Brown Paper Tickets started working with the Burlesque Hall of Fame last year. We ticketed the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas and launched the Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund that allows producers to raise money for the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit Las Vegas museum dedicated to preserving, celebrating and inspiring the art of burlesque. The current museum opened in 2006 and is located in a small, 220-square-foot storefront inside the Emergency Arts building in downtown Las Vegas. They’ve made great use of the space but with a total collection comprising over 3,500 artifacts, they are only able to display a small portion of their collection.
That’s all set to change in 2016.
The Big Reveal
BHoF Executive Director Dustin Wax took The Orleans’ stage at last year’s BHoF Weekend to announce that they were close to finding a new space for the museum. And finally, just last week during BurlyCon, the final Board-approved lease was signed. The museum will include 3,000 feet of exhibition and program space. Located in Las Vegas’ art district, BHoF’s new home will provide room for rotating exhibitions. It will also include space for performances, readings, classes and events as well as offices, a retail gift shop and space to store, catalogue and preserve this incredible, one-of-a-kind collection.
Of course, there are significant costs involved in creating this new home. And so, BHoF launched “the Big Reveal,” (hashtag #bigreveal) a campaign to raise at least $50,000 to be used for the architectural design of the new interior spaces, professional wall construction, paint, lighting installation, signage, display cases, shelving and other installation supplies. Since this is a non-profit organization, powered by the generous donations of their supporters, they need help reaching this challenging financial goal.
So Many Ways to Help
Luckily, if you’re a Brown Paper Tickets burlesque producer, you have a great tool to use for raising money: the Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund. The fund allows producers to add an additional $0.35 or $1.00 fee to their ticket price, of which 100% goes to the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Sign up your event and we’ll do the rest. Since launching the program in late January, we have raised over $1500 for the cause and we’d love to see that amount increase ten-fold. If you’re not an event organizer or would like to do even more, you can donate directly via their Indiegogo campaign, which includes some incredible perks.
The Burlesque Hall of Fame began on a converted goat farm in Helendale, California. The roadside museum contained memorabilia collected by celebrated burlesque performer Jennie Lee. After Jennie’s death in 1990, the collection was taken over by her friend Dixie Evans, who established the Miss Exotic World Pageant in Helendale. These small gatherings eventually became the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, which now brings thousands of burlesque performers and fans from across the globe to Las Vegas every year.
The collection was moved from Helendale to Las Vegas in 2005. After Dixie’s passing in 2013, a small group of volunteers took on the momentous task of preserving Jennie’s unique collection that included costumes, props, photos and more. In 2006, they moved into its current home in the Emergency Arts Building. I visited last year during the Weekend and they’ve made great use of the space. I was amazed at how much information and memorabilia they curated into displays in the tiny space and it will be incredible to see what other treasures they have archived, waiting to be revealed.
Help us make the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum as glitzy and glamorous as the performers it celebrates. Add the Burlesque Hall of Fame Fund to your upcoming event, donate directly, share the hashtag, #bigreveal and help celebrate an often-overlooked but important piece of American entertainment history.