What's Next for the Colorado Springs DIY Scene?

Mar 23, 2017

In the last 6 months, Colorado Springs said goodbye to several beloved DIY spaces.

Among them was Flux Capacitor, a warehouse venue that hosted hundreds of shows in its two-year lifespan, which was shut down in December for fire code violations. Mountain Fold Books--a downtown bookstore that played host to numerous art shows, readings, and music events--and the art gallery, Rooted Studio, also closed in recent months. These venues worked to foster a home for members of the Colorado Springs arts community who haven't always been able to find outlets for their work. 

For the latest episode of Air Check, 91.5 KRCC spoke with people involved with the Colorado Springs music and arts scene about what they're doing to keep the DIY spirit alive in Colorado Springs. 

DIY is great, but DIT is better, do-it-together.

Bryan Ostrow is one of the founding members of Flux Capacitor. He's a big believer in the DIY ethos, and says the community of artists and musicians that formed around the Flux is still strong, despite the loss of the Flux Capacitor space. He says the Flux is looking for a new location, but emphasizes the importance of local musicians continuing to record themselves, create their own labels, and book their own shows wherever they can. 

"What we've been saying lately too...'DIY is great, but DIT is better, do-it-together.' It's not about the profit or the fame, it's about the community, it's about doing something important and doing something important for the sheer love of it," Ostrow says. 

Han Sayles, former manager at Mountain Fold Books and Mitchell Macura, former employee at Mountain Fold and leader of the band cocordian, echo Ostrow's sentiments. Together with a group of other local artists and musicians, they've recently launched a DIY arts collective called Cloud Factory, which aims to engage community members in everything from concerts to poetry readings to meals together in an effort to "support emerging and marginalized artists" in pop-up venues around the city, Sayles says.

Cloud Factory is hosting house shows, as well as handling the album release of local musician Joseph Lamar. In other news, they're starting a series called Bread. 

"The idea is it's meal and micro grant," Sayles says. "You have a bunch of people buy into a meal for ten dollars, and then you have a bunch of creators or makers or people in the city pitch ideas they think are interesting, and everyone at the meal votes on a person and all the entry money goes to that person. And they get a micro grant." 

Listen to Jake Brownell's interview with Bryan Ostrow and Jeff Bieri's discussion with Han Sayles and Mitchell Macura in the player above. 

Update: In the interview, Han Sayles says Cloud Factory's Bread event will take place on the 24th. The date has changed, that event will now happen on March 26th. 

Editor's Note: Han Sayles previously worked as an intern for 91.5 KRCC. Former 91.5 KRCC employee Noel Black was also involved with Mountain Fold Books.