Get Involved: The Parking Lot Project

May 2013

When you look at a parking lot do you imagine that it could be a outdoor classroom? Katie Donahue, a masters student at University of Colorado Denver, does and has already raised more than $14,000 via Kickstarter to do so. But, if she doesn’t meet her $20,000 fundraising goal before Thursday, her project won’t receive a penny.

Since August 2012, Donahue has worked with Architecture for Humanity—Denver, a volunteer nonprofit organization that brings architectural solutions to communities in need, and the Museo De Las Americas, a museum which focuses on the art, history, and culture of Latin America, to build an outdoor classroom from repurposed materials in time for the Museo’s popular art education summer camp“We’re right up to the wire this year,” says Tricia Schumki, Museo’s development manager. The art education camp starts on June 24, and with an outdoor classroom, the camp could take 100 kids. (Right now, only the first 80 kids will be enrolled.)

Denver-based companies Murray & Stafford and IBC Holdings have already collected old doors to create a fence, a gate that will lock, old flooring to make an awning, and wire fencing to create a gabion rock wall. Donahue plans to purchase a sailboat sail with the Kickstarter money (to make a canopy) and buy paints, lights, and a tree. She hopes to create a community space that can be used this summer and beyond for outdoor film screenings and exhibition space.

As of today, more than 115 backers have donated to the project—but there are no partially funded projects on Kickstarter. All projects must meet their fundraising goal or receive no money at all. If Architecture for Humanity does not raise at least $20,000 by 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, this project won’t see a penny of the donated money, and the project could be delayed another year.

Get Involved: Like the idea? Visit the project’s Kickstarter page or donate materials by contacting Architecture for Humanity—Denver. If the fundraising drive succeeds, volunteers will be needed to help build the outdoor classroom in June.

—Image courtesy of Katie Donahue