will be directly spent on maintaining, operating, and improving the venue.
- If we do not hit our goal of $25,000 (which is admittedly very steep), the above list shows the priority in which partial funding will be applied.
- We will reward you for donating to help get The Path off the ground! Depending on your donation, you can earn stickers, show tickets, t-shirts, venue rentals, and much more!
This isn't just a music venue. This isn't just a place where a few select kids go to hang out on a Friday night. THIS IS A STAPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.
- Giving our local youth a place to go in town will keep them off the roads by eliminating the need to drive to Kennesaw, Atlanta, or Chatanooga for activities.
- The venue will be available for community events (plays, musical performances, group meetings, movie showings, etc.)
- Once fully developed, ticket sales could also boost revenues of other businesses in the area (when we begin booking shows with 500+ attendees, this could bring food, grocery, gas, and hotel revenues to Jasper)
- In addition to having a safe place to go, youth in the area will also have a place where they can begin developing their musical abilities by learning a new instrument or performing on stage for the first time. Local music scenes develop unity and a sense of family!
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:
- Please spread the word about our cause and this fundraiser. You may know someone that can help us, and by using the Indiegogo share tools, you can instantly post this fundraiser to your Facebook, Twitter, or email it directly to someone you think might be able to contribute.
- We need a location! If you know of anywhere in Jasper, GA that would be suitable for The Path. A few things we are looking for:
*loud music friendly
*plenty of parking (preferably 30+ spots)
*close to town (for convenience and to be close to all eating places)
*a loading dock or back door
*at least one bathroom
*heating and air
*having a couple of office rooms would be great (to give bands a place to leave their personal items/rest/eat/etc.)
*A shower for the bands would be superb but not absolutely necessary.
- If you can't send money, send good vibes and prayers! We will also need some volunteers to make this happen, from moving into a new building to running the shows, it will be a group effort to keep everything running smoothly.