After a hiatus, the Division Avenue Arts Collective will host a series of concerts at 333 Rumsey St. SW in Grand Rapids while continuing to search for a permanent location. See how you can help.
The DAAC is back.
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The Division Avenue Arts Collective returns in June and July with a summer concert series.
The all-ages series starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the DAAC’s summer location, 333 Rumsey St. SW. Admission is $5. DJ Word is set to entertain until the bands take the stage at 7:30 p.m. On the bill are jazz band Blushing Monk, Fluxuation, Thompson/Snedeker and Tabula Rasa.
Blushing Monk features some well-known jazz-about-town musicians, and provides a preview to GRandJazzFest in August, where they are also booked. The super-group’s members include Dutcher Snedeker on keyboards and synthesizer, Brad Fritcher, trumpet, Caleb Elzinga, saxophone, Olin Clark, guitar, Joe Vasquez, bass and Jordan Otto, drums.
Fluxuation is a brand-new collaboration featuring Snedeker and guitarist Justin Wierenga, and “explores ambient textures and soundscapes through the combined array of equipment between keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, and pedals,” according to its Facebook page.
Tabula Rasa features Olivia Vargas, who also sings with Conrad Shock & the Noise, and Chris Jensen. Get more details online here.
A volunteer-run organization, the DAAC continues to re-group after losing its space on South Division Avenue four years ago when the building was sold. With a five-member board that is booking all the acts and running all the shows, the organization has an ambitious 19-concert schedule between Thursday and July 29.
SHARING THE SPACE, RELYING ON VOLUNTEERS
The DAAC took time during fall and winter to explore the restructuring of how they planned, organized, and held music events. The DAAC shows will occur only on Thursday-Saturday nights. All shows, unless noted, will be $5 with doors at 7:30 p.m. and music at 8 p.m.C
In addition to the concert series, the DAAC is planning the return of Sunday Soup, a competitive mini-grant event for local organizations, on July 9.
The Rumsey Street building and surrounding property is owned by Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity allows the DAAC to utilize the space for events.
“We share the space with Habitat for Humanity … and Cook Art Center,” said Kylee Preseau, social media/promotions coordinator and DAAC board member. “They needed the space for the fall, so we took a break again to focus on our next steps of finding a more permanent location.”
As the DAAC aims to re-invigorate itself, board members are quite active in the programming and in planning for the future.
Caitlin Halloran, booking coordinator and board member, said the DAAC board has a total of five members.
“We have board elections coming up in July, and we are planning on adding a few more people,” she said.
“All DAAC board members have to meet specific requirements to be on the board. That involves attending a certain amount of meetings a month, taking lead on a group (sound, volunteers, PR, booking) and meeting specific volunteer requirements for the month.
“Board members have come and gone. We are lucky to have two more prospective board members who have been a tremendous help and we look forward to bringing them on board.”
The DAAC relies on volunteers. There is no cost to membership or to volunteer, and you don’t have to be in a band or play a musical instrument to be involved.
FINDING A SAFE, ALL-AGES, DRUG-FREE SPACE
“Our regular volunteers are vital to the continuation of The DAAC,” board member Charity Lytle said. “We have around 15 regular volunteers, and are always looking for more help. We are always looking for more people to help run sound, door, merch and concessions at our shows.”
To volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend a DAAC meeting at Rumsey Street. The next meeting dates are June 13 and June 27.
The DAAC is currently looking to secure a stable location that will be more permanent and has the capacity to hold music shows. The ability for the DAAC to continue their shows is contingent on having a building location that allows for such events.
The need for a venue that is all ages, safe, alcohol- and drug-free has been important to the board members. One barrier in the ability to continue the shows is rent.
Events at the DAAC allow bands to take home some profit from door sales.
“From every music show, we take 30 percent of the door money and 70 percent is given to the bands,” Lytle explained.
“A similar model exists for art shows. For film showings, workshops or organizations that need a space, we work out a minimal fee for us help to pay utilities.
“The ideal situation would be that the events and shows make enough money each month to cover the basics, and we can use some of the nest egg our supporters provided to give guaranteed fees to out-of-town bands, donate money to other like-minded organizations and festivals and invest back in the community,” she added.
There is no final word on the DAAC’s future location as of right now. The board members are working with a few community members who are involved with arts development and real estate.
“We encourage our community to still believe in us. There may be some silence, but we reassure you we are not going anywhere. We are figuring out our next steps and the community will be updated as soon as we can release the information,” Preseau said.
After July, 333 Rumsey will be maintained by The Cook Arts Center and Cultura Collective.
“The Cook Arts Center and Cultura Collective — you may remember them from winning some ArtPrize awards last year — will be starting some events and community deconstructing of the building late July and early August. They have some neat ideas planned and we’re excited to see what they do with it,” Lytle said.
Cooks Arts Center also is preparing for several ArtPrize presentations this fall.
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