Help Coda!

Coda  needs your support. She has faced many challenges. None as great as now. Daily people tell me how wonderful their experiences are and how much they love what is going on here. Business people comment on the strength of future possibilities in this location. The momentum has swung to the positive.

We have overcame some tremendous obstacles that would have forced other operations to close and did so through sacrifice and perseverance. We are on the right track, but the sins of the past... namely the losses of the first 6 months of operation created the circumstances we have yet to fully recover from.  Why should you care? You should care and consider supporting our cause simply because there is no other place like Coda in Kansas City. It is 100% about Kansas City, its music, it musical community and its culture.

Why is Coda important to Kansas City? Coda is important to so many local bands and musical artists because it provides them with a safe and friendly place to hone their craft and build their fan base. There are shows here that you just won't find elsewhere. Coda provides unparalleled support of local music.

We aren't a bar. We aren't a restaurant. We are a listening room for great local music that happens to have great local beers and liquor, as well as providing great cuisine. In 2010, I left my corporate life with the sole purpose of helping the music scene in my home town of Kansas City, Missouri. I started a record label with the thought of making the artist/label financial relationship fair, earnest and to the benefit of both. I also sought out the underdog with talent to help them get some level of success that only a few were achieving. I knew at the time that the music industry was in chaos and a record label seems like a risky choice, but I trusted my ability to traverse the landscape and that doing it the right way would ultimately bring success.

After managing a $10M budget for major U.S. insurer and getting some initial success at running a local record label, it made strategic sense to secure a local venue so that bands and artist could develop their performance skills. Performing is an art form in itself and it is important to feel confident in that space prior to touring to support their recording efforts. When approached by the prior owners of Coda about purchasing it, I jumped at the opportunity. Afterall, I knew that I would be able to do something special in support of my community... in a way that would be part of Kansas City's rich musical history and legacy. 

In hind sight, I needed more education on the service industry side of the business. The model we initially ran with lost $10K-$12K per month. Changes were made in order to break even and achieve profit. I was forced to infuse every earned dollar from the record label to keep the doors open. This meant a suspension of projects so that my attentions could be solely on keeping Coda solvent.

Many Kansas City musicians depend on Coda. We have been the first live performance for so many. We have been the CD release spot for the established and wanting to be established. We have built a foundation for becoming a tourist spot and creating a reputation of being a great venue similar to other notable venues in Nashville, Memphis and Chicago. None of which will continue if we can't meet our financial obligations.

In general, I am not good at asking for help. I was raised to tackle problems on my own and figure it out. I am only asking for your help because together is the only way this will ultimately work. There are two goals for Coda:

1) Address the immediate threats of the debts owed. 
2) Purchase the building. 

The first, which is this effort, is more tactical. When completely above ground, we can concentrate on the second, securing the building. This historical carriage house was built somewhere between 1898 and 1908. Records are hard to obtain, but it has a rich history of music. Before it was Coda, it was Jilly's. Before that it was Pauly's, the Hilltop Inn and the Broadway Restaurant.

With the elimination of rent, the profitability model for Coda is suddenly in a more aggressive expansion mode. Amenities and equipment can be upgraded and a two story Coda would be implemented, thus increasing potential sales by more than 70%. 

Help the future of Kansas City's music scene. Help keep Coda a secure part of it.

Thank you!

William Saunders


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William Saunders 
Kansas City, MO
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