By Brian Sauer
Founder, Vox Concert Series
Have you ever dreamed about doing something great, to serve a purpose? My endeavor is to bring big city music to my small town.
While it may not be sexy to ask for help, I was taught by my parents that a true sign of strength was recognizing when you, as an individual, have accomplished all that you can within a situation. To understand that, in order to grow as a person, or for an idea to flourish, the help of others is essential to take it beyond what only one person can achieve. This project is seeking the support of backers that love music, recognize passion, understand the importance of having the performing arts accessible within rural communities, and, most importantly, enjoy good cheese.
Ten years ago my passion for music and my desire to leave a positive impact on the community compelled me to start the Vox Concert Series. Vox is a space where people within our Central Wisconsin community can experience live music, not just hear it. The original idea behind the concert series was to create a room within the community that could transform to host rock bands, blues, bluegrass, jazz, singer/songwriters, classical music, kids’ shows, and even comedy acts.
The last 12 months have been full of highs and lows as Vox continues to grow, evolve, and positively impact the community it serves. However, during this same time, due to multiple major losses and personal trials, I was forced to decide between making Vox a full-time endeavor—making it my day job—or give up bringing high quality, emerging artists to entertain residents of my hometown.
What started out a hobby has grown into a small business, which now requires a permanent venue to call home. This will allow the concert series to better host recognizable, nationally touring acts such as Howie Day, Anna Nalick, Tony Lucca, Teddy Geiger, Tyler Hilton, Nicholas David, Ernie Halter, Matthew Perryman Jones, Andrew Belle, Gabe Dixon, Garrison Starr, Jay Nash, Liz Longley, David Ramirez, The Milk Carton Kids, Emerson Hart of Tonic, and many amazingly talented emerging artists you may not have heard of yet.
While Vox has come a long way since that first concert in 2005, it needs the support of music lovers from across the country to realize the goal of a permanent venue to grow and reach its fullest potential.
Most Kickstarter campaigns offer a good variety of options for contributors to select. But since Vox is not a musician, I cannot offer an advance copy of a CD. Instead of offering a special run of T-shirts promoting the venue, I want to offer our project backers the same two things offered to those that attend Vox concerts: gratitude and a unique, memorable experience.
I want to share a uniquely Wisconsin experience with a national audience that supports the success of this project. In exchange for backer contributions, I will send a thank you note to your home, and, depending on the contribution level, a gift package of freshly made cheese curds (vacuum sealed), a recipe for our favorite beer batter, and instructions on how to make your own deep fried cheese curds. Trust me; these cheese curds are delicious and will be so fresh that they will squeak when you eat them.
My initial goal is to raise $15,000 from backer contributions that will be used to:
- Reduce operational costs, including musician, venue, and miscellaneous event costs, for Vox’s inaugural Una Music Sessions fundraising event (Initial goal also includes cost of rewards). Money raised from this three-day event will go toward our venue fund and the endowment of a memorial scholarship I created to help fund the education of music students displaying a passion for their art and a financial need. This scholarship is to honor the memory of my mother, who we lost earlier this year, and carry on her love of helping others pursue and achieve happiness in their lives.
- Retire any Vox Concert Series debt remaining from equipment upgrades. (Stretch goal No. 1: $25,000. This goal also includes cost of rewards).
- Pursue a building to serve as a permanent venue for Vox Concert Series. (Stretch goal No. 2: $50,000.This goal also includes cost of rewards).
If you find value in the mission of this project (or if you just have some friends that love cheese), please help us spread the word about this project. May the power of cheese and a love for music compel you to fund and share in my mission to create a great concert venue in Central Wisconsin.
To donate to the project, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/voxconcertseries/the-cheesiest-kickstarter-project-ever.
Thank you for your time and support.