Coilhouse Can’t Stop Saying THANK YOU. (Epic Post-Fundraiser Gratitude Fest)


The core crew: @yerdua, @nicoles, @ashabeta, @theremina, @nadya, @raindrift, @angeliska, @sfslim

“I am covered in sweat, grit, glitter, leather dye, candle wax, hope & joy. #coilhouse” – @thekateblack, posted the day after. (Exactly how we felt, too.)

This post has been exactly one month in the making, but not because we’ve been flaking on it, trust us. Actually, even in the midst of everything else that’s going on (hoo-whee, there’s a lot going on), we haven’t been able to STOP thinking about it, or adding to it constantly. It’s taken time because we’ve wanted to try our best to give props to every single person who made that fundraising event possible, and beautiful, and memorable. There were so, so many of you. Danged if it didn’t take a friggin’ village.  Thanks for bearing with us, comrades. Thanks for helping us. Thanks for everything. We can’t stop saying thank you.

According to our tabulations, over three-hundred people came out to the Red Lotus Room on Sunday, August 21st, 2011. Most of them braved a torrential summer downpour, sweltering heat, substantial commutes, and a tough time getting out of bed on Monday morning. Approximately two-hundred-and-fifty of these folks were ticket-holding attendees. The remaining fifty-plus consisted of our enormous (mostly volunteer) crew. And let’s not forget the hundreds of others who donated or bid, watched the Livestream remotely, or hung out DJing for us in the Coilhouse Room on Turntable.fm! This was a huge and complex undertaking for all of us, and somehow, it miraculously came together with less than three weeks of planning.


Aerialist Sarah Stewart performs a death-defying drop. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Mer’s take on the whole thing: “I don’t think I’ve hugged that many people, smiled that much or said ‘THANK YOU’ so many times in an eight hour period.” A month later, it already feels like the sweetest, stickiest, sweatiest of dreams. But it wasn’t. It was real. You were real. Because of you, Issue 06 is imminent, and all kinds of new, exciting projects are in the works. Truly, we remain so deeply grateful to all of you, and we want to tell you again, officially and publicly. So here goes….

First off, to our incredible friends at ArdentWest, thank you, all of you, for inspiring us to move this party to the East Coast. What started out as a fun excuse for us to see Sleep No More together in NYC turned into a giddy whirlwind of unified collaborative effort, culminating in a magical evening that none of us will ever forget. Audrey, Ian, Slim, Nicole: thank you specifically for simply saying, “all right, let’s go.” Or we wouldn’t have. Fer serious, loves. Without that spontaneous moment, none of this would have happened.

Juliette Campbell, thank you for opening your opulent underground venue to us. The Red Lotus Room provided Coilhouse with the perfect space, the perfect atmosphere, the perfect night. You could not have been more warm, permissive or nurturing. Watching you glide through your domain, flawless in that black, plumed, Madame X-reminiscent ensemble, we were in awe of you and what you’ve been able to do with your space, and for your close-knit DIY community. Thanks also to your entire staff: your assistants, the bouncer, the whip-smart lighting and sound engineers, and the fiercely talented bartenders. All consummate professionals. Long live the Shanghai Mermaid speakeasy!

Gemini & Scorpio, thank you for presenting the event and promoting the hell out of it, securing us listings everywhere from TimeOut to Flavorpill (with two week’s notice, no less!) to various email and social network listings. Lovely lady, you are a benevolent daikaiju of NYC subcultural spectacle-crafting. We were swiftly running out of time and hope when Slim facilitated our meeting, and Coilhouse was so lucky to be lifted up onto your strong, tall shoulders. Without your unremitting networking/promoting/listing help, we wouldn’t have had half the turnout we did. Plus? LAST-MINUTE COSTCO RUN O’ VICTORY! You rock!


Shien Lee and Wren Britton. Photo by Anna Fischer.

Shien Lee of Dances of Vice, thank you for your serenity, your sweetness, your inclusive kindness, your ongoing support of Coilhouse Magazine, and for the remarkable solidarity you showed by helping out at every turn, allowing us to cross-pollinate our own event with your fabulous Enchantment Under the Sea party, giving us tremendous advice, hooking us up with SHAW Promotions, and just generally inspiring the hell out of everyone. How amazing is it that Coilhouse and DoV celebrated our fourth birthdays together, arm-in-arm, with a joyful DIY bohemian blow-out weekend? We’ll never forget it, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with you again someday.


