Kickstart my Heart is a semi-regular blog series on Portland Kickstarter projects we don't hate.
Kevin Robinson is fed up.
And not just with rising ticket costs and the overall state of the music industry, but society as a whole. As half of indie-rock duo Viva Voce and Electric iLL, his booty-wiggling, Portland electro-funk duo, Robinson says could care less whether people “like” his music on Facebook or buy his donation-based records. He merely wants to give where the need is the greatest: the Stumptown community.
“I want to rock for people who give a shit about the world,” says Robinson. “Not for people who buy overpriced tickets, merch and watered-down drinks at shows. It just doesn’t effect anything and life goes on the way it has. If there's a ticket price in the future, it’s going to go to fixing children’s hospitals and four-way streets.”
Robinson is starting with the latter. On June 1, he’s throwing a little street soiree and mural-painting party as part of his iLLocation Kickstarter campaign, a community project aiming to beautify a potentially deadly intersection located in Northeast Portland's Woodlawn neighborhood. Despite the onslaught of basketball-toting kids playing the street, the four-way patch of asphalt isn’t equipped with stop signs or signposts. Robinson hopes the artwork will slow people down, a sort of subtle cautionary warning for cars who often barrel through the makeshift playground with blatant disregard for the surrounding community.
The proposed psychedelic mural, sketched by local artist Libby Krock, will be a literal paint-by-numbers design: A number “1” on the street corresponds to red, a “2” means green and so on. Robinson and his Electric iLL bandmate Ragen Fykes will DJ the event, and numerous businesses such as Breakside Brewery, Good Neighbor Pizza and Safeway, have donated to the project.
However, crowd-funded campaigns have their crux like anything else. The Kickstarter project has a goal of $750, just enough to cover the cost of purchasing art supplies, renting a PA system and power washing the street. If setback ensue or the goal is not reached before the event’s deadline, then, as Robinson puts it, “we don’t party.” Plain and simple.
Robinson says painting the intersection is just the first step in his quest for creating iLLocations. He’s been brainstorming other projects with community organizers, peers and others in the area to make his vision a reality. One show might even involve Del the Funky Homosapien.
“Society is not on a sustainable path,” says Robinson, “and the best thing we can do other than curse the darkness is to a light a candle—to blaze a new trail. Maybe it will work, but then again, maybe it won’t.”
The project currently has $210 of its $750 goal. You have 15 days to pledge some your hard-earned cash here. Watch the fundraising video below: