The Garage (music venue)
THE GARAGE is a non-profit all-ages music venue and recording studio located in Burnsville, Minnesota, a southern suburb of Minneapolis. It is a mutli-functioning facility that not only offers shows on a weekly basis, but is also home to a number of programs centered around the music industry such as: recording engineering, live sound production, arts journalism, concert photography, and venue operations.
Named "Best All Ages Venue" in the Twin Cities by City Pages THE GARAGE has been a launching point for many young artists as well as music industry professionals.
In 1995, the Burnsville city developed the idea to build THE GARAGE as a multi-purpose community center. Although initially voted down, the idea was given momentum when in 1997 grants were obtained to cover the operational costs of a youth center.
THE GARAGE was opened on July 17, 1999 offering after-school and weekend activities for the youth of Burnsville by hosting support groups, learning classes, speakers, awareness benefits, fundraisers, music, concerts and parties. This led to Burnsville students launching the Minnesota Teen Music Association (MTMA), giving teenage musicians responsibility for organizing and implementing THE GARAGE as an all ages venue.
In 2006, a large project was approved, with the donation of three adjoining Burnsville City Council's maintenance garages. This would allow the venue to double in size and add several new areas, including load-in bays and a gym.
From 2006-2012, THE GARAGE flourished as both a music venue but also as an after school option for many of the youth in the Burnsville area. Robust and diverse programming options coupled with large weekend crowds helped cultivate a supportive and strong community.
In the year 2013, the process began of transforming THE GARAGE into a 501c3 nonprofit music venue under the guidance of Twin Cities Catalyst Music. With the City of Burnsville maintaining support of the transition work began towards a sustainable future for the venue.
Renovations to the bathrooms and the addition of a cafe, courteously of the Burnsville Youth Foundation began in the winter of 2014.
Once the changes were complete in July of 2015 THE GARAGE reopened under the management of Twin Cities Catalyst Music as a nonprofit venue bringing equitable access to young people who want to see, experience, and participate in love music.
Initial construction of the recording studio began in the winter of 2015, and was completed by July of 2016. The space is now open with the ability to not only operate as a commercial studio, but also as a performance venue and center for learning.
Awards and events
The Garage was named "Best All Ages Venue" between 2004 and 2008 by local magazine City Pages and has also been honored with 2000 Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Award of Excellence and the 2001 Burnsville Community Builder. In 2001 the Minnesota Music Academy announcing it was adding a teen-band category to the ballot and decided to host its Icebreaker show at The Garage. In 2003, a documentary of the center titled "Suburban Zeal" was produced to draw attention to teenage needs.
- "Best of the Twin Cities 2006.". City Pages. May 2006.
- "The Garage wins state award." Burnsville.org, Jul 31, 2000.
- "Teens named as community builders." Sun Current, Nov 14, 2001.
- John Gessner (April 27, 2001). "Kid rockers take ownership of teen music scene through MTMA.". This Week.
- "BURNSVILLE: Keeping The Garage open on weekdays is a top teen priority." Pioneer Press, Apr 28, 2003.