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Park City Council Grants Use Of Space To Local Musicians Group

KPCW Radio

The Park City Council on Thursday approved the use of a space on 1685 Bonanza Dr. for MuSE PC, a singer-songwriter collective. 

When musician Bill McGinnis heard about Park City’s proposed Arts and Culture District, he and other local music makers started brainstorming the role music should have in it.

“That's been what the last two years have been about, is working with other musicians in town—doing our song circles, doing some house concerts, doing some workshops," McGinnis said. "And really getting together our idea of how we'd like to see music viewed in this Arts and Culture District as truly a creative art; something that is right up there with visual, right up there with filmmaking, that we create something from nothing.”

The City is donating the space, which was formerly occupied by Switchback Sports, to MuSE PC for use three days a week from 6-10 p.m. City staff views it as a way to kickstart the arts in that area. MuSE PC will host free, all-ages events, such as open mics, workshops and touring artists in the space.

The City owns the building as part of its 2018 Bonanza Park purchase, and the entire complex will be demolished when construction begins on the Arts and Culture District. Park City Redevelopment Director Nate Rockwood, who is also spearheading the Arts and Culture District effort on the City’s part, said at Thursday’s Council meeting that there are still logistics to be sorted out with MuSE PC—like who will have keys and access to the space—but it’s intended to work similarly to community rooms at the Library. The staff report points to a minimal cost associated with the space, though a lockable door needs to be installed. Rockwood said he would engage with the tenants above the space to gauge how they feel about it.  

Pete Gillwald is one of those tenants renting office space in the building. He has concerns about what he perceives as a lack of communication between the City and the current tenants prior to the Council’s approval of MuSE PC’s proposal; how the extra guests will affect parking; and the noise that will come from the group’s sound system.

“The fact that they’re going to start at 6 o' clock in the evening—some of us are still here at work," Gillwald said. "And to have 110 decibel music being cranked out at 6 o'clock is not conducive to a work environment.” 

McGinnis says, with MuSE PC, he’s looking to change the tune around what music can mean to a community, shifting from a consumable pastime to something anyone can participate in.

“We're looking to get the community more involved in actually making music as opposed to just listening to music," McGinnis said. "Both are great, but it sure is fun to make music together.”

MuSE PC is hoping to have its first event in the space—a song circle—on Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.