Mer, Nadya, Molly. Photo by Anna Fischer.

Molly Crabapple… oh, Molly. Our lionheart, our champion. Your generosity is astounding. Thank you for sharing your vast, multifaceted resources with us, for drawing us that spectacular limited edition birthday fundraising serigraph (still available for purchase in the Coilhouse store, folks!), for donating a stunning piece to the auction, and for hiring Foley, the Best Cat-Herder In New York City, at your own expense. Molly, you’ve been with us since the very beginning, and you’ve stuck with us through thick and thin. We love you so. Congratulations on the completion of your recent Week In Hell extravaganza. We can’t wait to see what marvelous mischief you get up to next.

Michelle Chin, without a doubt, you were one of the event’s most tireless MVPs. You went above and beyond anything we expected, and yet, after all was said and done, we realized that our silent auction could not have happened without every last ounce of your immense patience and fortitude. Thank you for collecting the artwork, framing everything, schlepping the items all the way to and from Queens, hanging the collection, making sure nothing happened to any of the pieces, keeping in constant contact with us and with all of the winners, and shipping everything promptly afterwards (even as Irene alarms and fatigue bore down on you). Thank you also for helping us assemble and create seventy VIP gift bags. Last but not least, big gratitude to you and your hubby Brian for going the extra mile to help us tidy up the RLR the day after. Our tiny cleanup crew couldn’t have managed that without you! (Holy balls… that dumpling cart?! Seriously?! We still have nightmares.)


Nicole and Becky. Photo by Steve Prue.

Nicole Aptekar, thank you so much for running a magical Eastern tea service, donating that exquisite art piece to the auction, sussing out countless details on multiple platforms, staying up with Nadya ’til 5 AM to create a gorgeous flyer for the event and generally kicking butt/taking names on myriad levels over the course of the month. You busted your ass; you made connections and solutions and sacrifices; you were indispensable in every way.

Ian Baker, thank you for helping us (in cahoots with Nicole) to figure out how to light the artwork. You also sorted out how we’d livestream the party and stream in Turntable.fm, and how to make the internet go in a space that didn’t even have internet until you arrived. You put safety first, making sure all of the aerialists and fire performers were looked after, helping to secure all of the trapeze rigging, standing by with extinguishers, making the international silent auction possible, spinning rope dart, and helping in countless big and little ways during the event.


Audrey & Slim. Photo by Steve Prue.

SF Slim, our beloved, beautifully articulate Master of Ceremonies, our polyglamorous social connector, our collaborative culture evangelist, our networking badass, our brotherly shoulder to cry/giggle on in that delirious 11th hour, how we adore you. Thanks for voicing what we, in our delirium, could not: how rare it is for so many inclusive, vibrant, diverse communities to come together in one place in such a joyful way, on such short notice, and with so much acceptance and love. You took the time to remind everyone in that room to relish every moment of that incredible, singular evening together. You get it.

Angeliska Polacheck, goodness gracious! You are a delicious, inexhaustible, soothing cup of glittering witchy-pooh stealth-hostess moonshine! Thank you for flying all the way out from Austin to act as our go-to girl and go-between queen, moving swiftly between Nadya & Mer and the various management teams, constantly checking in with everyone to ensure that each hard-working individual on the extensive crew felt like they had someone looking out for them. And you did all that with a wink and a smile. Thanks also for assembling the wonderful B&W&RAB photo booth in cahoots with Asha Beta, and yet again for your countless incredible contributions to Coilhouse Magazine + Blog over the past four years.


Thomas Negovan, wearing a beautiful mirrormask designed by Dave McKean. 

Thomas Negovan of Century Guild. Holy FUCK, mister. We are humbled by your ceaseless encouragement, your generosity and devotion to the entire party-making process. Thank you again and again for those astoundingly generous auction donations (we wanted to keep them all to ourselves!), for late night logistics-sorting phone conferences, for your beautiful music and wax cylinder demos, for driving with your intrepid team of Century Guild navigators (hiya, Jack, Melissa and Chandra, mmmwah!) all the way from Chicago, and back again. Astonishing. Best of luck with the scintillating Grand Guignol II: Satan and the Women Who Love Him Kickstarter.

