When the COVID-19 shutdown caused so many small performance spaces in Milwaukee to close their doors permanently, Sunstone Studios began working to save the theater space at 127 E Wells St in Downtown Milwaukee. This location, in the heart of Milwaukee’s theater district, has been a home for small theater companies for decades, most recently a company that ceased operations in 2020 after more than 20 years. Once this space was secured, the work of sifting through the remnants of almost 25 years of a working theater began. Clean up, re-organization and a fresh coat of paint are almost completed but the next phase of this re-opening requires purchases and skilled work. This next phase of work will ensure that performance artists have opportunities to safely build on all that was learned about digital theater during the shutdown.
Funds raised in this campaign will help Sunstone Studios finish outfitting the space for a post-COVID-19 world, by focusing on two of the new needs of the performing arts: Better ventilation for COVID-19 mitigation, and creating a sound environment for digital recording and broadcasting of our shows. COVID-19 mitigation creates unique challenges for performers and performance art spaces, yet must be completed in order to provide a safe environment for all of our performers and audiences. Sunstone Studios must make considerable investments into the outdated ventilation systems. Significant improvements to soundproofing, sound enhancement, and sound and video recording are also necessary if we are to protect the performing arts from a complete shutdown ever again. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to rethink live theater and find new ways to share work by Milwaukee artists with the world. These improvements allow us to capitalize on this reimagining and make streaming and podcasting part of our practices going forward.
You can support Sunstone Studios in these ways, through our fiscal receiver, Arts Wisconsin:
- Check payable to Arts Wisconsin, Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701-1054 (include note that donation is for Sunstone Studios)
- Mightycause (VISA/MC): https://www.mightycause.com/organization/artswisconsin (include note in “dedication” line that donation is for Sunstone Studios)