Support MELA to save the work of La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and the Dream House. Now, amidst the pandemic, their life's work is in existential peril.
La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela are among the most innovative pioneers of American Minimalism and post-war American art, and their work is essential to the experimental spirit of New York City. They have changed the way we think and experience art in time. Their work and influence have defined art and music over the second half of the 20th century and continues to resonate in and beyond these fields today.
La Monte dreamed of going “inside of the sound,” maintaining a space where musicians could perform day and night, on into time and into eternity. In 1962, La Monte and Marian had formulated the concept of a Dream House in which a work would be played continuously and ultimately exist in time as a “living organism with a life and tradition of its own.“
Opened in 1993, the MELA Foundation Sound and Light Environment Dream House premiered as an extended exhibition on the third floor at 275 Church Street, New York City, and has continued to be open to the public through the present. For over 27 years the Dream House has been one of the most influential long-term installations in the world of art. This Dream House is our longest installation to date and it has provided a place for La Monte and Marian to perform on a regular basis just as they had dreamed.
In 2015, MELA’s main benefactor of the Dream House for the past twenty-five years withdrew all financial support. This unexpected change was caused by a decline in our main benefactor’s financial status, and the loss of this support was an enormous setback for us. Although hundreds of people are visiting and enjoying the Dream House every week, the expenses for our endeavors are still beyond our capabilities alone. Our financial situation has become so serious that we must ask you to help us keep the Dream House alive.
The last couple of years brought severe difficulties, and now with the crisis caused by the pandemic, we are financially destitute. Despite the success of our Dream House, we unfortunately now find ourselves in a situation where we owe over $150,000 in back rent. Our financial needs have become overwhelmingly desperate. We have reached a critical point and we cannot continue without paying rent to the landlord; and yet, there is no way we can move out of this building. All of our work, history and future are here. We must cry out to the world to help us.
MELA is also the location for the life’s work of La Monte, Marian and some of the most radical artists of our time. In addition to comprehensive artistic archives, we have collected and archived extensive documentation of many events and artworks presented under our auspices, from program notes to high quality audio and video recordings. The MELA archive continues to stand as one of the largest and most unique resources for musicians, artists, researchers, curators and a wide range of other arts professionals and students.
2020 is MELA‘s 35th year of continuing creative flight through the cosmos of vibration and imagination. We are going forward with highly evolved and compelling plans to present concerts and installations of profound relevance, yet the very foundation of our artistic vision is under severe threat. Your contributions will help to preserve the extraordinary environment of the Dream House, the inspirational performances of The Just Alap Raga Ensemble, The Sundara All Star Band and all our other unique visionary projects in the Dream House.
Please support MELA in our efforts to save a remarkable space of music, light and harmony. We are counting on your tax-deductible donation to help replenish MELA’s base and to rise to the aspirations of our artistic endeavors.
Please help us to keep the Dream House alive on into the future.
Jung Hee Choi
Director / MELA Foundation Inc.