After six months of renovations, Burnsville’s storied all-ages venue the Garage re-opened this month as a nonprofit music space and music education center. The remodeling added bathrooms and a new cafe to the Garage, as well as a recording studio to be completed in the fall.
The Garage spent 15 years as Burnsville’s community youth center. It’s one of only a handful of all-ages venues in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Garage’s education director Logan Adams said.
“There’s not a lot of all-ages shows,” Adams said. “In order to see a show that’s not all-ages, every kid has to have a parent with them. That’s not how I grew up. Almost all shows were all-ages in Eastern Wisconsin.”
It’s now operated by Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc., a nonprofit founded by Garage employees Adams and Jack Kold-Williams to manage the space.
The alcohol-free all-ages venue closed its doors in December to begin construction on the $250,000 project, which education director Adams hopes helps the Garage become a “music laboratory” for Twin Cities metro youth.
The Garage offers opportunities for young bands to play for audiences in their age group who might not be allowed in other Twin Cities venues. It’s also a practice space for burgeoning music artists.
Since Twin Cities Catalyst Music began managing the Garage, it’s expanded its programs and internships in sound production, event planning and concert photography for youth. Adams said the new studio offers students rare opportunities in music recording.
“It’s a space that young people can learn to do studio engineering,” Adams said. Schools in the area will conduct class at the studio, which is open to other youth as well.
“Kids can come out of school to work with our teaching artists [and] industry professionals to learn how to use all the equipment and record their friends’ bands,” Adams said.
Along with the studio opportunities, the Garage’s magazine, Garage Music News, gives young people interested in music journalism a platform – the publication has 11 positions and a managing editor who’s only 17 years old.
“We think it will be, in some ways, its own, self-contained music scene, or even music industry,” Adams said about the Garage’s new developments. “All the opportunities that adults 21 and over have – kids can learn at the Garage.”
The Garage’s recording studio will be available for musicians to record in once it opens in the fall.
The next show at the all-ages space MSP-based rapper Karizma on Friday, July 31.
Jared Hemming is a senior in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota. He is currently the co-host of Radio K’s local show, Off The Record, and loves covering Twin Cities arts.