Saving Charles Ives’ Home

Charles Ives’ old house in Redding, CT

When UK-cellist Zoe Martlew had posted a picture of the inside of the former home of Charles Ives on Facebook, she mentioned that it was about to go up for sale, and that the potential investors of the property were looking to tear down the historic building. The picture was seen by many, and Nikola Ragusa (Founder and executive director of Arts Avenue) was one of them. Nikola has just set up a campaign to raise money for saving the house from demolition and for a restoration of the building for various future purposes like a museum or a studio, and he had a few minutes to discuss the project.

Nikola’s campaign for the Ives home is being funded through Indiegogo. You can click here to donate or on the link on the bottom.

CM: How did the matter of the house come to your attention?

Nikola: Zoe Martlew a musician friend of mine via facebook had posted a photograph of the Charles Ive’s home with a heartfelt message about the possible demise of this historic building. She had recently visited the building in early august I believe and had been told that the house has been put up for sale. I was the first to “like” the post and begun the conversation with her about what was going on with the house. So thats how #saveives on twitter started and the slew of other articles and tidbits about the Ives House began. I eventually got in contact with James Sinclair (executive editor of the Ives critical edition) and had expressed my idea and vision on the matter. He was kind and had left me a message stating he knew of the matter, and had received many message about it. So now a few weeks have gone by and many articles have come up online with expressed interest on the house. My stance was to view it from afar, but I was always thinking in the back of my head,”What if… What if I could crowd-source the funds to get the house and get the ball rolling to save it and use it for something amazing and special?” In this day in age things can change quicker than ever, and it seemed like others that were interested were keeping things to much in the dark. Or what ever the case may be. So I took matters in my own hands.

CM: Can you talk about this campaign and what we can expect once the proceeds come through?

Nikola: So, through, the funding is fixed funding, meaning we have to make it to the goal or we get nothing, everything is returned to the donator’s if the number isn’t reached by the deadline.
But this is the “oh my god” part. If things go thru perfectly and we make the goal and if our offer is accepted. I will be arranging a group of volunteers to help decide a multitude of things: 1. What things need restoring for what we want to do (build a modern museum within the home and have a small state of the art chamber music venue/art gallery for live/recording shows and online shows); 2. Start campaigning for a short spring and fall 2013 music and art program and possible summer festival but that might not be until 2014; 3. Think of long term goals for the center.
All of this will be part of our web-series about the house that will begin once the proceeds go through on October 18th 2012.
If the house get purchased by a buyer that wishes not to keep the house or our offer gets rejected. We expect to donate half the money to the Ives Society and the other half to start a Grant program for new music or art for artists around the world.

Ives: The Unanswered Question

CM: Once it is saved, what will the future be for the home of Charles Ives?

Nikola: Well if it’s saved by the campaign I began, I hope that it becomes a place where many musicians, artists and people can come and experience amazing things together. But expect a place that will represent the music of Ives, the music of america and the music of the world all in one place. Where music and art can be shared by everyone.

Click here to donate to the Let’s Save Charles Ives’ House Indiegogo Campaign

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