|5 Years ago I left NYC to find the right city to open the then "Blank" Social Club.
I was looking for a place that had a burgeoning art scene, a downtown that was revitalizing and a place that was struggling with brain drain.
I wanted a place where people could showcase their artwork in all forms. I wanted a place where you could have a drink and see a show without leaving the building. I wanted a place where people from all walks of life can socialize together. I wanted to use art as a catalyst to get Republicans and Democrats talking.
I wanted a place to throw a party with lots of fire. After 22 cities in 8 weeks, I chose Des Moines and moved here in September of 2007, a day after my 30th birthday. I didn't know a single person in Iowa, and after a few months of hanging out and spreading the word, all of you helped me realize my dream of opening the Des Moines Social Club on March 6, 2009.
Now, 5 years, 2 buildings, over 700 events, burlesque on a bridge, belly dancers, ping pong matches, fire twirlers, clown theatre, wine tastings, warpaints, trivia nights, lesbian talk shows, cat concerts, Irish cannons, political rallies, barn dances and wrestling nights later, we find ourselves on the brink of solidifying our permanent home.
Guys - I need your help.
On June 14th we will be submitting a letter of intent to the Mayor and City Council to purchase the Firehouse on the corner of 9th and Mulberry streets. This purchase request will be on the City Council Meeting Agenda for June 25th at the earliest, July 9th at the latest.
Between now and then we will be sending out daily emails with fun facts about DMSC, our history, and where we are headed. This info is to arm you with data to tell the Mayor and City Council that Des Moines needs a permanent home for the DMSC.
Our plan for the Firehouse includes a theater, art gallery, classroom, shared non-profit office space, dive bar, restaurant, coffee shop, retail and more. Oh yeah - a sweet outdoor venue made out of shipping containers for our artists to mural on as well.
You have all been with me on this trip, and together we can make this happen. Watch for emails, tweets and Facebook posts - and then after the 14th, it will be time to make your voice heard. We'll provide you more details on how to sound your siren soon. In the meantime, submit a letter to the editor to the Des Moines Register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org, so the City will hear us loud and clear.
Make sure they understand that arts and culture are important to economic development.
Thank you all for all of your hard work, dedication and love so we have a place to keep Des Moines #1 for Young Professionals, and to have walls for artists to scrawl, and everything in between. This is yours. Let's do this.
Help put the Des Moines Social Club in the Firehouse. Welcome to the summer of FIRE….and help keep Des Moines COOL.
The Sirens will come calling soon…
Help me make this happen:
Write a letter to the editor
Retweet and repost DMSC facts
Tell your friends to join this campaign at facebook.com/DMSCFirehouse
Get ready... we'll have more details on how to sound your siren next week
Presenting your Social Club Sirens...