Audrey Penven, massive thanks for your gifts of event photography AND an auction piece, art transportation, general problem-solving and crew badassery, and for sewing those two beautiful dresses (you and Nicole both looked stunning). We salute you. We cherish you.


Foley Rick, the most amazing stage manager we could ever ask for. 

Foley Rick. You were the best stage manager we could ever have asked for. Seriously. (New York event-throwers, HIRE THIS MAN. This clipboard-wielding, philosophy-punning knight of time management will take incredibly good care of you, your performers, your stage crew.) Mer has twenty years of backstage event experience under her belt, and she’s never met a more calmly competent, even-keel, lovable stage manager. Not ever. Foley, we would have been lost without you, darling, and we’re so glad Molly hired you for us. Tremendous gratitude to you both.

Nicomis Blalock – Nyx! Thank you for running the English tea bar, helping us with various odds and ends before the party get started, for helping us clean up the Red Lotus Room after everybody had gone home, and for your exquisite auction donation. We adore you, with your singularly poetic name, and your kind heart, and your fiery artistry.


Antlered door person Tara. Photo by Steve Prue.

Tara, we could not have imagined a more efficient, glamorous, antlered door person to welcome everyone so warmly. Muchas gracias.

RoseAnn Fino, you raven-haired beauty, your assistance was an unexpected and wonderful surprise. Thank you for assisting in various ways, namely helping to sort and distribute dozens of VIP gift bags. Such a pleasure to meet you!


Jonathan Stray performs to Portishead’s “All Mine”. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Jonathan Stray, thank you for welcoming several members of the SF-based crew into your home and pulling together an amazing assortment of aerialists to perform. Sarah Stewart, Janie Prince, Lauren Clifford, you were all troopers. It was an honor to meet every one of you, and watch you dance in the air.

Steve Prue! – Our indefatigable, brilliant photo booth photographer! Thank you for setting up professional lighting and for helping us to immortalize this night. We will cherish these photos of our lovely guests for years to come. Thank you for showing folks the images in your camera after you took them, and for being willing to take all the time needed to make sure that everyone had a shot they liked. Thank you for getting us the images so fast. You are a pro on every level.


Jordana playing with fire. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Jordana Rollerhoops – Thank you for that breathtakingly sensual fire performance. HOT DAMN.

Andy Shaw and Jaidee Valentine of SHAW Promotion – Thank you for crafting 2500 beautiful flyers at the last minute and donating free distribution services to bolster our streetside publicity. Guys, SHAW is awesome The flyers they print are absolutely gorgeous. NYC promoters, take note!


Ashi & Ari are on a date. Photo by Steve Prue.

Ari Lacenski, thank you for the last-minute runs to hardware stores, for hanging the artwork, and for designing/printing gorgeous placards for the silent auction artwork.

Ashi and Becky, thank you for help setting up the day of the event, running random errands, putting copies of back issues on USB sticks, hanging artwork, and generally being helpful and wonderful people.

Gretchen Heinel – Thank you for distributing our flyers all over the city, and for taking so many beautiful photos at the ball.


Keith and Abigail. Photo by Steve Prue.

HUGE gratitude to videographer Keith Jenson and the lovely Mlle. Abigail Amalton. You showed up early and stayed late and no doubt captured all manner of beauty and strangeness. We can’t wait to watch the footage. (And by the way, your “we met because of Coilhouse” story makes us wanna cry from joy.)

Mildred Von of Mother of London – Milly, thank you for the gorgeous dress you made for Nadya. It matched everything about this event and Issue 6’s aesthetic perfectly. That dress references so many different articles and design elements of Issue 06. It’s all about the angles! Thanks for this, and for all the support you’ve lent Coilhouse over the years.

Kambriel, you beauty! Thank you for the items you so generously donated to the VIP gift bags (including a fabulous handmade red, gold, black, cream checkered scarf that could not have been more perfectly matched to the vibe/palette/aesthetic of the event), and for lending Mer that amazing Kambriel original kimono. More generally, thank you for being such a supportive longtime friend to us.

