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Go Ask Mom

Music-based play space reaches online fundraising goal

Posted March 3, 2015

Clarke is working to build Notasium in Durham. Photo credit: Cabot Bartlett

Notasium, a planned music-based play space and school, has reached its online fundraising goal of $40,000. The innovative destination could open as soon as 90 days along the 15-501 corridor in the Durham and Chapel Hill area.

I featured Preston Clarke, the Durham dad behind the project, on Monday. Clarke is a longtime singer, songwriter and musician, who moved to the Triangle five years ago to be closer to his wife's family. Clarke, who spent his career performing for adults, developed a love of performing for kids. He's performed at his kids' preschool and also teaches at the Rock 'N Roll High School in Apex.

Clarke's Kickstarter campaign surpassed the $40,000 goal Tuesday morning. Clarke told me Monday that he hopes to raise even more by 6 p.m., Thursday, when the campaign ends. Anybody can donate to Kickstarter campaigns. Supporters get rewards - from a free play pass to free lessons.

Clarke said the Kickstarter campaign has helped to build excitement and a customer base for the project. He also is working with investors to raise another $100,000 that's needed for the project.

Clarke envisions a place where babies and toddlers can come for free play to explore a large indoor playground. As they get older, they can transition to music classes and individual lessons.

According to the Kickstarter campaign, the play space could include a "climbing structure in the shape of a giant guitar where kids pull themselves up by rope 'strings' and play notes on the fretboard as they climb; inflatable, enclosed drum structures that play sounds as the kids bounce on them; a sound-proofed karaoke/mixing booth; an overhead projection system which will turn an enclosed section of the floor space into a giant interactive piano, xylophone or musical game; big Lite Brite-style musical notes kids can play on a staff; among others."

There also will be other spaces for classes, lessons, birthday parties and summer camps.

Clarke has been busy working to secure a specific spot for Notasium and he's been talking with playground designers.

"There's still time left on the clock and room for more backing," said Notasium's Facebook page this morning. "The more successful this campaign is, the quicker everything will fall into place and we can get open for business."

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