One of our biggest arts news stories of 2011 was the sudden closure of 1419, an underground (though not underground enough) Washington Avenue space that started its semi-public life as a venue for experimental theater and art curated by the University of Minnesota students who lived there, but became increasingly better-known for the wild parties thrown by first the residents and then the landlords. The landlords’ plans to reopen the space haven’t yet panned out, but when the tenants moved out last spring, it was clear that 1419’s days as an avant-garde artspace were over.
Recently, a group of young performing artists including some members of the 1419 collective have started making use of a space just a few blocks away, at 1211 Washington Avenue. The downstairs storefront is currently in rotating use, most notably as a Halloween costume shop. Upstairs, there’s an expansive space that can be seen in the Kickstarter video for No More Astronauts, a show slated to take place in the space from January 13-16.
By all indications, No More Astronauts—a collaboratively devised piece of theater that currently seems to include a folk band wearing Christmas lights—will be squarely in the 1419 spirit. If, that is, it happens at all: they’re currently only $1,248 of the way towards their $3,000 fundraising goal, with five days left on the clock. (And that’s after my five-dollar pledge.) “We want to be sure we appreciate them,” says co-creator Justin Spooner, referring to paying his collaborators. “At the very least, we’re going to feed them.”
Update 1/7: The production has met and exceeded its Kickstarter goal with support from 68 donors, only one of whom pledged over $300.
Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Collaborative.