Open Space for Arts & Community Programs
In 2005 Janet McAlpin and David Godsey founded Open Space with a vision of a new business model: a private enterprise, launched by a philanthropic investment, serving the Vashon community, not making a profit. We are a center unlike any other in the nation - with our unusually configured, flexible space; our independence from traditional organizational models; and our commitment to a specially-crafted role in the Vashon and regional community. Since opening our doors in 2008, Open Space hosted over 12,000 individuals through three significant programming streams:
- Space and production support for arts events such as Voice of Vashon’s Church of Great Rain. Modeled after A Prairie Home Companion, Church features Island talent along with world-renowned guest star musicians, and gathers crowds of over 500 individuals of all ages for each of its performances.
- Production support and space for a vast variety of gatherings and fundraising events for Island non-profits. Events have included everything from the exuberant Preserve Our Island celebration to physical arts and exercise classes in our Community Hall, to grand fundraisers for the Vashon PTSA, VIPP and more. The fundraisers held at Open Space have garnered over $1,000,000 for Island organizations.
- Production and presentation of theatre artists of international renown and Island favorites, including the Moisture Festival, UMO’s El Dorado, and our own recent smash success, Burlesco Notturno.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
A recent success was the debut of our Burlesco Notturno, conceived and directed by Janet McAlpin and featuring extraordinary Teatro ZinZanni star Kevin Kent as co-host with the 12 foot tall Mme X, Broadway legend Rebecca Spencer, ground-breaking cellist Jami Sieber and aerialist Esther Edelman in an extraordinarily beautiful duet of music and movement, and legendary Burlesque stars Inga Ingenue and Miss Indigo Blue. Burlesco Notturno garnered a crowd of over 300 people – and has prompted planning for Burlesco DUO this fall.
We currently face a significant challenge: We must generate additional resources to build out Open Space in order to survive and flourish. We need, in brief: A functional Heating & Ventilation system. More bathrooms. Seismic upgrades. We have a terrific open space – but it isn’t done. The time has come to raise funds and in-kind support if this unique facility is to carry on. We intend to build up Open Space in a community-minded, community-driven barn-raising – seeking not only funds, but energy to help, materials to use, and artists to envision the possibilities. All donations to Open Space for Arts & Community will be fully tax-deductible, thanks to a fiscal umbrella sponsorship with Allied Arts of Seattle, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Building on the unique character of our space, the strengths of our staff and many volunteers, and the support of our Island home, we envision this enterprise as a vital community resource for many years to come.