Silent Barn, a community-oriented music and art collective co-founded by NEW INC Members Kunal Gupta and Joe Ahearn, was seriously damaged in a fire on Friday night. The fire began in the living quarters of an artist-in-residence; though personal belongings were destroyed, fortunately none of the residents or patrons were injured. The entire building sustained severe damages, and will be unable to operate until further notice. The primarily volunteer-driven collective, has received massive support from its community, with hundreds of people showing up to help clean the space, venues as far away as Boston organizing benefit concerts to help fundraise, and over $14,000 collected in donations so far.
In an effort to organize the in-flux of offers to assist with the recovery process, Kunal and Joe are implementing the volunteer coordination software they have been developing at NEW INC over the past year, called Better. Better is a coordination technology superpower, geared towards facilitating creative and volunteer communities in coordinating their fragmented free time to make enormous changes together.
“When Silent Barn was vandalized in 2011, we transformed from five friends to hundreds and thousands of people working together in the face of adversity – and succeeding. This taught us about the unstoppable power of networks rooted in love and trust. With our technology platform, Better, we’re trying to make that transformation accessible to more people – by helping harness the inherent economies in shared goal communities, and make passion-driven, volunteer time a larger productive force in society,” says Gupta.
The company has been gearing up for their October beta release, by reaching out to organizations with a strong value for coordinating relationships between their communities. Silent Barn created a “better” platform for managing communication with their volunteers, called the Helptagon, which allows people to sign up for teams based on their specific skillsets, such as fundraising, coordination, helping with renovations, and organizing paperwork.
“For the post-fire recovery at Silent Barn, our early platform complements a donation drive, and makes it easier for people who can’t donate to be instrumental participants in the revival community effort,” comments Gupta about how Better is helping the Silent Barn initiative.
If you can help out in the Silent Barn post-fire recovery effort, please sign up and join a team at helptagon.better.space
If you'd like to use Better to organize your volunteer or creative community network, sign up for an invite at community.better.space.