Do-it-yourself culture has long moved past its punk-rock roots. What started as a musical movement in punk-rock scenes decades ago has gained a strong foothold in all areas of creativity, and if things go right for three locals, DIY culture will be the mindset at a new community space that aims to be part community center, part boys and girls club – and all creation center.
The Hive, the brainchild of Kelsie Borland, Alex Vick and Jeff Hamner, will be a hub for kids of all ages to explore art, music and general creativity. Think of it as a rec center or after-school activity outlet undefined by its participants’ ages with endless possibilities of things to do – art, music, skateboarding and community awareness are all on the ever-growing curriculum.
Operations Director Borland, Programs Director Hamner and Creative Director Vick all share a common vision that the space will ultimately teach and enhance skills that set its organization’s members on a path to better the community, whether that betterment comes in the form of art, music, or social and community action.
“What we want to do is instill growth within our programming, so if you start out learning, eventually, you are going to be teaching. The best way to learn something is when you have to teach it,” Vick said. “And even before that, you’ve gained some trust and responsibility within The Hive, and we’ll give you the next door of freedom. So, you can come in and use equipment – nobody is looking over your shoulder – you can use the space as you will.”
Vick is a local musician who was one of the people behind Sweet 101, the DIY, all-ages music space that was in downtown Durango. Borland has 10 years of nonprofit work under her belt, which includes grant-writing and fundraising. Hamner has likely taught your kids skateboarding at the skate park and is now at the helm of the Dumpster Beautification Project. Currently, the three are in the stages of getting The Hive off the ground, which includes raising money to find a permanent location for their space.
“I’m all about passion-based exploration and mentorship,” Borland said. “I feel by creating The Hive, we’re able to offer things people want to explore. I feel like Durango doesn’t have that. There’s a lot of organizations that do youth services, and they all agree that this is a very high need. To have a safe haven, even for the youth that are displaced or out of their homes, having a space for them to come and explore their true selves, be themselves and be with good, healthy adults.”
The Hive wants to teach what Hamner refers to as “hard skills” and “soft skills.” The hard skills being anything from painting to sewing to plugging instruments into a sound system and playing music in a performance setting; the soft skills being the things it takes to succeed at the hard skills, like focus and patience.
“Things that most middle school boys have a hard time harnessing,” he said.
A lot of what will go on at The Hive comes at the suggestion of its future participants, as it will be a place whose mission is made up as the organization progresses.
“What I’m hearing from kids is they don’t need workshops on how to do something; they just would rather have the environment to discover,” Hamne said. “That’s one thing that we aim to do is have some workshops that are more facilitated and directional, and then also have an open art studio to where kids can show up and have access to the materials, so they can do their own thing rather than being told what to do.”
The Hive will host a fundraiser Dec. 13 at Chainless Brewing with an art auction and live music. There currently is an ongoing Go Fund Me site at shorturl.at/nNPZ4.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at email@example.com.