Dusty Paik of Snake Church, thank you so much for crafting Mer’s beautiful bespoke Theda Bara-channeling headdress, as well as the loan of that elegant antique neckpiece. Three minutes before the doors opened, Mer was a profusely sweating, red-faced mess who just wanted to hide in the broom closet and cry. Three minutes after she donned her headdress, she was ready for EVERYTHING.

Norm Myers of Artist Proof Studio, thanks for printing and framing Paul Komoda’s artwork. It came out gorgeous!


Melissa Dowell, wearing beautiful laser-cut eyelashes. Photo by Anna Fischer.

Limerence and love to Melissa Dowell for your divine silkscreening of Molly’s serigraphs (at cost!!) on such short notice. You’re amazing.

Big ups to Jean Rintoul for lending Mer your theremin (even though we didn’t end up using it because of technical difficulties).

Peter Youngmeister, thank you for donating those scrumptious tins of tea, both for the Eastern and English tea services. YUM.

Barrett Hiatt and Micol Raab Hiatt, our drum kit SAVIORS!!!! Thanks so very, very much for schlepping that massive, kickass rock kit to and from the event so that Viggie could bring the house down.

Kim Boekbinder. Oh, lady, lady. Thank you again and again for the incredible moral support, invaluable counsel and musical enchantment. Your rendition of “Anyone At All” had everybody beaming and/or tearing up. Best of luck on your autumnal tour, Impossible Girl! You are ultra-possibly loved.

Thank you, Franz Nicolay, freshly-shorn storyteller and songcrafter deluxe, for coming out and making us laugh, and dance, and clap our hands.


Jeff Wengrofsky. Photo by Steve Prue.

Jeff Wengrofsky, our longtime “Spy In NY”, thank you for your advice, your generosity, your facilitations, your affection, your scrappiness, and for DJ’ing that FANTASTIC set at the end of the evening. One of the most memorable moments of the night had to be watching those red stage curtains unfurl to reveal you seated at your laptop onstage, daintily flapping a sandalwood fan, exuding an air of mildly cruel elegance as “Warm Leatherette” played. (And the crowd went wild.)

Vivacious G, bless you for shipping those shirts, stickers, buttons, posters and other goodies to New York on such short notice so that we could include them in the gift bags.


Kelvin Daly plays a unique handmade instrument. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Kelvin Daly, thank you for the beautiful sets of music and the setup help and gentle, thoughtful life advice and for your kind smile.


Liron up on the trapeze. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Liron Dan, thank you for your beautiful, enchanting trapeze work and your kind smile! (You and Kelvin are like two perfect, joy-beaming lightning bugs together.)

Sarah Hassan! Squeee! Je’ t’aime! So wonderful to finally meet you in person. Thanks for the beautiful dancing and all of your contributions to Coilhouse, both that evening, and on the blog over this past year. It’s been such a joy and a pleasure, dearie.


Paige looking like an Amazon goddess. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Paige Stevenson & Ahnika Delirium – Ladies, you know we’re longtime admirers. What an honor to discover that your fire dance performance at the Ball was your very first duet together! And Paige, many blessings for introducing us to Juliette. We’re so glad the venue worked out, and we have you to thank for that connection.


Ahnika spins fire. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Fishtank Ensemble! Holy. FUCK. You folks are ASTOUNDING. You got the crowd on its feet and took our collective breath away with your across-the-board virtuosity and that kamikaze bass! We’re so, so grateful that you made it out. Thanks again and again. We hope you’ve all recovered from that chaotic East Coast tour… and your instruments, too! ;)


LeRoi channels Marlene Dietrich. Photo by Steve Prue.

LeRoi Prince – Oh muh gawd. That entire room full of people had such a crush on you. You are amazing. Thanks for getting in touch and committing to perform your act for us. Perfect match.

Candice Cardasis! Thank you for all of the support and cuddles and buying all of the kazoos in downtown NYC.


“Cecil” and Viggie share a special moment. Photo by Steve Prue.

