The CHIME Music Series has two purposes, each powered by a sense of community.
Held on the last Saturday of the month at Nelligan Hall in Louisville’s historic Portland neighborhood, the series always features musicians and visual artists from the region, with a decided focus on those from Louisville and Southern Indiana.
It’s also meant as a fundraiser for civic-minded projects within the Portland community, anything from general cleanup and beautification to social issues involving quality of life in one of Louisville’s oldest neighborhoods.
Saturday’s show is typical of the series, with a strong lineup that touches on several vital aspects of Louisville’s fringe music scene, along with a striking collection of visual artists. Juanita, Black Kaspar, The Teeth and Andy Matter and Ten Wet Dollars will perform, and the artists are Patrick Thompson, Vinnie Kochert, Ryan Case, Rebekah Trigg and Brian Deleon Luna.
Because it’s a Halloween show, nearly everyone involved has some kind of history with and/or fondness for costumes and blood, and there will be a costume contest.
This will be the third CHIME show, and crowds have gotten bigger for each one, said Brian Manley, music director at Internet radio station ARTxFM. He co-produces CHIME with artists Hallie Jones and Aron Conaway, who own and maintain Nelligan Hall.
“At this point, we have bands calling us wanting to be part of the series,” Manley said.
But CHIME so far remains a dream deferred.
Jones said that the plan was to reinstate the North End Social Club, a nonprofit community group that was based in Nelligan Hall for decades. By having a nonprofit associated full time with Nelligan Hall, Jones and Conaway would be free to sell beer at shows; Nelligan Hall has a liquor license through a grandfather clause, with a stipulation that a nonprofit be involved.
Proceeds from sales would be the primary source of the social club’s funding, but the plan has stalled because someone else has claimed administrative rights to the club. Jones said that beer sales have been possible because they’ve aligned themselves with a nonprofit for all three CHIME shows — Saturday’s is in conjunction with the Squallis Puppeteers — and that has allowed them to raise money.
Finding a partnering nonprofit every month is far more complicated than simply being one, however. Plus, profits have to be split when partnering, so the money raised so far has been halved.
“Complications arose with our efforts to reinstate a historic organization, so now we’re re-evaluating what our next steps should be,” said Jones, who has been happy with Louisville’s response to CHIME.
“So far it’s been fantastic. People love coming down here, the events have been great, the bands have all been fantastic. People love being in Nelligan Hall. We’ve done a lot of work on the place so it looks really good. People are always saying that we should be doing more things and have been super positive, so that’s really refreshing and inspiring.
“The only thing that’s been an issue ... is finding a nonprofit that’s willing to work with us every time.”
Jeffrey Lee Puckett can be reached at (502) 582-4160, email@example.com and on Twitter, @JLeePuckett.