Northern is a non-profit, 100% volunteer run, all-ages music/performance venue and art gallery that has played a vital role in Olympia's DIY arts scene since 2009. We have hosted over 350 eclectic events and served as an accessible space for musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and community groups to gather and showcase their work. Our building was recently purchased and we have been asked to relocate. This gives us an opportunity to find a larger and more flexible place to call home.
Our goal is to raise $8,000 towards:
- Rent and security deposit for a new space with a recording studio, art gallery, and office
- Paint, signage, professional gallery lighting
- Construction materials for a stage
- Sound and lighting equipment
We need your help!
The Hive Dwellers, June 2009
Northern was founded in May 2009 by The Olympia All-Ages project, a group of passionate community organizers committed to promoting all-ages events in the City of Olympia. All-ages venues play an integral role in any vital music scene, and Olympia was in dire need of a dedicated all-ages space for youth and teens to enjoy the rich musical heritage of their city. Over the past three decades, Olympia’s legendary DIY punk and independent music scene has actively encouraged the integration of music and visual arts, making music and arts more accessible to all. The cultural impact of Olympia fixtures K Records, Kill Rock Stars and The Olympia Film Society, as well as organized festivals such as Ladyfest, The International Pop Underground and Yoyo-A-Gogo, have forever changed the way independent music and art are engaged by all-ages audiences. The music and contemporary arts scene is exploding in the Pacific Northwest. Olympia, located halfway between Portland and Seattle, is an ideal destination for touring bands and emerging artists to showcase their work in a supportive arts community. Northern and The Olympia All-Ages Project serve a vital role in maintaining Olympia’s rich musical history by creating a professional space run by volunteers with a DIY ethos and a passion for the arts.
In the 3 years we have operated we have hosted shows for Wild Flag, The Thermals, Wolves in the Throne Room, Xiu Xiu, Tune Yards, Mount Eerie, Earth, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Big Business, Kimya Dawson, Strfckr, Fucked Up, The Strange Boys, Little Wings, Thee Oh Sees, Future Islands, Julie Doiron, Blank Dogs, Wavves, Lower Dens, The Duchess and the Duke, Hidden Cameras, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and many many more.
The gallery has featured eclectic work by artists such as Tara Jane O'Neil, Amy Ruppel, Adam Beadel, Stacey Rozich, Trish Grantham, Harrison Haynes, Avantika Bawa, Kinoko, PJ Sykes, Sarah Cass, Jean Nagai and Themba Lewis, among many others.
Wild Flag during their sold out first gig, November 2010
Printstravaganza artists reception, March 2011
Praise for Olympia All Ages:
“Olympia All Ages is 100% essential. Before they came along Olympia was one of those towns where a million amazing things are happening but without a steady hub for all ages music and art shows. Now there is a well functioning organization improving the million things and encouraging more. They should be endlessly rewarded for this crucial work.”
- Phil Elverum, Mount Erie
“This is what Americans do best – getting together as individuals to solve the problem at hand. All bands don't want to only play for people who are 21 and older. Lots of bands want to play to all ages without the serving of alcohol being a mitigating factor in where they perform. When you give, you get a reward of some kind – in addition to the space you need for artists and bands of all ages to congregate against the limitations that the corporate ogre offers.”
- Jean Smith, Mecca Normal
“Alternative galleries like Northern are vital to the health and soul of a community. To have a space where all ages can access creative culture is the sign of a thriving democracy. I am proud to have presented my art at Northern.”
- David Lester, Mecca Normal and artist/ author of The Listener
“I've been driving to see all-ages music in Olympia since I was in high school living on the other side of the Cascades at the Capitol Theater, in yards, houses, at Yo Yo a Go Go, Homo a Go Go, Ladyfest and other homegrown music festivals. Even after turning 21, it was mandatory to return to Olympia to stay on top of what was coming out of that scene. Olympia has long been an important place for music to emerge that was by and for young people and known for supporting an array of styles, perspectives, socio-political messages, and hybrids of DIY genres. Establishing the Northern as a home for this music to grow up in and out of is logical and necessary. Please support the accessibility of music for everyone, regardless of their age!”
- Shannon Stewart, Founder of the VERA Project, All-Ages Movement Project and author of In Every Town: An All-Ages Music Manualfesto
“There's a reason Northern/Olympia All-Ages Project has already emerged as an epicenter of Oly's ever-fruitful creative community and a model for other venues around the country. They've got the dedication and brains to make their project sustainable while remaining true to their DIY values. I can't wait to see what they do in the next phase”
- Kevin Erickson, Coordinator of All-Ages Movement Project
“All ages. Art. Great volunteers. Fantastic shows! One of the only places in town I desire to perform at.”
- Derek M. Johnson, musician
“Northern is where I fell in love...with Olympia!”
- Daron Tienhaara, patron
Artists performance, December 2010
The Olympia All Ages project wouldn't exist without the support of our community - not just the city of Olympia but all the people who understand that all ages music and art is vital to every town.
Mariella, Dirk, Judy, Ben, Bob, Vadi, Kelsey, Forrest, Mike, Ben, Elvin, Zoe, Gina, Adrienne, Sam, Brad, Victor, Carson, Markly, Brian, Emily, DJ, Dave, Rachel, Liz, Shelbi, Brian, Nick, Zosia, Joel, Calvin, Eric, Ian, Grant, Shawn and all of the Northern volunteers.
Digital Photography Workshop for Kids organized by Northern, October 2010
- (60 days)