Mission and Background

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Founded in February 2013, Sounds is a nonprofit organization that is adding to the State College live music scene by offering late night, alcohol free original music events for guests and musicians of all ages. Our mission is to create a permanent venue where community members of all ages can socialize and enjoy a variety of music-centered events and activities. Original music is especially encouraged. Entertainment choices are selected based on input from Sounds’ target audience. We have a diverse board of directors, including a high school member, that meets regularly. We welcome partnership opportunities and with student groups, classes, businesses, nonprofits and other community members.

In May, 2014 the State College Borough granted us a long-term waiver fee for use of the Community Room in the Municipal Building at 243 South Allen Street. This, along with storage space in the room, has enabled us to host increasingly frequent (2-3 times per month) events, including open mics, double band showcases, music trivia and acoustic performances.  Every event also features creations by local artists for sale. Our shows are always all ages, alcohol-free, supportive, relaxed, encouraging of original music and usually on Friday nights from 8-10:30pm.

The ideal location for Sounds will: (1) be near State High and Penn State campuses, (2) be along a bus line, (3) have ample parking, (4) be 3000-7000 sq. ft., and (5) have neighbors who would not be negatively affected by the sounds of Sounds.

Short-term Goals

  • Community input- Our slogan is “Your voices, your choices” because we want to continuously get your input about what activities and events you’d like Sounds to offer. So far we have conducted 500 surveys and done focus groups with five State High classes. Please contact us if you’d like to take the survey or share additional ideas and suggestions!
  • Build network- Sounds was created to serve our community and we believe that the best way to achieve our vision is by connecting and working with as many local individuals and organizations as possible. Get in touch with us if you want to get involved with Sounds or know someone that we should know too!
  • Upcoming eventsSounds has some great events on the horizon- our calendar will be filling up soon! Check our site regularly to see what new events we’ll have waiting in the wings.

Long-term Goals

  • Venue space- One of our major long-term goals is to secure a permanent space. We envision this space to open after school/work and have a cafe, study area, pool table, dart board, TV, house instruments to jam on, dance floor, and flexible stage for events multiple times per week. Our studies show the venue should be open Monday and Tuesday 3-10pm, Thursday 3pm-12am, Friday 3pm-2am, Saturday 12pm-2am, and Sunday 12-10pm.  During our closed hours, we plan to make Sounds available to other groups, including local musicians who need a rehearsal space.  Clubs (e.g., dance, book, crafts, theatre), classes (e.g., art, music, yoga), and other groups will also be able to reserve space for meetings and special events.
  • Regular and diverse events and activities- In addition to increasing the frequency of local band and acoustic performances, open mics and music trivia, we also envision expanding events and activities to include DJ’d dancing, karaoke, rock group, music, dance and art programs, movie and game nights, and stand-up comedy.
  • Continued input- Sounds will maintain its connections with State High and Penn State students by conducting focus groups and surveys. In this way, we will keep up to date with our target audience and regularly gain new insight.