New 150-seat “listening room” theater planned for Traverse City

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What is happening: Plans for a new performance space are underway in downtown Traverse City, a space that offers both performers and audiences a chance for a more intimate experience. Dubbed The Alluvion, the 150-seat theater will be built in the Commongrounds Cooperative building on Eighth Street, which is currently under construction itself.

What it is: With 150 seats, The Alluvion will offer musicians and other artists the opportunity to perform in an intimate listening room without having to sell the 400-600 tickets needed to fill Traverse City’s biggest theaters like the Opera House and Auditorium. Milliken. Also planned for The Alluvion, a recording and production studio, visual art space, etc.

To make room : “This is how a community becomes an artistic community. We feed it,” says Traverse City musician May Erlewine. “We make room for him. We honor it and in doing so we achieve something here unlike anything else in the region.

A bigger picture: The Alluvion fits perfectly into the larger plans of the Commongrounds Cooperative, the four-story community-owned mixed-use development under construction in downtown. The building includes exhibition space, cafe, market, co-working space, two floors of workforce housing, and more.

How will they get there: To build The Alluvion, organizers partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and their Public Spaces Community Places initiative. The project is currently participating in a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform. MEDC will provide a matching grant of $50,000 if they reach their goal by the July 15 deadline.

What they say : “This space is something really special. It fills in the missing middle – a better listening environment than a bar, but not so large that it’s difficult for a performer to fill it. This matching grant will help make this place inclusive for all ages and abilities, supporting artists and audiences wherever they are,” said Amanda Kik, co-director of the Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology.

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