June 2020

Thank you for helping us help our neighbors

To everyone,

Thank you for your support of our East 12th Street neighbors and friends Kane’s Barbershop and Altatudes. Late in the night, on May 31, their businesses burned in a fire. Thanks to you we raised over $70,000 split between them to help them restart. Many of the donations were from people who did not even know them, which is amazing!

A little about them:

Kane is reserved and resolute. He is a bootstrap kind of guy—he never asks for help. We started this Go Fund Me without asking first, in case he might try to stop us. His barbershop is a special place, an American melting pot. He employs barbers and gives haircuts to people of all cultures.

Alta Alexander is all unfiltered passion. She is warm and kind to her friends, and most everyone that meets her instantly becomes her friend. She has an eye for style, and a generous heart. Altatudes is a place where people can explore fashion as unpretentious joy. The angel wears Prada.

They are both entrepreneurs who have built their business facing risk and uncertainty. They both built something not just for themselves, but for their communities.

This is a crazy time, and every day we see images of cruelty. This campaign to help two friends in need has given us hope. It’s empowering. In dark moments one can wrongly think that our individual actions make little difference. This is not true. Our actions, good or bad, are drops of water. Together we can be a mighty wave. We can be a river of kindness and hope.

Thank you, friends, for the kindness and hope,

—Phillip Niemeyer & Keyheira Keys

Keyheira Keys is an organizer and curator. Phillip Niemeyer is an artist-designer and director of Northern-Southern. Together they organized the WHERE IS HERE project: portraits of the people of East Austin, ages 0-100. Both Alta and Kane were in the show.
Photo of Stephen Bass-Kane by Arius Holifield, part of WHERE IS HERE. Photo of Alta Alexander by Dwayne Hill.