Alcohol Free Youth Music &Art Space
KEEPING KIDS OFF THE STREET SINCE 1991.
**MID-WINTER FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN**
"In my teens I saw many bands at the Warehouse, and it inspired me to join a band that went on to play regularly there. There's something magical about experiencing live music at that impressionable age that lasts forever and is a part of who you are. I am now a software engineer, husband, father. I STILL play in a band, 20+ years later! I may have moved to the Twin Cities, but the Warehouse is always with me." Courtney Klos, Minneapolis MN
The Warehouse Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2013 to oversee operations of The Warehouse, which had been running since 1991 and was one of America's longest running all ages no alcohol concert venues.
For 27 years, Warehouse has provided a safe haven for young local musicians to perform for their friends and each other, for young musicians to learn about the music business, and an opportunity for local kids to see regional, national, and international bands. But even more importantly, the Warehouse and it's staff give kids from the Coulee Region the opportunity to come together and create a community that they can call their own.
In a city with a 160+ year tradition of large breweries, it is essential to have a place that young adults can go where they are not bombarded with alcohol company advertising, where they can see live music and not have to deal with people spilling beer on them, where there are no people trying to sell them alcohol and there is no pressure whatsoever to drink. That kind of environment can be life-changing, and can be a life-saving turning point for young adults.
At the Warehouse there are no people drinking alcohol next to young adults. The "bar" is stocked with 100s of glass bottle sodas.
Unlike some bars that do "teen nights" as a gateway to make kids comfortable in that bar so they go to that bar when they turn 21, the Warehouse is always all ages, no alcohol.
On a Saturday afternoon in Jan 2018, we had a true kid's show, featuring a band popular with the 3-year old to 9 year old set!
The Warehouse survived for 23 years on a shoestring-budget as an all-ages venue with a single dedicated owner and a crew of musical volunteers. But a music venue that does not sell alcohol has a very limited ability to finance itself. Giving kids a safe place to gather, perform, and grow, over the years cost that owner everything, and the Warehouse seemed doomed. In 2013 a group of dedicated Warehouse followers banded together to transition the musical haven into Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) as a non-profit, to continue operations and stabilize the venue. "The Alliance" also saw opportunities to expand the education programs and ongoing impact of the venue space.
Over the past four+ years, Warehouse Alliance has been challenged by financial constraints. Although Warehouse itself has been in business for 27 years, the governing non-profit Warehouse Alliance which took over operations 4 years ago is still the new kid on the block compared to other local organizations.
Local band member Klayton McGough
(from American Zero) hugs local music fan
Bubba Hembd at a show.
Good things have happened from local and out of state foundations, from corporate donors and many individual donors who have contributed to help sustain the non-profit through donations and sponsorships.
These supporters include people who have "grown up" at the Warehouse during their volatile years, and who credit its unique youth-centered community with who they are today.
Many minor miracles have happened, with donors coming out of the woodwork at the last second to help pay a large power bill, or help cover the costs of a new water heater and installation, etc. It has taken those minor miracles to keep Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) alive and available for the youth of the Coulee Region. Imagine the other youth-oriented art, health, and music organizations having to exist solely on ticket/admission sales. Not possible. The majority of their operational budgets and expansion budgets are from donors.
Warehouse Alliance is starting this mid-winter crowdsourcing fundraiser to help catch up with current debt, as well as to fund or partially fund several new programs and projects that the Alliance has created.
The Warehouse is staffed by a crew of volunteers that has between them nearly 100 years experience in the music business.
Young musicians who perform at the Warehouse are taught about stage etiquette, equipment, promotion, merchandising, production, and many more things that carry-over into all aspects of their life in later years. Warehouse has brought national and international musicians for speaking presentations, to discuss the music industry and the real world challenges/rewards of it as a career.
Incredible upright plumbing pipe funky bassist,
THAT 1 GUY.
