One week ago, the founders of The Delancey Underground launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of their dream of building a park in an abandoned trolley station below the Lower East Side. So far it’s been remarkably successful. With more than a month to go, $60,000 of the $100,000 needed to stage a large-scale demo in the Essex Street Market has already been raised.
A couple of days ago Delancey Underground co-creator Dan Barasch acknowledged there have been some sizable donations from big backers. But he added that lots of small contributions (many just $1) have rolled in. There were 900 Kickstarter supporters as of midday today.
Barasch’s partner, James Ramsey, talked about the importance of the grassroots campaign in an interview with Artinfo:
The money-raising aspect is only half of it. The other half is people having a sense of ownership and engagement. Kickstarter is allowing us to start a grassroots movement. This is a drop in the bucket, of course. This is all our primary work that lets us get to the point where we can actually start raising money for the actual construction of this thing. What we’re trying to do is a couple things. We want to build a scale version of this technology and concept of the park itself, almost like an art installation. That’s going go happen in September at Essex Street Market. We need to do all the homework, like legal analysis, and structural engineering, and real estate analysis, et cetera, and use those to, firstly, put together a price tag on the overall thing, secondly, specify a business model, and finally, do so in such a way that’s convincing to the MTA itself because they own it.
Barasch and Ramsey have been keeping up a hectic public speaking schedule lately. Recently they detailed the early plans for a group at Google’s New York offices. You can watch video from that event below: