one more reason why the Colorado music scene rocks

Colorado Innovation Network April 13, 2017

Colorado is a music powerhouse. With iconic venues such as Red Rocks, notable bands such as The Lumineers and the Flobots, world-renowned music festivals such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and global music industry leaders such as Liberty Media, the Colorado music scene is booming and only getting better.

Our creative industries are at the foundation of innovation in the state. The Music District in Fort Collins – a living lab providing space for musicians to make music and for music-centric business to grow – is one organization working to support and grow this creative industry and is just one more reason why the music scene in Colorado rocks.

This week, we visited The Music District and sat down with director Jesse Elliott to learn more. 

What is your background in music? 
I loved music from a very young age, thanks to some awesome early influences like my parents. I detoured into other fields for a while but came back around to it, started a couple rock and roll bands and spent the last decade playing and touring full-time. I’ve also always been interested in the community side of music, working with non-profits and city agencies and other organizations to both foster music and figure out what it has to give back to the community.

What do you love about music? 
To begin, everything.

Describe Colorado’s music scene. 
Mindblowing. So much more diverse than most people realize with all different genres and types of projects popping up from the Front Range to the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope. Seriously, get out to your nearest scene and check it out, if you don’t know it already.

What is The Music District? 
It’s a five-building one-acre hub in Fort Collins that celebrates and fosters the art, business and community of music. You really have to see it to believe it.

What inspired The Music District? 
It’s been a longtime vision of Bohemian Foundation founder Pat Stryker and a whole lot of her best friends who are musicians, sound people and creative types of all sorts.

Where do you get your funding? 
It’s a combination of the Foundation and earned income, and we’ll increasingly shift towards the latter as we mature.

What sort of services does The Music District provide to entrepreneurs in the music industry? 
Tenancy, coworking, meeting spaces, rehearsal spaces, retail incubation, performance spaces and so so much more.

Is The Music District just for musicians? 
Nope. It’s obviously for them, whether amateur or pro. But it is also for music businesses, non-profits and just community members who love music and don’t consider themselves anything more than fans – though, of course, everyone discovers quickly how truly musical they are.

Where would you like to see The Music District in five years? In 10 years? 
We have so many different artistic, business and community ambitions for it, on a global scale, really – but first and foremost we want to see it stay rooted in every sense exactly where it started, in Fort Collins and the great state of Colorado.

How can someone get involved with The Music District or learn more? 
The best way from afar is www.themusicdistrict.org – but the very best way is to come by and experience it in person, at the corner of College Ave and Laurel in the Fort.