Mark Kaufman

Shhh! It's been a big secret for a long time, but the Vera Project can finally announce its latest endeavor: the Capital Campaign. For the past few months, the folks at the Vera Project have been quietly raising money for their new venue, which will open this fall in the Seattle Center's Snoqualmie Room. The goal? One and a half million dollars.

"The Capital Campaign is the amount of money it costs the Vera Project to build out the Snoqualmie Room, which is currently 6,500 square feet," says Kate Becker, a cofounder of the Vera Project. "We're planning to make it into a 9,000-square-foot music and art space."

On Wednesday, April 5, Mayor Nickels is holding a 10:00 a.m. press conference to announce the news about the new venue, as well as express the city's support by giving $350,000 to the campaign. Other big donations have come in as well—$50,000 from King County and a $140,000 matching grant from the Allen Foundation (Paul Allen's organization). Seattle radio station 107.7 The End has also donated $45,000 to the Capital Campaign, and the McEachern Charitable Trust has promised $30,000. With the addition of generous private donations, Vera is already halfway to its lofty goal.

"We've gotten amazing community support," says Becker, who is overseeing the campaign. "I've been really thrilled with it. A lot of people know Vera's name and are excited to support us."

All the details for the new venue are available at www.vivavera.com. There you can see a virtual walkthrough of the new space, as well as floor plans for the different levels. It looks amazing. Construction is scheduled to start June 1, and if all goes well (and if the community continues to make donations to keep the project going), the new venue will be ready to open in September.

In the meantime, Vera will spend the next few months hosting shows and other programs (including a silk-screen lab and breakdance classes) at various venues around the city. Right now Vera has upcoming events at both the Capitol Hill Arts Center and Velocity Dance Studio (located at 915 East Pine Street on Capitol Hill). And after the mayor's press release, there will be a 6:00 p.m. show featuring Smoosh and Common Market at the Snoqualmie Room, located at 305 Harrison Street. While it is a free event, it's also a great time to donate to the campaign.

A schedule for upcoming Vera events (including addresses and contact info) can be found at www.theveraproject.org. If you'd like to donate to the Capital Campaign, visit www.vivavera.com. MEGAN SELING