Salon Saloon

Photo by Steven Lang.

Project: Salon Saloon Vol. 7

Goal: $3,500

Deadline: Saturday, March 31

Why it’s good: Works Progress‘ Salon Saloon, billed as “The #1 Live Action Arts Magazine in the Upper Midwest,” has three years under its belt of bringing together creators, thinkers, and doers for presentations and discussions. The event’s organizers, including host Andy Sturdevant, put on their monthly Bryant Lake Bowl show on the strength of volunteer labor, paying artists for contributions when they can. Topics vary from 1968 to Ghosts to Bill Clinton, and each show is informative and entertaining. A dedicated local following, plus national recognition–last year, the team was invited to present the show at an arts conference in Chicago–make it easy to want to support the continued existence and expansion of Salon Saloon.

Rewards: One of the tasks the Salon Saloon team hopes to fund via this project is documenting the show, including a compilation CD of material from past shows called Salon Saloon: The Middle Years. Copies of that album are among the lower-level Kickstarter rewards, along with tote bags printed with Sturdevant-collected quotes from the show. For the bigger spenders, the team will prepare a Salon Saloon on the topic of the donor’s choosing–either at the Bryant Lake Bowl, for $1,500, or a private showing, for $2,500.

Why Kickstarter: ”We’ve all put a lot of our own time and money into getting Salon Saloon off the ground,” says Shanai Matteson, co-director of Works Progress. “It’s been a labor of love.” The hope of the Kickstarter campaign is to be able to pay artists who make Salon Saloon happen, as well as hiring an editor to post video of each live show online. “We love the idea of using the show as a platform to commission new works, so that’s something we intend to do more of,” Matteson adds.

So far, the response has been positive. “A lot of the donors so far are people who already support the show, artists who’ve been on as guests, and our regular audience. They’re so awesome!” Matteson says. “Our hope is that we can widen the circle a little bit in the next couple of weeks, though, maybe introduce some new people to Salon Saloon.”

Last word: This month’s Salon Saloon, on the subject of Whales, will take place on Tuesday, March 27. Matteson says, “If anyone hasn’t seen the show, this is as good a chance as any to check it out!”

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