On May 30th, tragedy struck the Seattle artistic community. A lone gunman walked into Café Racer, a North Seattle hub of artists and musicians and opened fire, killing four people and injuring one. He then proceeded downtown where he killed another woman while stealing her car. He escaped to West Seattle where he eventually killed himself when tracked down by law enforcement.
The shooting affected many of us here at Brown Paper Tickets, with some of the victims being good friends and fellow artists. It also struck a serious blow to the artistic community who considered the Café Racer to be a safe haven that encouraged diversity and creativity. In the weeks that followed, the Seattle arts community rallied and fundraisers were held almost nightly to help raise money for the lone survivor and the families of those killed. We decided that it was important for us to also take part in the fundraising efforts and so we began to put into action the “Cafe Racer Ticket” program as a way to continue supporting those in need long after the newsworthiness of this tragic event wore off. It has been announced that Café Racer will re-open today and so we felt that this would be a good time to announce that in eight weeks Brown Paper Tickets will unveil the Cafe Racer Ticket program.
How the program will work is that Brown Paper Tickets will create 100,000 limited-edition “Cafe Racer” tickets that allow ticket-buyers to pay an extra 25 cents that will be donated directly to a fund dedicated to the families of the victims of the shootings, to the lone survivor and to Cafe Racer itself. We hope the program will collect donations totalling $25,000, which could more than double the amount already contributed by the community to Victims of the Cafe Racer Shooting Memorial Fund.
“We just think it’s the right thing to do,” said William S. Jordan, President, CTO and Founder of Brown Paper Tickets. “Everyone in our company was touched in some way by this tragedy. It is in keeping with the way that we do business to give back wherever we can. We wanted to find a way to make it easy for people who care to donate, and for those who produce events to invite people to make a choice for a nominal amount. This should also bring some good exposure to local artists.”
The limited edition tickets will feature original work from artists who are associated with the Cafe and its left-of center culture. This culture is probably best embodied in the Official Bad Art Museum of Art, which re-opens today with the café.
Tickets should be available for event producers to offer for any event they choose in about eight weeks. Stay tuned!