It’s been a bit since we’ve reported from the world of Cohere Bandwidth, our plucky (but plagued with uncertainty) undertaking to create secure, affordable shared rehearsal space for Fort Collins musicians. Since we last posted about progress, we received some city support to help further develop the project. A New York-based digital magazine for freelancers and independent workers asked us to write about our trials and tribulations. In the midst of all that, Cohere opened a second location, giving us a second big sister for Bandwidth. Spring sprung, and musicians started resurfacing from their winter writing and recording caves to begin practicing in earnest for the upcoming summer touring and festival season. They continued to call us and email us and bump into us on the streets and ask when Cohere Bandwidth will be open for business; we continued to sigh and struggle and work through the painstaking process of finding commercial real estate that’s suitable for rock and roll. For a season that is supposed to bring growth and renewal, springtime started out with some good stuff — mixed with serious suck.
We almost gave up. Not entirely, of course, but truly, things got difficult enough that we asked ourselves whether we were even going about this the right way, whether we picked the wrong path or were pushing too hard for the wrong results. It’s a long story, but it turns out that at a moment of despair and dissonance, it was a drummer who (perhaps unsurprisingly) got us back in sync. And while much still remains to be decided, we are now in a place where things feel solid enough that we can talk about them. This would be a great time for a drum roll … but let’s just get to it, eh?
Good News: Part One
We are super excited to announce that in our search for space, we are currently pursuing a partnership with The Downtown Artery! <<in a hilarious twist, that link may currently take you to a page that tells you The Artery is under construction. It is. Big time. But a great place to keep up with them in the meantime is the Downtown Artery Facebook page. And here’s the nutshell version of what you need to know: the people who run the Artery are pretty much perfect for us to combine forces with in terms of investing in the creative future of Fort Collins. They care about the people who make and support art and music. They are doing some really neat stuff already and they’re in it for the long haul. They know creativity can be messy and noisy and that things might not turn out the way you thought they would. They get it. They like us. We like them. We. Are. Thrilled.
Much more to come on all THAT, but here’s some
Stuff to Know for Now
At the moment, we’re looking at creating at least two rehearsal rooms for rent: a lockout room (designed for a limited number of bands to rent on a longer-term basis, where they store their gear in the room) and a hourly rental room available for musicians to schedule (turnkey, with backline gear all set up for plug and play rehearsals). The rooms will be in Old Town, and will of course be designed with the most important criteria in mind, as requested by our community of local musicians: Safe. Secure. Affordable. Soundproof. And yes, even this: Bathrooms. We’re also looking at including a “lab” of sorts, to incorporate some teaching and learning within our community. That’s all in its infancy as well. Now that we’re unstuck in the search for space, things will move forward but it still may not be as fast as one might hope. Which leads us to …
Good News: Part Two
There’s another rehearsal space under construction in Fort Collins! Higher Ground Rehearsal Studios is destined for Commerce Drive, in the industrial area east of town. We don’t know many specifics about the project yet, but we have contacted the owners to set up a meeting later this week to find out more, and promise to keep you posted. They have a Facebook page, too, so you can keep up with them as things progress. More options when there have been nearly none seems like a terrific turn of events to us, and we are looking forward to hearing all about it.
In the Meantime
We are working on keeping things steady. We’re listening carefully. We’re learning, and changing. We’re taking feedback (for instance, we got some great input from the committee that reviewed our city grant application in March; the nutshell version there was: grow slow, and involve the community even more). We’re working on being patient, on not becoming discouraged when things seem unclear, on improvising and enjoying the natural rhythm of this project, which is decidedly different than anything we’ve experienced before. But it’s worth it. We’ve got some amazing companions on our journey, and more appear every day. Stay tuned. Hang in there with us! We expect more good news is on the way.