Dupont Underground seeks to raise $100,000 to help fund the launch of its “Re-Ball” art and design exhibition. Patrons who contribute more than $25 will be admitted into the exhibition early when it opens in April.
During “Re-Ball,” local artists, architects, designers and members of the public will fill the abandoned trolley tunnels beneath Dupont Circle with art made out of the remnants of the National Building Museum’s popular “BEACH” ball exhibit.
This is the organization’s second fundraising push. Its initial crowdfunding campaign raised just shy of $57,000 roughly one year ago.
Though the subterranean art and events space has already budgeted $10,000 towards building “Re-Ball,” it needs “at least $50,000” more to make the improvements necessary to obtain a temporary certificate of occupancy.
According to Dupont Underground board member Philippa Hughes, the arts nonprofit needs to open three new entrances — it currently only has one on New Hampshire Avenue NW — and hire part-time “firewatchers,” or staffers who watch out for fires during large events. And that’s just for a temporary certificate.
“We would have had a [permanent] certificate of occupancy . . . but to get a permanent certificate of occupancy, we have to install a sprinkler system. That’s a many-thousands of dollars expense,” Hughes said. “[For now], we’re getting a temporary certificate occupancy.”
The hope, Hughes said, is that the organization will raise enough money to launch the exhibition, then make up the rest of what it needs to open its doors for good by charging admission at the door and securing corporate sponsors.
“It’s really important to make ‘Re-Ball’ happen so we can make Dupont Underground work.” Hughes added. “I just want to do ‘Re-Ball’ at this point. Then we can worry about the rest.”
Photo courtesy of Dupont Underground