House Opera | Opera House, an ambitious project aimed at turning a once-abandoned Detroit home into a performance space, has until midnight tonight to raise $10K and win a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The house, purchased in 2012 by V. Mitch McEwen, has undergone the first stages of renovation, and is already a source of culture and community in the neighborhood—last week, House Opera staged a one-act play by Clayton LeBouef and a day of workshops, pop-up shops and performances by stilt walkers and local dance troupes.
Early this month, House Opera received MDEC's challenge, and began raising funds to meet the match goal via the crowdfunding site Patroncity. McEwen bought the house hoping it would serve as a center for performance, culture and design, and it's been slowly undergoing renovations by partners at the New York design firm A(n) Office ever since. Project organizers plan to repair the house's roof, and give the space a new, modern edge, wrapping it in Tyvek and adding a 25-foot-high stage.
With just a few critical hours remain in House Opera's crowdfunding campaign, the tally stands at $9500. Donors to the project receive rewards ranging from an email containing (cheesy Internet) hugs for the $10 level to having your name etched on a wall at the theater at the $1000 Benefactor level. House Opera's inaugural event, Afrotopia Festival, takes place July 24-25 and will feature the unveiling of a new sculpture made from the home's old aluminum siding by Detroit artist Jasmine Murrell. - Rebecca Golden