This past October, I got a call from Justin Curtsinger. He wanted me to do some video work to help raise funding for a unique and exciting project.
It seemed almost impossible. Justin was about to sign a 10 year lease on a giant 8,500 square foot warehouse. To convert it into the new home of GRIME Studios, and open for business, he had to raise well over $100,000. To make matters worse, the initial response from the Portland community was not very encouraging.
Most of the general public didn't seem to understand what all the fuss was about. Though Portland, Maine is quickly becoming known as an "art and music city", it is getting hard to actually find an affordable space here to create art or music. Securing a practice studio – where you can play loud music late into the night – is nearly impossible. But, that is exactly what Justin sought to provide with GRIME.
The "old" building on Thompson Point had been a hub for creativity and artistic expression for 20 years. It gave numerous bands a place to play at full volume – 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. But, Portland had other plans. To clear space for a new development (ironically, one that prides itself on having an outdoor music venue) GRIME was slated for demolition.
The journey during the next year was a rough one. With a trickle of funds coming in, Justin and a small crew were able to build seven small studios to temporarily holdover the 30 bands practicing at GRIME.
Before the "old" building was demolished, Justin struck a deal with the developer. In exchange for handling the interior demo, and working around the clock for days, GRIME was able to salvage building materials – even entire sections of wall.
As of today, GRIME has raised over $120,000 and the buildout is 90% complete. The last round of fundraising has begun. It's time to finish the buildout and open the studios.
To contribute to the project, visit grimestudios.com