Shelly “GladGirl” Hulce, Directing Member of Dayton Dirt Collective posted this statement on the Dirt’s Facebook page and we’re reprinting it with her permission:
As of Sunday night Jan. 17th, Dayton Dirt Collective is history. This is sad news for the community of current DDC members as well as friends, fans, local and national bands and performance artists. We had a blast, made new friends and left the place a better one having been there.
We had a good run, almost two years. And, as the locals say, “Two years is equal to about 10 in Dayton when it comes to anything creative.” This little social experiment was a complete success, which is quite a feat in an ever changing economy, community and social landscape.
We thank you all for being there helping it grow. Special thanks to the founding father of DDC, “Punk Rock Nick” Anderson, a true LEADER who went through all the labor pains and delivery and the 2:00am feedings getting this thing to live. Thanks also to the first generation DDC members who put blood, sweat & tears into it. DDC was born out of a culture of underground house shows that outgrew the many living rooms and basements. We have now outgrown our house at 144 E. 3rd. Street. We never set out to replace the house show culture and those continue even today!
Now it’s time to put the baby in the basket and sail it down the river to find it’s bigger purpose in life.
As sad as we are, we are equally excited about pursuing our individual dreams and passions.
We will exhibit the same energy we had collectively. We do not see this as a failure by any means, this is just a seasonal change with new and exciting seasons ahead!
People want to know “why?” and “why now?”
First and foremost we had a big financial decision to make that was very time sensitive.
Coming up with the funds to meet this approaching expense was not an issue. Thankfully we had a lot of good people offer to come along side us and contribute. The love was very evident during this last week of conversations with members of the community.
Looking past the immediate expense of renewing our liability insurance policy, we considered the costs vs. benefits of staying in the space at 144 E. 3rd. Street for another year. After much deliberation we concluded it would be irresponsible to sign on for another year of insurance to cover that particular space. We have been working closely with the City of Dayton Fire Dept. since May to ensure that we met all the requirements to be compliant with the city ordinances and fire codes. In doing so DFD would increase the max. occupancy they issued us in May of ’09. We exhausted all those efforts and sadly our goals were not met. We thank the DFD for being so supportive and cooperative with us.
Integrity has always been a priority for us as an organization. We felt that staying would compromise our integrity. Our relationships with one another and with the community are still healthy. We have met all the obligations we made to one another, the community and initial donors. Equally important, we left no unpaid bills. That says a lot in a day when this city and has been the victim of corporate carelessness.
We love this city. We are committed to this city. We are proud that we have been recognized by tenants of the St. Clair Lofts. They made special trips to come see us and to say thanks for being present and cleaning up that corner. They told us that when we were there doing a show, the drug traffic on that corner stopped.
We invited in the homeless that wondered past the space, gave them a place to just come in, have some human contact, hear poetry, music or some comedy. (Some of them even joined in.) We gave them bottled water, cookies, snacks… whatever we had. They were excited about us. They didn’t know who we were, they just knew we treated them well. We had a food barrel there for everyone. There was a sign on that barrel; “If you need some, take some. If you have some extra, leave some.” We took care of each other as best we could. We extended that same spirit to our guests.
If a touring band didn’t make much money that night, we made sure they left with a warm meal in their belly’s and some food for the road. The local bands playing with the touring bands always
without being asked, would offer up their share of the door to the touring band as a gesture of support. THAT was the DDC / Dayton, Ohio experience the touring bands took away with them and talked about on the road.
It was clear that the room itself presented some challenges sound wise, some local bands even refusing to play there because of it. They were the exception rather than the rule. Rarely did bands and fans complain about the sound, or the PA, or the way the room or stage was laid out. Mostly touring bands made comments about loving the feel of the room and how it was one of the best places they had played on their tour. That was achieved by having a room full of good spirit, not about the mechanics of the sound system. You can have the best PA in town and still have a bad experience. Emphasis here is on people, not things.
People forget a lot of what you say, but they never forget what you do.
We were always trying to lead by example and that does not stop now just because a building closed. We were frugal and very much of the DIY “Do It Yourself” culture. This is the very spirit Dayton was built on. This is what brings great minds to Dayton, our innovators and inventors.
Without any advertising we were bringing touring bands to our door, some of them re-routing their entire tours to get a show at DDC. People across the nation “got it” when they heard about us.
With that, they were spreading the word across the US by leaving with a good experience, a positive attitude, some Dayton music to share, and in some cases even taking Dayton bands with them to complete their tours!
The passion and commitment of the members of Dayton Dirt Collective remain for the fringe arts and independent lifestyle of musicians in our own back yard as well as universally.
We are passionate about arts being accessible to everyone no matter what age, status, race, belief, gender…
New bonds were formed during a time of coming together in a city portrayed as one of the fastest dying cities in the United States. We saw arts and music thriving in spite of the economy.
We needed this venue more than ever in the last two years. Everything we took in went back out so we could keep that spirit alive. Money is a very cheap commodity right now. We became wealthy in our creativity and new relationships. Being free to be creative is very liberating even in dire circumstances.
Healthy things grow. We took a space that had about as much promise as a chunk of dirt and grew something amazing there! The seeds were planted, the crops provided well for us and now it is time to rotate the crops.
We leave you with this one very important challenge to carry out the spirit of Dayton Dirt Collective: Set one another up to succeed!!!
It is a new day in the life of another “Dayton Patented Original! ”
Thank you all. It was an honor to be here.