The Temporary had its soft opening in August. It’s the new interim space from The Arts Campus at Willits and is located in one of the warehouses on Market Street. So far, it’s brought art house film screenings, Front Range comedy acts and traveling musicians to its new fan base in the midvalley.
The Temporary looks old but feels new. The walls are coated in a deep red with a light black finish. Chandeliers hang from the pipe rafters.
Last Saturday, there are haystacks tucked into the nooks and crannies of the space. It was Honky Tonk night with the Caleb Dean Band, originally from Glenwood Springs.
Tessa Lemke has lived in Basalt for 16 years. Saturday was her first time visiting The Temporary, like many others who wandered in that night.
"I think it's great. I think you could do a lot of different things,” said Lemke about the space. “We're having a little issue with the sound right now, but I'm sure they'll get that put together in here, but it's really cool, local. I think you'll pull a lot of people from Basalt and El Jebel and midvalley and downvalley."
Lemke is enthusiastic about there being a place for the community to come together for evening entertainment. That night, she made the rounds with friends and met some of the people she sees in the grocery store from time to time.
“There's not a lot to do in Willits after hours,” she said. “After 8 o'clock at night, we kind of roll up the carpets down here, so it's nice to have something to go to in the evening, as well.”
Ron Vincent has lived in Glenwood Springs for more than two decades. He used to be a charter pilot. Now he spends a lot of his time kicking it around his ranch. Vincent loves the band that came to The Temporary on Saturday, and said he was surprised by the number of people that showed up to see them.
“It might be a challenge to dance because it's going to be a traffic jam,” said Vincent before the show started. “It's going to look like the Glenwood Springs bridge coming down here, with all these people dancing, but I'm glad to hear they got the PA system working now.”
He thinks The Temporary’s going to be a great addition to the midvalley.
“You got all that stuff up in Aspen, you don't have much downvalley, and everybody lives down here,” he said.
When Caleb Dean took the stage, TACAW’s executive director, Ryan Honey, finally has a moment to catch his breath. When asked about the challenges in opening what he’s anticipating to become a world-class performance venue, he said that “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”
“We’ve been learning how to improve and everything, but all things considered it’s gone really really well,” Honey said. “We’ve had great houses, guests are having a great experience, artists are having a great time. We had our first technical snafu tonight, and we got it solved. Everyone’s having a good time.”
The Temporary has hosted a variety of artists and produced dozens of events since opening – from movie nights, to live music, to comedy shows. Honey said it attracts a different crowd every night. Over time, his goal will shift to bringing these different circles together.
“It’s going to, slowly but surely, change the DNA of the community, because people will have a place for creative expression, and that’s so critical,” he said.
In the coming months, Honey’s working to continue bringing music and comedy from the Front Range to the valley. He and board members are also looking to expand The Temporary’s offerings to provide more unique theater and film opportunities, as well as lectures and culinary partnerships with neighboring restaurants. Of course, it’s all temporary in the sense that ...
“Right down the street is where we’re going to be on a permanent basis,” Honey said.
Plans are in the works to build a permanent facility the next block over, with the help of the town government and private donations – bringing the nonprofit closer to establishing itself as a world class interdisciplinary arts center that will continue to reshape Basalt and the midvalley well into the future. But for now, The Temporary is becoming a permanent fixture in the midvalley’s nightlife.
For a list of The Temporary's upcoming events, visit tacaw.org.