Pro Bono Window Display Leads to 9-Month Contract for Local Woman-Owned Firm, Dot + Line

Marissa Colucci and Jessica Muehlbauer

Sometimes, the best way to make a name for yourself, and/or your business, is to go for the gusto, even if that means that gusto is pro bono. In the case of Dot + Line, a woman-owned Buffalo-based visual merchandising company founded by Jessica Muehlbauer and Marissa Colucci, it was decided that in order to get their work viewed and appreciated, they needed to demonstrate what they were capable of pulling off. Hence, they created a pro bono window display for Alleyway Theatre (a non-profit). It turns out that their contribution to the cultural cause paid off, because the action led to a 9-month contract with the theatre company. 

For Muehlbauer and Colucci, who specialize in interior design, interior styling, E-design, staging, window displays, visual merchandising, and event design, the opportunity to work on such a high profile project was worth the pro bono work, whether they got a contract or not. The chance to have their work showcased at 1 Curtain up Alley on Main Street in downtown Buffalo was worth it, because of the incredible exposure.

Buffalo Quickies

The relationship between Dot + Line and Alleyway Theatre was due to a fortuitous introduction by the Theatre District Association, which spurred the creation of the window. The initial window design itself was an “announcement” of the arrival of “Buffalo Quickies,” a safe, socially distanced, and mostly outdoor theatre experience that marked Alleyway’s return to live theatre, fifteen months after the pandemic shutdown began, according to the design firm.

Handcrafted window display – they carved the rabbit out of linoleum and used ink to print the face

Their second window design for the theater was for the current production of “White Rabbit Red Rabbit,” which is described as showcasing a menacing rabbit face made out of linoleum, foam, and bright-red ink inspired by the styling of rabbits in the novel Watership Down (lead image).

“We couldn’t be more pleased or honored to bring these services to Buffalo,” said Muehlbauer, who is also the Creative Director of Dot + Line. “Given the amount of time theatre was shut down due to the pandemic, this opportunity is particularly special to us. We’re thrilled to help a local company promote their upcoming productions.” 

Their third installation was an “intermission window” and re-imagined the Alleyway logo. 

We are loving our latest window installation for This ‘intermission’ window is inspired by vintage theatre playbills. The ‘Piet Mondrian’ color palette pairs beautifully with Alleyway’s ‘A’ logo.”

Muehlbauer and Colucci hope to inspire other Buffalo creatives to push forward with their dreams and aspirations, by using any means necessary. Even if that includes embarking upon some pro bono ventures that can possibly lead to symbiotic relationships with Buffalo’s deserving non-profit community. In this particular case, their investment paid off, resulting in rave reviews.

Dot + Line’s installation of Alleyway’s newest production of Golden Girls is currently on view now.

Learn more by visiting or following their work on Instagram at @Dot.Line.NY.

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