KEEPING KIDS OFF THE STREET AND INTO THE MUSIC SINCE 1991.
"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 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 has been serving the youth of the Driftless Region and Coulee Region since 1991 and is one of America's longest running all ages no alcohol concert venues.
For 29 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 social community that they can call their own.
In a city with a 160+ year beer brewing history, 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.
Now kids are hit with alcohol pressure at gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, civic arena events, etc. There is a constant push to make alcohol desirable for kids.
At the Warehouse kids don't have to deal with people drinking alcohol next to them. There are not drunks to deal with. The "bar" is stocked with 100s of glass bottle sodas, expertly curated from around the world.
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.
Occasionally the Warehouse will do a Saturday afternoon matinee show featuring music that the young kids like to singalong and dance to. These 3 friends got to see Koo Koo Kanga Roo and had a blast.
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 late 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 five+ years, Warehouse Alliance has been challenged by financial constraints. Although Warehouse itself has been in business for 29 years, the governing non-profit Warehouse Alliance which took over operations 5years ago is still kind of the new kid on the block compared to other local non-profits. Local band member Klayton McGough (from American Zero) plays guitar AND 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 Year End Operational fundraiser will help us continue to provide a unique place for kids from all walks of life to escape some of the pressures of being teenagers, and relax while making friends, performing music or showcasing art, and getting away from the alcohol & drugs they are faced with outside of this oasis of understanding.
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 in for speaking presentations, to discuss the music industry and the real world challenges/rewards of music 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 through music and shared experiences..
Although substance abuse continues to grow for Adults in the Coulee Region, we continue to fight every day to provide events that get kids off the street, and keep them entertained and involved.
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. Not a bar with an attached room for music. A completely alcohol free space.
Warehouse didn't add a music program as an afterthought to a youth athletic facility or a youth hangout space; Warehouse specializes in music presentation, and has positively impacted area teens with their dedicated facility for 29 years, fostering kids and creating good citizens.
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, former "Warehouse Kid".
Warehouse gives area teens a place to get away from the pressure of drugs, alcohol, and 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
• 3.3% have tried cocaine
• 18.5% consumed alcohol in the last 30 days
• 11.2% ave been binge drinking in that time
• 43% felt that bullying was a problem at their school
• 25% were bullied at school
• 16.8% purposely harmed themselves in the last year
• 4.9% attempted suicide
Giving young adults the social opportunity to make new friends, in a venue entirely dedicated to no alcohol, is critical
Kids enjoying live music at a 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 combined 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 2019 the Warehouse had over 5500 sites visits from 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 29 years, The Warehouse has served the Coulee Region as 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."
Warehouse Alliance End Of Year Operational Fundraiser is critical to the continued operations of the facility.
The Warehouse is an 6400 sq ft facility, and it is not inexpensive to maintain.
From maintenance and replacement costs for stage equipment, to equipping the recording studio for local kids, to replacing the front sign that was smashed by passing drunk college students, everything adds up.front
Kids pose for pictures outside, 2017.
"I've loved the Warehouse since the first time I walked up those iconic and much-storied 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, Harters Quick Clean-Up, Organic Valley, Wealth Enhancement Group, by contacting [email redacted] with inquiries about sponsorship opportunities.
Board members of Warehouse Alliance are also always ready to make a presentation to your civic group, classes, or corporate leaders.
Please join us in continuing to serve the kids in the Coulee Region with our safe place to express themselves through music.
Donate whatever you can to Warehouse Alliance 501(c)(3) and be a part of helping the Warehouse serve youth into the future.
- Brandon Auer
- The Kirschwenks
- Brittney Cornillaud
- Mason Poellinger
- Robby Ray
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