EXCITING NEWS: Costume Co-op Campaign




The S.T.A.R. Foundation of Monterey County (Support the Arts Regionally) announces a fund-raising campaignto lease or purchase a building for a costume co-op for theaters and schools in Monterey County. 

There is definitely a need. Some theaters store their costumes and props in rat-infested, non-climate controlled spaces and various garages. The costume co-op would help theaters and schools catalog, store and maintain inventory. Designers could create, and area students could even spend their volunteer time helping to maintain costumes. This would not only give a safe location for storage but also could allow groups to rent or borrow from each other depending on the arrangement. Executive Director Reg Huston met with area groups and the S.T.A.R. is putting into motion some of these ideas. The most important factor is finding a space. 

After a three-year search the Foundation has found a space in Pacific Grove in the historic former Gardener’s Livery Stable.  There is a second space attached that could accommodate a rehearsal/performance space to highlight Monterey County Youth and also S.T.A.R. sponsored events. Should this lease happen, it is the intention of S.T.A.R. to equip both spaces and make a youth performing arts center in these buildings. The owner and the representatives from Pacific Grove show great enthusiasm about this project.

S.T.A.R. is looking for funding to purchase the building or to cover the lease for at least ten years. It will use current funds (an earmarked $90,000) and will solicit grants and financial donations to equip the costume space with washers, dryers, racks, sewing machines, shelving, etc. This would be a safe place to create and maintain costumes. Ideally there will be a space for each theater/school to keep their inventory and someone to coordinate it. This idea also includes an educational component for area students to volunteer or even apprentice. There is possible synergy between the groups for rental or borrowing of costumes.

The hope is that the performance/rehearsal space will be equipped with portable theatrical components; lighting, platforms, mirrors, dance floor, theatrical boxes, chairs, etc. We have consulted a national lighting and technical designer as an advisor. Safety of the groups using the site will be paramount. 

This is a very accessible and safe location  in Pacific Grove, one half block from Lighthouse Avenue and near public transportation. The owner of the building has a great belief of the value of the arts and community. This combined with the youth component really fits his hope for the purpose of the property. Moreover, the exterior of the site would not have to be changed for the use we intend, which is a plus for historical preservation.

Donations may be made via our website:  www.starfoundationmc.org

or by mail to:  

S.T.A.R. Foundation MC

P.O Box 2538

Salinas, CA 93902