Support Communication’s crucial fundraising effort

We’re asking you to help the Madison venue and arts incubator secure its future.
A photo shows the two members of Woodman/Earhart performing on a small stage, facing each other over keyboards and other music equipment. Behind them is a projection of abstract lights and circles.
Madison duo Woodman/Earhart performing at Communication in July 2019, for the venue’s one-year anniversary celebration.

We’re asking you to help the Madison venue and arts incubator secure its future.

Communication, a Madison arts non-profit and Tone Madison‘s partner organization, launched a fundraising drive on Monday, announcing that it’s in its “first period of great need since the pandemic began.” We’re asking you to set up a recurring monthly donation to Communication to help the folks there meet their goal of raising $10,000.

Since it opened in 2018 at 2645 Milwaukee St., Communication has tried to provide several key things that Madison has chronically lacked: an all-ages music venue, art classes and workshops, and a retail storefront that sells work from dozens of locally based artists. Communication offers a support structure for artists outside of the sclerotic world of major non-profits and philanthropists. Its role has changed and expanded to include hosting the Eastside Winter Market at Garver Feed Mill, co-organizing Madison Print & Resist Zine Fest, leading an alternative gallery night in protest of last year’s debacle at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and launching a print collective during the pandemic.

All the behind-the-scenes work has relied almost entirely on volunteers. The core team strives to offer fair compensation for the artists who sell their work in the shop and the musicians who perform on Communication’s stage. From the start, the venue had multiple sources of income: ticket sales, a cut of retail sales, fees for workshops, and the occasional grant.

Still, even if you’re smart about it, keeping something like this afloat is hard. It’s going to take direct support from people who care about the place. There’s a point where relying on a few dedicated volunteers is not sustainable, which means it’s time to pull together enough resources to support actual staff. Communication has demonstrated its value and its commitment to the community, whether it’s hosting shows for local musicians who don’t have enough places to play, agitating for fair compensation for artists, releasing its ongoing Queer Mixtape series, or maintaining some COVID-19 safety measures long after most venues have abandoned such efforts entirely. 

Communication’s current fundraiser is for Communication’s core operations, not for supporting the editorial work of Tone Madison. Communication is our fiscal receiver for donations and grants we raise for Tone, but it doesn’t provide us with direct financial support from its other sources of income. But obviously, we’re better off as a publication if our partner organization is strong.

The care and intention Communication has brought to our local arts and music community makes Madison a better place. Please join me in supporting this great resource.

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