Brian Viglione – Viggie, the drum solos were badass. YOU are badass. Thanks for being such a consistently nurturing, positive, supportive friend. Best of luck on your imminent journey to Afghanistan as “Rock Ambassador” for  Sound Central: The Central Asian Modern Music Festival  – the world’s first “stealth” music festival. It sounds absolutely incredible!


Doctor Popular performs a Satanic yo-yo twick. \m/. Photo by Lucida.

Doctor Popular, we were so delighted you could make it. Your yo-yo artistry brought the broiling house down!


Sky Claudette. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Sky & Vlad, thanks for providing us with one of the most surreal and dreamlike (and fiery hot) moments of the evening.

Empire S.N.A.F.U. Holy fucking shitballs, guys. You were such troopers to drive all the way down from Boston, lugging hundreds of pounds of heavy, combative art metal through the sweltering exhaust fumes and bumper-to-bumper traffic. E. Stephen, Katrina et al, thank you for bringing your gloriously electrifying WTFuckery to the Ball. It was SO FUCKING PHENOMENALLY WORTH IT.

Diamanda Galas — We… Wow. What to say to one of the most inspiring and influential artists in our personal lexicon? It’s hard to explain how much it means to us to have your support. We can’t get over it. We don’t want to. Thank you.


Danielle of Gilding Primal Instinct. Photo by Steve Prue.

Jessica & Jared Joslin — You’ve been our guardian angels and kismet friends from the get-go. Since before the get-go, actually. Thank you both for the beautiful donations, and countless other contributions (articles, blog posts, morale-boosting advice) over the years. Jessica, here’s hoping your scrumptious new art prints sell like hotcakes. Jared, we can’t wait to share your work with a wider audience in Issue 06!

YO! Paul “Poops” Komoda, could you be any more wonderful, steadfastly supportive, or loving? (That’s a rhetorical question; we know by now that the depths of your heart –and creativity– are boundless.) We feel so immensely lucky to know you. Thanks for the beautiful donations. Ps: when readers see your contributions to Issue 06, they’re gonna flip out!


Splendid wall of silent auction art. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Jason Levesque, yaaaay! Your sexy, brilliant Stuntkid donations all sold like hotcakes! You’re a hotcake. We love you, and we can’t wait to work with you again someday soon.

Wren Britton of PUREVILE! That beautiful, bespoke “She never sleeps but still dreams” neck piece you donated to the auction took our breath away. And you, darling, were one of the most exquisitely and breathtakingly dressed people in a room positively brimming with sartorial splendor. We are overwhelmed by your loveliness, both inside and out.

Kate O’Brien, oh dear sweet gods above and below! That huge, luxurious print you donated was dropping jaws all night long. When you got in touch from your home in Brisbane, AU, offering to get it printed and shipped to NYC for us on your own dime, there were more than a few tears of stunned gratitude. Your work is remarkable, as is your kindness. Thank you so much.

Jill Tracy & Kerry Kate — Ladies, that Jill Tracy care package was one of the most feverishly bid-upon items in the entire catalog! Thank you, thank you! You are so loved, and we feel so loved.


Dori, Matthew and Numi. Photo by Steve Prue.

Matthew Borgatti of  Sleek and Destroy, your jewelry is delightful (those items were particularly sought-after by our bidders), and so are you, mister. Best of luck with your wonderful Anywhere Organ campaign! (Nadya’s gonna blog the shit out of your Kickstarter page in a wee bit).

Dame Darcy! Alt-cult’s witchyfairy princess godmother, Coilhouse contributor, friend for life; thank you for donating that beautiful hand-painted print. We only wish you could have been there in person that night, dancing and cackling with us.


Maddy! Photo by Steve Prue.

Madeline von Foerster  Oh, Maddykins. Thank you for your many generous and exquisite donations to the auction (thanks to Skink Ink as well for providing that beautiful Invasive Species print!), for giving Mer a cozy couch to crash on during those stressful prep days, and for the consistent support and serenity you’ve lent our lives and the magazine over the years.

Allan Amato, our tried and truest! Thanks for the donation of that wonderful poster. We hope your Illuminate Parkinsons Project continues to take off like a rocket, and it’s going to be a joy to share yet more of your kickass photography in Issue 06.


Candice and Juliette. Photo by Steve Prue.