"Warehouse Kids", the affectionate name for young adults who were Warehouse regulars in their high school years, have gone on to become Attorneys, Professors, Police Officers, Architects, Engineers, Health Care Professionals, Lighting Designers, Hollywood CGI creators, American embassy staff members, Teachers, Opticians, Non-Profit Organization employees, Carpenters, Insurance salesmen, Credit Union Presidents, Website Designers for NASA, etc.
During their teenage years, when social events are often awkward and scary, teens at the Warehouse flourish in an environment free of alcohol & drugs, where their interactions create an atmosphere of comfort, familiarity, and camaradarie.
Although substance abuse continues to grow for Adults in the Coulee Region, WE ARE WINNING because substance abuse by young adults has slightly declined. Kids are finding better things to do that are not centered around consumption. That makes us happy.
So at this point it is even more important to continue ongoing operations so youth can have a place where they can be themselves and create their own music & arts community, in a safe space that is not full of beer advertising, doesn't have beer tastings, wine releases, etc. Completely free from the manipulation of the alcohol industry. A true haven for arts-oriented kids.
Warehouse didn't add a music program as an afterthought to an athletic or other facility for youth; Warehouse has positively impacted area teens with their facility dedicated to music education for 27 years.
Kids of the Coulee Region are lucky to have easy access to this unique facility.
Swedish synth-pop band KITE performing for a
very enthusiastic crowd.
"The Warehouse kept so many of us off the street and out of trouble." Karen M. Reed, Stuttgart, Germany
Area teens do feel the pressure of drugs, alcohol, bullying. The most recent survey of high school students in La Crosse County shows
•23.1% have tried marijuana at least once in their life and 3.3% have tried cocaine
•18.5% consumed alcohol in the last 30 days with 11.2% binge drinking in that time
•43% felt that bullying was a problem at their school and 25% were bullied at school
•16.8% purposely harmed themselves in the last year and 4.9% attempted suicide
Kids enjoying music at a recent show
by local band ZAMMEK
Teens who feel alone, unsafe, depressed are more likely turn to substance abuse.
The Center for Disease Control notes that adolescents who start drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence later in life than those who start drinking at age 21 or older.
Acoustic set from THE ANIMAL IN ME
Alcohol creates loss of productivity, burdening the healthcare and judicial system.
The La Crosse County Consortium reported the com- bined cost of excessive drinking in La Crosse County at 105 million dollars. That equals almost $916 per county resident.
By providing a place free from alcohol and drugs, the Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) is helping steer local youth away from the temptation of substances in return is reducing the burden on many County services.
In 2017 the Warehouse was visited by over 5000 area youth looking for a place to feel comfortable.
More than just a place to watch bands or perform, Warehouse brings together teens from all over the Coulee Region and helps foster a community space where kid's from all walks of life are accepted.
Music helps teens relate to each other, forms friendships, and help build a sense of community.
This is especially important in La Crosse County where 19% of teens have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months and 31% of local youth reported feeling depressed, as reported in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. All of these percentages are higher than state average.
NAMM reports music provides teens with the freedom to be themselves, to help cope with difficult situations, and feel a sense of belonging.
As adolescents feel more comfortable with a place where they fit in, their self-esteem and self-worth grows.
For 27 years, The Warehouse has been that place.
The Mission of Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) is to "support and promote the growth of the music and arts community of the Greater Coulee Region through events, shows, workshops and classes, volunteerism, and immersive learning opportunities."
Funds donated to this mid-winter campaign will be used for
-partial elimination of current debt
-partial operational expenses
-simple stage audio upgrades
Most import on the agenda is knocking down some of the existing debt, and being able to pay ongoing operational expenses. The Warehouse is an 8400 sq ft facility, and it is not inexpensive to maintain.
Beyond that, simple upgrades to the sound system (microphone replacement, microphone cable replacement, additional mic stands) will hopefully be partially funded.
