The Garage: A Music and Arts Center officially opened for business at a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday at its location in the Shoppes at Riverside in South Aberdeen.
Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. Ambassador Amber Olomon introduced the group of about 30 in attendance to JR Lakey and Kelly Durham, the people behind the arts center. Durham, the Chief Operations Officer of the nonprofit 98520 Music and Arts District Initiative, had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Lakey is the CEO of that organization.
The facility is located in suite 68, near the GNC store, and will be open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are two individual practice rooms that rent for $3 an hour and $1.50 per half hour, and a larger practice space that can be rented for $20 an hour. That space can also be used to record.
“The practice rooms are always free to students,” said Lakey. The rates he listed are member rates; they are slightly higher for non members, but anyone can come in and use the instruments and other equipment, such as amplifiers, within the facility any time.
The main body of the facility is an open room for jam sessions, meetings and more. There is also a wall of instruments that members can borrow. Local music promoter Wil Russoul gave an example of a young woman who recently borrowed a bass to play at her church. Soon there will be consignment instruments, and merchandise such as guitar strings, 98520 picks, reeds and guitar string jewelry are already on site.
Other walls are reserved for local artists to display their works.
A membership to The Garage is $100 for individuals and $175 for an entire household. Members get discounts on rental space, have access to the instruments and help support the facility.