April is a wonderful month. It’s filled with all the springtime things. It starts to feel like we can all get out of winter mode and back into doing things. We have spent this month having a blast being busy. We brought our themed event with Emo night. It was really heartening to see so many people come in, enjoy time with friends and get into the vibe of things. It was an all ages event and I think the littlest community members have some of the most fun. Part of having events is knowing that people have families and being able to go out with everyone is so important. That same weekend we hosted our first monthly open Game Night. We all learned how to play new games and met new people. It was a nice way to unwind after Emo Night. This month also hosted a private party, monthly Arts Council Meeting and After School Youth arts program. For that we chalked the front sidewalk to welcome students. We are ending the month with Open studio time for artists to come and create together. We have added a screen in the front window so we can show everyone what all we have going on.
In our personal lives we have had a really busy month. The Arts Council has some really exciting projects on the way and that has been taking up a lot my time. We also rescued a family of cats in need. For a while three baby kittens were needing extra feedings while their momma cat was cared for and recovering. Being up every two hours day and night is an endeavor. The family is doing pretty well, recovering, and growing. Justin and the kids started an online radio station project and they have been having a great time being busy with that. I’ve also been working hard on getting through my own schooling so I can bring a much needed service to the area.
All in all April has been a great month with a lot to be grateful for.
I wanted to make a quick post about our first regularly scheduled event. Game Night!
I adore games! Board games, tabletop RPG, card games, dice games, any games that are fun to play. With the amount of game stores and game creators out there, I know I’m not the only one. With that in mind we are bringing Game Night as a regular event for people. Bring a game and some friends or just come in and we will have something to play. If you don’t know the game we will teach you. For groups that already have the games and want a space we have that too. We will have snacks and drinks for sale but if you are looking for something more Minneapolis offers baked goods, coffee/teas, beer and wine at The Farm. We have restaurants, Pizza Hut, Papa’s burger mill and Fajitas.
I keep hearing my fellow adults ask, “how do you make friends as an adult?” Science says you just consistently show up to anything that you enjoy. It takes time and consistency. It also takes having something that is open and available. My dream is for Astoria to be that place. Where friends are made and the community comes together.
Right now the other regular event is Open Studio time brought to us by the Ottawa County Arts and Humanities Council. This is a way for people to come together to create with other artists. If you bring your own projects, it’s free to just stop in and hang out. If you would like access to art supplies it’s $10 a session.
In sociology, the third place refers to the social surroundings that are separate from the two usual social environments, which are home and work. Common third space churches, libraries, gyms, front porches, cafes, and bookstores. Any place where we meet and hold other social interactions. Third places are where we commune and hopefully create the social ties that unite a community. I spend a lot of time observing life around me. It’s a substantial part of my introverted nature. A few pretty significant observations that most of us as adults feel profoundly about is how much harder it is to make and keep friends and the time and energy (also moneconnect with other adults meaningfully. We also seem to hold onto wanting to have a reliable community of people to rely on. There is this saying regarding parenthood about how it takes a village, but often we no longer feel like the village exists for us. Those villages and friendships of the past were built in third spaces.
In Minneapolis, there is a surprising amount of third spaces that are pretty underutilized for helping people hold onto those connections. We have an abundance of churches, and our excellent library staff putting together ways to connect people in the community. With the Farm, we have a place to meet and enjoy coffee or a brew while we spend time with friends or attend one of their many events. This weekend we hosted the Arts Council for open studio time, and the group met to cut and sew the banners that are painted and displayed downtown. Sitting back and observing how we as a community can come together and laugh, share, cry, and connect was almost indescribable. It’s a feeling of community and support. I think that is something that so many people are missing.
The feeling of the village. That village is created by the community’s people coming together and getting to know each other, helping each other. Having the ability to reach out because they know the people around them. I’m not from Minneapolis, and it has been a challenge to find a place in a community of people who many have been here for generations. I now have children who I want to know what it feels like to grow up in a village, looking at how they can contribute to their communities and have their community create a place for them. I want that for all of us that live here. For us to grow and connect. To be a place that people want to both visit and come back to. Where we can know our neighbors and share a community, that is why our third spaces are so important. They allow us to get to know each other and connect within our communities.
Upcoming plans for events. Some are solid and waiting on deciding dates, and some are things I’m still looking into how to implement. I am always looking for ideas from people with what they would like to see.
In just over a week we hope you’ll join us for Dave’s Birthday Rave. Our good friend David Lockhart turns 46 and we’re celebrating with an evening of music, dance, friends and food! This event is potluck style drink and snacks, BYOB allowed, music provided by Homer Spinsome and Justin Reed. Admission is by donation which will cover the costs of our expenses. See you there!
I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, December always comes with a heaviness. The feeling that it’s time to slow down and start focusing on home and heart spaces. The time of year for starting projects and planning how to spend the cold winter months. Winter is the time I like to set aside for learning new things and enjoying the slower pace of the world.
With that feeling, we are ecstatic to announce this December, we will be hosting a residency of Anonymous Productions / OPFX. If you happened to stop in or drove by the Electric Sandbox event, you were sure to notice the lights and screens. During the month, they will work on building and planning for future endeavors, recording DJ sets, and running full productions. So if you drive by and it’s all lit up, there is some pretty cool work happening. If you would like to find out more about what each company does, reach out and shoot them a message. You can find their Facebook pages here. https://www.facebook.com/APwichitahttps://www.facebook.com/imopfx
In the meantime, if you want an up-close view of some of what’s happening, stop in this Saturday, December 3rd, for our 80’s / 90’s night. It is $5 at the door, and great music and production inside. See you then!
I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every person for coming out to our first event at Astoria and BOY was it a big one! We hosted this event, produced by Anonymous Production and OPFX featuring immersive lighting and sound with local artwork displayed by members of Ottawa County Arts & Humanities.
The event was live streamed via Twitch and now the replays are available in their entirety at the links below so you can check out what you missed!
You can also check out the photo gallery below. ALSO – Don’t miss out on our upcoming events! We have 80’s / 90’s Rock Night coming up on December 3, plus the next Electric Sandbox featuring even more DJ’s, lights and lasers coming in late February 2023! We thank you for your support!
We’ve got BIG NEWS as our first event is coming THIS FRIDAY!
We’ve got a full lineup of DJ’s from Minneapolis, Salina, Wichita and Kansas City coming in to play several electronic music genres through the event and night hours! Set times will be posted here 24 hours before the event. The music starts at 6pm.
This “soft opening” of Astoria is open to the public and is free of charge but please follow our basic rules:
Be respectful of people and property. Pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace. Consent is a MUST.
Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Halloween costumes are welcome but not required.
This is a BYOB party with zero tolerance for underage drinking.
Don’t make us make more rules.
We’ll have a limited number of glowsticks/bracelets to hand out at 7pm.
In addition to music all evening there will be a massive LED video wall and lighting/haze effects. We also have an outdoor patio area for those that need a break.
Special thanks to Anonymous Productions for the massive amount of work that will go into this show!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Ohhhh and also…. here’s the latest sneak peak photos of the construction progress: