SUPPORT THE est8

WHY WE NEED SUPPORT

ESTATE OF MIND is an arts & lifestyle events venue and an intentional co-living community for artists, operating out of the historic Oakhurst Manor in Whitinsville, MA—a Victorian manor complex an 25-acre heritage site, with multiple buildings housing artists in residence.

WE ARE IN URGENT NEED OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT in order to stabilize our project's future.


Read our urgent call for help on our blog.

YOUR SUPPORT TODAY IS CRITICAL TO OUR CONTINUED OPERATIONS


Urgent Call for Community Help

Mon Feb 19, 2024


Estate of Mind is a growing DIY arts collective, nonprofit community arts & event venue, and home for artists in central Massachusetts. Read about some of our upcoming events, meet some of our residents, and learn about some of the artists we’ve supported so far.


We are facing a dire financial crisis, but we still have time before the point of no return.


If you believe in helping keep this creative cultural project alive, here are our top things that could be done immediately that would give us one more year of runway to keep growing this project to a point of financial stability. If we do not start to meet these targets within the next month, we will begin pursuing our exit strategies detailed further down in this document.

Target: >$150k raised within 1-3 months

Donations

fundraising goal: $150k

We are now backed by a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, Playable Theatre, so donations can be issued a tax receipt. Donate here to help. If we raise more funds than we can put to good use prior to the demise of the project, we intend to return those donations after meeting our existing financial obligations.

Recruit 10 more paying long term residents

approximate annual income: $114k/year

Read more about residence at Estate of Mind here. We offer a $400 referral bonus, so tell your friends about our co-living community. 

Help us sell 7 acres of our 25 acre property

asking price: $300k

A neighboring developer may be interested in purchasing 7 of our 20 forested acres, contingent on the township permitting it. We are asking $300k, which would leave us about half that after fees and other costs and provide another year of runway.

Book >10 additional events per month

target: $10k/month; $120k/year

Our event venue is available to the community on a pay-what-you-can basis. We currently have events confirmed through November 2024, and we intend to honor our commitments to these events to the best of our ability. We are targeting to schedule at least 10 events per month, each donating $1k or more for their use of the space. We are now offering a 10% referral bonus to anyone who refers an event paying $1000 or more. Refer an event here this year to take advantage of this offer while you also help save our community space.

Secure co-owners or investors

target: >$150k

Find mission-aligned investors and/or co-owners to buy in to ownership of the property and management of the community. Reach out to sparr@est8ofmind.com with proposals.

Other

medium-to-long term income

We are still seeking additional funding sources, such as securing grants toward the critical parts of our operations including renovation and construction, government programs like MassSave, adding revenue streams, and more.A team of our members and extended community are focused on these projects. However it is unlikely these funding sources will come through for us in time to save the project without additional income or donations.

Why do we need >$150k?

The project costs substantially more to operate than we are able to generate each month, and we have a backlog of outstanding and overdue bills. Although Sparr continues to put almost all of his salary and credit into the project, recent increases in mortgage and insurance costs have pushed us into dangerous territory.


If some combination of our efforts produces $150k of revenue increase and/or expense reduction in 2024, starting soon, that would buy us another year of our renovation and improvement timeline. That additional time and money should be enough to get most of the manor into a sufficiently “finished” state that would allow us to comfortably welcome more long term residents and short term guests, host more and larger and fancier events, etc. Some of the renovations would enable us to open up new revenue streams, while others would reduce operating expenses. We’ve highlighted some examples below.

Expense-reducing improvements include:


…and many more!

Revenue generating improvements include:






…and the list goes on.


Exit Strategies

Unfortunately, we are close enough to the cliff that we also need to start planning for what happens if we fall. All of those plans involve us no longer owning the property, but many would allow our community and mission to continue in some fashion.


To gauge interest, we listed the property on Zillow for-sale-by-owner at $2.5mil, which has generated lots of buzz around town. Although we have been meeting with interested buyers, this is not how we plan to sell unless it generates an implausibly good offer. This listing is how we have attracted the attention of specialty agents who are interested in representing us should we need to sell, and is helping us gauge the market interest in the property.

March 10th is our next decision deadline

If we do not receive $150k of income/donations, or a serious purchase offer for the rear 7-acres of our property by March 10th, we will begin the process of selling the property through an agent. This won’t commit us to sell, but will take time away from our other efforts. We will continue trying to make things work without selling right up until we sign a sale contract with a buyer.


If we do receive a serious purchase offer for the rear 7-acres of our property by March 10th, we will switch our focus for the next 2 months to pursuing that sale. If it goes through, we will have bought ourselves another year to keep investing in making Estate of Mind a success. If we have not closed a deal by May 10th, we will begin the process of selling the property.


When we decide to pull the trigger on the sale process (whether March 10th or May 10th), we will sign with a real estate agent. This will lead to professional staging, photos, videos, 3d scan, and professional real estate listings across all channels, etc.


If the property does not sell by late 2024, Sparr’s finances will reach the breaking point and we may be forced to accept a wholesale offer to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy.


In order of decreasing preference:



Regardless of how things wrap up, or don’t, we want to let everyone know that we are glad to have had this opportunity to positively impact the local and more distant communities. It has been great getting to know our neighbors in Northbridge and all our visitors from tens to tens of thousands of miles away. We hope you enjoyed spending time with us and using our space to pursue your creative passions.



The Impact

ESTATE OF MIND is a group of artists who are transforming and reclaiming a property once known for its homophobia and abuse into an affordable and accessible center for the arts.

WE ENVISION A FUTURE WHERE WE OFFER:

ChALLENGES

We have owned this beautiful, Victorian property since Halloween 2021. In two years we've made a lot of progress, reached a lot of milestones, and learned a lot of lessons. The project has, of course, had some surprises, which have put things behind schedule.

SOME OF OUR SETBACKS HAVE INCLUDED:

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT US


We understand not everyone is in a position to donate money. If you believe in our project, here are some other ways you can help.

Help us spread the word


DONATE FURNITURE & DECOR


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