Rachel Brice! Arrrrrbeeee! Arbibibibble! Bricey! Bestest! Beautifullest! You are adored beyond all reckoning. Holy shit, that incredible handmade belt of yours! Amazeballs! We are so darn grateful for that, and for your tireless support of the magazine and blog from the very beginning. See you in Issue o6!

Cherie Priest, you brilliant, fierce badass, you! Your kindness and championing has meant so much to us through the years. Thanks for your kind donation of the autographed Ganymede ARC. (Can’t wait to read it!)


D’AWWW. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop — Richard, time and time again, you’ve come through for this magazine. Thank you for providing us with a signing table at Comic Con. Thank you for promoting the magazine at every possible opportunity. Thank you for donating the Grordbort Ray Gun to our auction. You are a bona fide knight in shining armor to us, no question about it.

Amelia Arsenic and Helen White – Thank you for letting us use your gorgeous image on the flyer. We can’t wait to show people your amazing contributions to Issue 06!

Courtney Riot – Thank you for providing inspiration for the flyer. You are a design force to be reckoned with.


Turntable.fm. Photo by Nadya.

Brian McFee (aka FunctionTelechy) and Katherine McKinley (aka SigKate), we love you. Thanks for curating and moderating the simultaneous Turntable.fm DJ party, which was piped into the party in Brooklyn between acts, and which closed out the entire night. Thanks, additionally, to all of the far-flung lovelies who gathered in the Coilhouse Room to spin songs for us, and to watch the party livestream.

Big ups to our work-ethic muse, Carol Basserman (we adore you!!) and all the lovely folks at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco. WG was where we planned most of this shindig, and remains our unofficial SF headquarters. (We’re sitting here right now, finishing up this post!) This is one of the friendliest, goofiest, kinkiest, loveliest cafes in all the land. Thanks for the free ‘n’ fast internet, the killer coffee, the nummy sammiches, the warm smiles, and the MAXIMUM ADORBZ factor.

Misc. thank yous go to:

Warren Ellis, Xeni Jardin at BoingBoingTime Out New YorkNonsense NYCShameless PlugLaughing SquidFlavorpill, PUREVILE! and Zellain at Morbid Fashion for promoting this event. Everyone who bid. Everyone who blogged. Every gorgeous, lovable one of you who made the trek out to the bowels o’ Crown Heights, Brookyln, on a rainy Sunday night, dressed to the NINES and most importantly, with so much warmth and kindness in your eyes. To everyone who documented the event. To our friends and our families, for being patient and for believing in us. To each and every person who toiled with us over Issue 06. To everyone who has worked so very, very hard for Coilhouse these past four years…

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If we forgot anyone, we’re so very sorry. We thank you, too. Thank you. Thank you.

Onward, up and over we go.


Kate, Zelda, G&S, Melissa, Kim. Photo by Steve Prue. 


Micol. Photo by Steve Prue.


Black and white and red superstar. Photo by Steve Prue.


STRIPES. Photo by Steve Prue.


Cute party guests. Photo by Steve Prue.


Angel and Alice. Photo by Steve Prue.


Danielle Smith. Photo by Steve Prue.


Gorgeous guests. Photo by Steve Prue.

More photos from this event:

7 Responses to “Coilhouse Can’t Stop Saying THANK YOU. (Epic Post-Fundraiser Gratitude Fest)”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Huge love and admiration back at you! Wish I could have been there in person, but I was definitely there in spirit.

  2. Kambriel Says:

    Epic love right back at you ~ I’m looking forward to when the time comes for the next such gathering of artistic Coilhouse wonderment to occur!

  3. Madeline Says:

    What a wonderful thank you note — it is really touching to read about everything that went into this. It was a splendiferous event, and I hope it gives Coilhouse a dose of rocket fuel to blast you into this exciting new chapter!

  4. Madeline Says:

    PS, Mer, my orchid is still blooming! :)

  5. Paul Komoda Says:

    Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!
    Love love love you guys!
    You’re making history, I hope you know that.

  6. Slackeypants Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this beautificknessness. I am so grateful for the photos and recollections! LONG LIVE COILHOUSE! WE LOVE YOU!

  7. MishyC Says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! Love you guys like mad! I’m happy that I could be part of the evening’s success :)