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'Crowdfunding' helps finance filming, restaurant in Algiers Point

posted Jun 26, 2014, 11:29 PM by Siamak Ebarhimi

A 10-year-old way to finance smaller ventures could play a role in improving the lives in a neighborhood almost 300 years old, as "crowdfunding" helps launch a new film and restaurant in Algiers Point.

To upgrade the electrical system at 400 Vallette St., home of the Appetite Repair Shop, chef and owner Pete Vazquez turned to advertizing

            "Banks don't give you money unless you don't need it," Vazquez said.  Through crowdfunding, he raised over $3,000, often through donations as small as $20. "The majority of the people who contributed are people of modest means who just believe in what I'm doing."CrowdFunding marketing

On June 28, The New Orleans film collective LOCOFilm will begin to raise money for the short narrative film "The Lot" through Kickstarter, possibly a more familiar name than Gofundme.
            Co-writer and director of "The Lot," Russell Blanchard described the way Kickstarter works.  People can contribute, and at different levels, they get different rewards.Kickstarter Marketing
            "It gives back to the donors and makes them feel like they're part of the project.  It builds a community," Blanchard said.
            Based on a true story, "The Lot," tells the story of Baakir Tyehimbe's frustrated attempts in 2007 to teach neighborhood children skills by leading them to construct a playground on the vacant property across from his Blackstar Café.  Despite obstacles and inertia, that goal remains.
            Blanchard hopes that the film benefits the Algiers Point community, that it inspires action and that the park is built.  They believe that allowing children to build a safe place to play will show them that they control their destinies.Indiegogo Marketing
            When Pete Vazquez served food in the patio behind Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits, there were plenty of tables, but no kitchen. Now at the Appetite Repair Shop, there is a kitchen but no tables. That's part of the idea.
            "There are a lot of young professional families in Algiers Point and there's no place here where you can go in and get a pound of this, a pound of that, then go home and have dinner without having to worry about it," Vazquez said.crowdfunding websites
            Vazquez has lived in the Point for 15 years, and describes it as the nicest place in the city.  Some may remember his well-liked restaurant Marisol's, located at the bottom of the Marigny triangle.  
            Marisol's didn't open back up after Katrina, and since then, Vazquez has been an itinerant chef about town, happy now to be doing something in his own neighborhood.crowdfunding marketing
            In between films, Blanchard owns and runs Algiers Point Tours, a venture he created not as a profit-making enterprise but as a way to support neighborhood businesses.
Kiwanis Club of Algiers
The speaker for the July 3 meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Algiers will be Father John Talamo, pastor, St. Andrew the Apostle Church and School.  The club meets on Thursday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m. at Aurora Swim and Tennis Club at 5244 Gen. Meyer Ave.kickstarter project
Author Night at the Hubbell Library
Marvin J. Allen will sign copies and discuss his new book "Magic in a Shaker," an introduction to the world of cocktails.  It happens on July 8, at 6:30 p.m.  The Hubbell Library is located at 725 Pelican Ave.crowdfunding advertising

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By David Khorram