How to help Machine (L.A.) survive financial crisis

Mark Allen, who runs Machine, the best artspace I know of in North America, sent the following emergency email yesterday to supporters. Arthur folks may recall that White Rainbow’s all-day “vibrational healing chamber” was situated at Machine during the ArthurBall festival in early 2006. Arthur regulars like Nance Klehm, Molly Frances and the Center for Tactical Magic–and others I’m forgetting at the moment–have been involved in workshops or programs at Machine.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Friends,

Machine is confronted with a serious challenge and we need your help.

I started Machine five years ago because I wanted a place that was comfortable, friendly, and interested in everything in the universe. Every month, our operations manager Michele and I have to raise almost $9,000 just to keep the doors open. Money above that amount we use to create the free events at Machine (almost 100 in 2008!) and put on shows like our one day takeover of LACMA. To survive we raise money from four sources – grants, workshops, the sale of books, and members – or future members – like yourself.

As the economy goes tragically haywire, everyone faces challenges including the foundations who grant us money. As a result, funding we were counting on to pay Michele’s salary and the rent on our space will be significantly less, as in OH SHIT, HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY THE RENT less.

Machine has always been founded on the idea of getting as many people as possible involved in Machine’s projects for maximum awesomeness. Therefore, we are now going to do what we should have done all along – rely on the people like you who love Machine to be an active part in our survival.

If you haven’t already, please:

*donate $128 or whatever level is right for you to become a current member of Machine
*give an additional gift to help this urgent campaign
*consider giving the gift of membership to a friend or dearest family member (we will write them an elaborate letter describing how great you are, and send it along with a machine book in time for the holidays)
*purchase workshop gift certificates for the crafty, the restless or the electronically inclined (Sewing, Arduino, electronics, MaxMSP are our staples, but many more are likely to follow) at; and
*do some extravagant holiday shopping from our online book store

Machine Project is a 501c3 registered non-profit and that donations are tax deductible.

If you know anyone else who can help us, please encourage them to become members — or to make a significant gift. Please feel free to give me a call (213 483 8761) or email if you have any additional fundraising ideas, or would like to hear what our plans are.

It’s an odd feeling for us to be scrambling to raise money after the fun and success of LACMA, but I think that everyone who was at that event, and everything else that happens at Machine (from the sex life of sea slugs to pirate jamborees to our holiday frybq) felt how special this year has been. If you believe in the things we did together this year, I hope you will also want to see Machine Project continue on.

Please help us keep doing great things together in the future. Become a Machine Project member or make an additional online donation right here.

Very Truly Yours,

Mark Allen

PS: On a more festive note please call our phone in poetry service at 213 448 7668 between 9-10pm Monday – Thursday for a free poem of the length and moral character of your choosing

Machine Project
1200 D North Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA, 90026

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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