Mortuary benefit riso print by Kohei Urakami.
Artist extraordinaire and singer for RASHŌMON, Kohei Urakami, made 50 three color A3 size risograph prints to raise donation funds for the residents of a group house in Olympia which had recently caught on fire, forcing them all to lose housing status for the foreseeable future. All proceeds from sales were directly sent to the residents and were used to ensure their safety and stability while they rebuild/recover their housing status.
From The Morgue crew:
On the morning of June 3rd, we were all awoken around 8am by our housemate, Phoebe, who told us there was a major fire in our living room. Barely awake, we gathered in the hallway to find the whole 2nd floor of our building filled with smoke. After less than five minutes of waking up housemates and attempting to put out the fire, we realized we needed to evacuate and called 911. If Phoebe had not woken up from the smoke and taken the actions she did, it is very likely that we would not have survived. The fire department arrived in minutes and succeeded in putting out the fire. It destroyed our living room and Phoebe's bedroom, along with most of her belongings. The subsequent water and smoke damage also spread throughout several other rooms on both floors. Here is an article about the incident from local news: Franklin Street apartment fire displaces downtown residents.
When we first launched this fundraiser on the day of the fire, we were in an emergency situation after being displaced, and we needed immediate support to cover the cost of temporarily storing our valuables in a storage unit, securing housing until we are able to move back in (if possible), replacing some of the many items lost in the fire, as well as other basic necessities. Thanks to the folks who have donated so far, we were able to meet most of these needs (except for securing housing, as some of us are still living out of vans and/or couch surfing). All of us are extremely grateful for your support.
We have decided as a group to increase this fundraiser's goal to $30,000 in the hopes that we can receive support in repairing the fire, water, and smoke damage done to the building, which has become more than a home to us over the past year.
Some background on us: We are a group of low-income, trans, queer, and POC living in downtown Olympia. The building we rent is a 120-years old and used to serve as a funeral home and mortuary for the city, and what we affectionately call the Morgue. Last summer, we began an effort as an artist collective to create a music venue, recording studio, and photography darkroom on the 1st floor of the building - a project to which many of us have devoted our time and personal finances. Before the fire, we were nearly ready as a business to open our doors to the public and begin booking shows. This unexpected tragedy has put all of our plans, our progress, and our hard work on hold until we are able to repair the damage done to the building.
While we are working with the building's owner and their insurance to cover the cost of repairs, there will still be financial burdens placed on us before we are able to move back into the space, and make the commercial 1st floor operational. Donations to this fundraiser will be withdrawn by Residential Laboratories LLC, which is our business that utilizes the 1st floor of the Morgue. The funds will then be dispersed for either our emergency needs as the displaced residents, or to direct repairs so that the space will become operational. We are tracking these costs as they occur and will be uploading a spreadsheet soon with all of this information, so that we can be transparent with you all about how we intend to use the support you have so graciously given us. We appreciate your patience as we get this together.
Thank you all so much for your support - whether by donating or sharing this fundraiser, you have helped us in a time of great need, and we are all so extremely grateful for you. From the bottom of each of our hearts, thank you!
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