Thursday, April 9, 2009

Meet Theater Grottesco

Theater Grottesco (based in Santa Fe, NM) had a string of bad-renovation luck. One space was condemned after a flood. One lease fell through when a co-lesee ran into administrative troubles. Then when the company found the perfect space and renovated it for a site-specific performance, the company realized they just didn’t have the network and resources to raise several million dollars in a capital campaign.

Grottesco is renowned for its organizational agility and adaptability. The company was founded in Paris in 1983, then moved to Detroit, and then again in 1996 to its current home in Santa Fe. So when faced with these real-estate setbacks, Grottesco decided to look at the bigger picture. There were other groups in Santa Fe whose work didn’t exactly fit into the traditional proscenium stage at the local community theatre, and none of them had the resources to start a campaign. What to do? Form an LLC.

As far as performance space real estate goes, this is a pretty radical idea. Everyone who purchases a share of Grottesco’s Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) will own a share in the venue. Shareholders are investors rather than donors, and shares will be sold for as little as $1,000 each.  As the project develops, TCG and Grottesco will report on how this new strategy is panning out. In the mean time, if you are interested in learning more about Theater Grottesco, visit their website.

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