In the near future, we will be seeking funding for various projects and upgrades, including:
-Studio Equipment Phase 1: computer, monitor, and software, mics, cables, stands, to start the studio program in the almost-complete studio at the building. We have the rooms 90% built, just need starter equipment and then to fill out that equipment. We plan on facilitating recordings for local bands, while bringing in local producers to work with those bands, paying those producers and providing the service either free or at very low cost to the bands. This will one day include multi-camera recording of live performances and the editing equipment for bands to edit their own videos.
-New office computer and updated software for business and design work, hard drive, scanner for the box office, accounting, and all design work (posters, flyers, schedules, informational brochures, etc)
-Stage Audio upgrade Phase 1: Subs and monitor upgrades
-Sign Replacement. About 10 years ago a group of drunk guys came by the front door of The Warehouse, stopped, looked at our neon sign above the door (in a steel and plexi-glass case). They then lept in the air and punched the sign right in the middle, crushing several pieces of the neon tubing and destroying the sign. Money was never in the budget to repair or replace that sign, and we certainly owe the community a new sign as they have tolerated the old broken sign hanging above the door for a decade. This portion of funding would pay for a new sign as well as some new window signage on the Pearl Street side of the building
-Studio Equipment Phase 2: Studio quality mics, stands, cables, preamps, connectivity with live room so bands can have their live performances recorded for mixing and release, adding an accompanying mounted digital video camera(s) in live room to sync with live recordings, 2 guitar heads and 1 4-12 cabinet for studio.
-Stage Audio Upgrade Phase 2: additional monitors, stands, cables, direct boxes, down payment on new digital soundboard. We plan to offer audio mixing lessons from Warehouse staff as well as crew from local sound companies, and instructors from Minneapolis / Milwaukee audio schools.
-Modernization of old incandescent stage lighting system(replacement of 1980s technology with energy efficient LED stage lights)
-New vertical outdoor sign to be mounted from corner of the building (4th & Pearl corner), to resemble the new State Bank and Duluth Trading Company signs. This will expose the name to the 10s of thousands of cars that travel down 4th Street every day, and hopefully make more young adults aware of our facilities.
-upgrades to HVAC systems, plumbing upgrades, several new windows, and emergency fund.
Kids pose for pictures outside, 2017.
"I've loved the Warehouse since the first time I walked up those iconic and much-stories stairs in the mid-90s... without (The Warehouse) the whole (Midwest) scene would have been much impoverished and developed differently. Its a treasure..." Jared Louche, London England
Please lend a financial hand and help us continue impact La Crosse-area young adults. When you get a chance, jump over to the Warehouse Alliance website and look over the informational pages that also describe what we do, and why we do it.
At the Warehouse Alliance website you can read a history of our unique artspace, one of the longest running all-ages no alcohol venues in the Western Hemisphere.
Please help us continue our 27 year mission.
We're providing kids RIGHT HERE in the Coulee Region with an all-ages, alcohol free, music and art venue where they can create their own community, cultivate new friendships, develop self-confidence, and steer away from substance reliance, isolation, and self-abuse.
MUSIC CHANGES LIVES. MUSIC SAVES LIVES.
Visit WAREHOUSE ALLIANCE to learn more, and please support the Alliance financially with anything you can.
You can donate ANY amount you want, from $1 to $15,000 (the max allowed on GoFundme).
Donations are tax-deductible.
If your company would like to become involved in the future of Warehouse Alliance, you can join other corporate sponsors like Dairyland Power, Bernie Buchner Inc, and Harters Quick Clean-Up.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries for sponsorship, press information, or to set up a tour of The Warehouse.
Board members of Warehouse Alliance are also always ready to make a presentation to your civic group, classes, or corporate leaders.
Please help us continue to give kids in the Coulee Region a safe place to express themselves through music.
Donate whatever you can to Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) and be a part of keeping the Warehouse serving youth into the future.