ANDERSONVILLE — A new arts-based community center is one step closer to opening in Andersonville.
At the tail end of last week, art school grads Stephanie Preston and Jean Cate surpassed their $15,000 fundraising goal on Kickstarter, which they launched to help open an arts-based community center, Vignette Vignette, in the North Side neighborhood.
Preston said the $15,727 they raised came from community members, relatives and local shop owners, adding that there wasn't "one group that we could've done without."
"We'd be talking to people and shop owners, and that night or the next day they would pledge," Preston said. "Really substantial pledges, too. Nothing to sneeze at.
"We made a great impression on these people and they want us to come to Andersonville. It's amazing to feel that support, to get substantial amounts of their hard-earned money. ... There's nothing quite like that."
Cate said she was "stunned" when she realized they would surpass their goal. She likened getting financial support from community members and businesses to finding out the boy you have a crush on likes you back for the first time.
"It was like, 'Really? You want us? You like us?" she said.
Now the pair can start looking for a place for Vignette Vignette to call home. They are still aiming to open this summer, but have not found a place yet.
"We want to keep searching," Preston said. "Sometimes gems come out of nowhere."
Cate said while there are still "uncertainties" ahead, including securing a loan to help pay for a building, "it feels good to get over the [Kickstarter] hurdle." The money raised through Kickstarter will help pay for furnishings, art materials and other costs, they previously told DNAinfo Chicago.
Preston agreed, saying: "We celebrated for a moment, and now we have our checklist of things we have to take care of."
Preston and Cate, who both studied fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, envision Vignette Vignette as a place where community members, both young and old, can learn how to paint, sculpt and draw, among other things.
Both drop-in and monthlong art classes will be offered. Classes will cost between $30-$45, depending on the subject.
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