Since 1999, The Mr. Roboto Project has served as an all-ages community space, gallery, and music venue, hosting both local and nationally recognized acts. Hundreds of local artists, dancers, filmmakers and crafters have gotten their start in this “by the community: for the community” venue.
But after 15 years of promoting the arts in Pittsburgh, the Mr. Roboto Project is at risk of closing. A combination of factors including major construction on Penn Avenue and competing venues have recently put tremendous financial strain on the community space.
The volunteer driven project has recently started a Kickstarter in hopes of raising $5,000. A seemingly humble amount of money that would be enough to rekindle community interest in the space with venue updates and regular educational workshops.
“[W]e are asking the larger Roboto community– the bands that have played, the visual artists who have shown their work, the show promoters and bookers who have held events in the space, the audience members who have enjoyed shows, as well as the spoken-word artists, performance artists, workshop teachers, zine-makers, baby punks, old heads, and fans of DIY venues– to help us out.”
With 19 days to go, Roboto’s Kickstarter has reached $3,000. If there goal is met, Roboto plans to use the funds to update their sound system and create more transparency within the Roboto community. The Mr. Roboto Project has been a refuge for many artists over the years, declaring itself to be a “safer space” in which people can come together and create without the interference of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia or any kind of oppressive behavior.
If Roboto’s Kickstarter has not been funded by November 14th they will have no choice but to close. Regardless of their success, The Mr. Roboto Project will be hosting a 16th anniversary celebration on November 13th and 14th, a weekend of performances that will include bands from throughout the venue’s history.
Visit their Kickstarter to find out how you can help. Roboto is offering a variety of rewards to their funders including free tickets, stickers, t-shirts, and lifetime Roboto memberships. And if you can’t back them financially, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how to become an artistic contributor or volunteer.