The Temporary aims to nurture role in 2019 as Basalt area’s go-to entertainment venue
The Aspen Times
DANCING INTO THE NEW YEAR
The Temporary in Basalt will ring in the New Year with the eight-piece dance band Dirty Revival.
“The last time they were here people couldn’t stop dancing,” said artistic director Marc Breslin. “This is one that we really worked hard to get.”
Dirty Revival appeals to audiences of all ages, he said. The $200 ticket includes dancing, an open bar, a dessert bar and a champagne toast. The Temporary is a nonprofit organization, so $100 of the ticket is tax deductible.
Doors open at 8 p.m. The show starts at 9 p.m. and goes into the New Year. Tickets are at www.tacaw.org.
The Temporary — the midvalley performing arts hub in Willits Town Center — is doing its damnedest to make sure it evolves into something permanent.
Sixteen months after it opened in August 2017, the center has racked up some impressive numbers. It has hosted more than 200 acts, from bands to movies and readings to theater. It has attracted more than 20,000 people.
“I think we’re just starting to get rolling,” executive director Ryan Honey said recently. “We learned that we hit a need. The midvalley was ready for more arts and culture.”
Marc Breslin, artistic director, believes they have dialed in the right amount of activities. His strategy is to get diverse acts that appeal to various audiences. There is everything from Sunday afternoon jazz performances that attract an older crowd to a DJ playing electronic dance music that lures a decidedly younger group.
“Something for everybody,” Breslin said. “That’s working.”
Whether young or old, the audiences love the small, intimate setting and the ability to mingle with performers after the show. The performers are encouraged to engage in The Temporary’s airy, open room when they are finished.
While introducing acts, Honey or another official at The Temporary typically asks the audience how many of them have been to the venue before. Almost invariably through the first 16 months, about half of the audience is there for the first time, Honey said.
That shows they are tapping new blood and have the potential to grow. That’s the grand plan.
The Temporary has that name for a reason. The bigger plan is raise funds to build and operate The Arts Center At Willits, or TACAW. Vacant land along Willits Lane has been leased from the Basalt town government for a permanent performing-arts center. Preliminary work has been done on design and big-picture programming.
Honey, Breslin and other TACAW officials are “quietly” fundraising for the facility. However, the bigger focus for 2019 is on continuing to make The Temporary a vital part of the midvalley. Once that is fully accomplished, fundraising should get easier for the permanent facility.
Honey said he is undertaking “robust” fundraising for The Temporary’s operations.
“We know we’re here for the foreseeable future,” he said.
The staff will apply what they’ve learned about the midvalley audiences’ desires but also try to introduce people to acts they might not have known.
“People want what they know,” Breslin said.
There’s a strategy in the bookings business to first satisfy that demand for the known and build trust, then bring in acts to broaden horizons, Honey and Breslin said.
“This year we’re going to strive for bigger-name acts,” Breslin said.
That comes with a caveat. The small size limits how big of names they can attract. The Temporary holds 180 seated and 275 with standing room.
The staff also has been thinking about the approach The Temporary needs to take during summers, when there is so much going on in the Roaring Fork Valley.
“The summers are complicated,” Breslin said.
For one thing, he wants to solidify the summer schedule in March so people have time to become aware of opportunities and plan ahead. He’s also cooking up some “special surprises” to draw crowds.
The Temporary is considering holding two or three community dances on Market Street. They will be later in the evening and feature a festival setting with world music.
He also wants to incorporate more theater into the lineup and continue once per month with honky-tonk performers and comedy.
“The valley has been very supportive of our dreams,” Breslin said.
Those dreams lead to The Permanent. Honey said the idea is to “maybe” break ground in late 2020.
Extensive information on The Temporary’s events and the vision for The Permanent are available at www.tacaw.org.