Waterfall Arts, with the help of a Project M design team, has launched an online fundraising effort at indiegogo.com to cover the cost of needed renovations to the building’s basement, also known as the Fallout Shelter. Indiegogo has proven to be an effective way to support specific projects.

The back story of the planned renovations is that early in 2012, a waterline break caused extensive damage to the basement and other parts of Waterfall Arts’ building. The Fallout Shelter was rendered unusable for hosting community events, concerts, exhibitions, meals, classes and social events.

Shortly after the water damage happened, Waterfall Arts engaged a Project M design team to address the situation. Project M, created by John Bielenberg of Belfast, brings college-age graphic designers to help design and publicize solutions for a wide range of worthy projects. The M team designed graphics, drew up a renovation plan, made videos and started the fundraising effort.

Prior to the water disaster, the basement was a functioning performance space and a place where the community came together. Waterfall Arts sees the Fallout Shelter as a venue that serves the creative needs of the community with an adaptable space for plays, artist talks, parties, meetings, live performances and classes.

The water damage can be seen as a blessing in disguise, as it led Waterfall Arts and Project M to imagine a new space that will better serve the life and spirit of the community. Renovations in three phases include rebuilding the stage, acoustical enhancements, painting, ambient and stage lighting and an upgraded kitchen and serving area for public use. All donations to the indiegogo campaign will be used for these improvements.

Donations to the renovation campaign can be made by visiting indiegogo.com and typing in waterfall arts in the browse campaigns box; or by going to the Waterfall Arts home page and clicking on the indiegogo box. For more information on the fundraising campaign, summer classes and events and studio rentals visit waterfallarts.org; stop by 256 High St; or call 338-2222.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.