Non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Cafe, formed Plan presented to preserve legendary venue
Non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Cafe, formed Plan presented to preserve legendary venue

Coyote Music Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

Contact: Reid Nelson 512.632.9054 pr@SaveTheCactusCafe.org www.SaveTheCactusCafe.org

February 8, 2010 - Austin, TX Note to media outlets - In order to avoid confusion with similarly named groups, please attribute our actions to SaveTheCactusCafe.org.

Members of SaveTheCactusCafe.org filed legal documents today to create a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Friends of the Cactus Cafe, to support community and student efforts to keep the Cactus Cafe open in a manner that preserves its fundamental character in its current location, and to fund ongoing programs for students using the legendary music venue as a resource.

Initial board members of the non-profit organization include Wiley Koepp, who launched the Facebook group Save the Cactus Cafe, now with over 22,000 members; Austin attorney and political consultant, Reid Nelson; and Paul Oveisi, a member of the Austin Music Commission and owner of Momo’s Club. Additional board members will be added in the near future and will be drawn from the business, music, and university (including students and faculty) communities, donors, and others.

“We want to preserve the ethos that makes the Cactus Cafe what it is today and help it build upon its well earned reputation in a way that allows greater opportunity for students in managing and performing in the club,” organizer Koepp said.

Friends of the Cactus Cafe will kick off a fundraising drive this week to fund the SaveTheCactusCafe.org campaign aimed at convincing the Texas Union management to formally commit to keeping it open and adopt the organization’s plan to provide ongoing financial support for Cactus Cafe operations and fund programs that will include student internships, Cactus Cafe student performing artists-in-residence and marketing projects undertaken in conjunction with the business school to better promote the venue.

“We think our plan will provide a secure financial future for the Cactus Cafe, and assist the University and the Texas Union in these difficult economic times and beyond,” Nelson said. “A profitable Cactus Cafe benefits everyone.”

The group sought input from members of the Austin community and University students in an organizational meeting held this past Saturday, February 6, and after incorporating their suggestions and gaining their endorsement, the group finalized their plan and made the decision to move forward with forming Friends of the Cactus Cafe.

“The support from the community and students for the plan was overwhelming,” noted board member and Music Commission Member, Paul Oveisi. “As someone who is both involved in and who deeply cares about the music community in this city, I am honored to be part of this effort.”

Details of SavetheCactusCafe.org’s plan follow.:

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Short-term goal: convince the Texas Union management to formally commit to keeping the Cactus Cafe open through a plan that preserves its fundamental character in its current location, provides a secure financial future for the legendary venue, and builds upon its current operating model to allow greater opportunity for students in managing and performing in the Cactus Cafe and interfacing with local and national music professionals.

Long-term goal: provide ongoing funding for operations of, and ongoing programs through, the Cactus Cafe as described below.

This plan addresses the concerns expressed to date by university officials, Texas Union management, students, the Austin community and the American music community at-large regarding the decision to close the Cactus Cafe. It will:

  1. Maintain those elements about the Cactus Cafe most cherished by the community, including continuing its offerings of live acoustic music in its current space in the Texas Union.
  2. Assist the University in meeting its budget by insuring that the Cactus Cafe is profitable.
  3. Provide greater access and control to students in Cactus Cafe operations, including management, booking and performing.
  4. Assist the University in furthering its missions of teaching, community involvement and support for the arts.

I. Formation of a non-profit Cactus Cafe support organization

SaveTheCactusCafe.org is forming a non-profit organization to support the Cactus Cafe and this plan to save it. This organization will:

(1) Begin fundraising now to fund the Save the Cactus Cafe campaign to get the Union management to formally commit to keeping it open and adopting this plan and (2) Provide ongoing financial support for Cactus Cafe operations in a way that addresses student access and control concerns with regard to the venue.

Board Members will be drawn from the business, music, and university (including students and faculty) communities, donors, and others.

II. Financial Support for Ongoing Cactus Cafe Operations

Upon a formal adoption of this plan by Texas Union management, a portion of the funds raised will be used to make up any shortfalls in the Cactus Cafe operating budget

III. The Cactus Cafe Student Initiative

The remainder of funds raised will be used to support the following programs:

  • Internships for students in both the business and technical areas of the music business: producing shows, booking talent, marketing, etc.
  • Cactus Cafe Student Artists in Residence Program: A number of students will be chosen through competition to become performing artists-in-residence at the Cafe, both opening for national acts and headlining, and would receive an annual stipend to support their residency.
  • Ongoing workshops on both music and the music industry, allowing students to interact with and learn from community and national professionals in the music industry
  • Marketing and other revenue enhancing projects, in partnership with the business school, aimed at increasing the revenues of the Cactus Cafe by capitalizing on its iconic brand which has been built over the last 31 years.

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      ABOUT: SaveTheCactusCafe.org is an eclectic group of music lovers from all over the world who are dedicated to preserving Austin’s iconic music venue in its current location in the Texas Union.

Posted on 2/8/10