The Treasury + Jack Kolb-Williams

Any venue opening is worth celebrating—especially after COVID’s effects on the live entertainment industry—but its even more interesting to see a new all-ages venue that doesn’t include alcohol debuting this week. Enter the Treasury, a new spot from Catalyst, a “nonprofit organization with the mission to provide young people with equitable access to see, experience, and participate in the Twin Cities music community.” Featuring some heavy hitters on its board and staff, Catalyst has already hosted a few raucous shows in its new space in the Old Swedish Bank Building in St. Paul and is set for its big (free) grand opening party this Thursday.

Ahead of the festivities, Co-Founder and Executive Director Jack Kolb-Williams gives us some quick background on the organization and its new venue.

DISPATCH: We’re especially excited to see another DIY venue that’s all-ages. What brought about the new Treasury space?
The idea of the Treasury has been around since 2014 or 2015 when I co-founded Catalyst as we always envisioned having a second location more centrally located in the metro. We wanted to have a more intimate and smaller capacity space that encapsulated the goals, values, and everything about The Garage our other venue in Burnsville.

Along with the packed launch party (Gully Boys, DJ Keezy, J. Wlkr, Jazzy) there’s already shows this weekend for music-fans to check out—Bad Luck / Dollar Signs on Friday, Fireworks on Saturday, even a SOLD OUT Will Wood show on Sunday. Does this reflect the need for a spot for these younger bands with younger fans to play?
Absolutely! The response has been incredible from local and touring musicians hearing about how much they value another all ages space here in the metro.

Is it crazy to think that there’s been at least somewhat of a culture shift in the last few years where alcohol-free, whether it’s for younger folks or people in recovery or older people who gotta drive home and go to work the next day. Do you see that? Has better drinking alternatives helped with the acceptance?
Definitely. We get people who compliment us all the time that they enjoy the experience of not having alcohol present at a show. Also since we have an all ages curfew folks appreciate being home early too!

A bunch of people spent the weekend watching the Cochella video feed—how’s livestreaming play into the new space?
We dove headfirst into livestreaming at the beginning of the pandemic as it was a way for us to stay connected to the local community while we weren’t able to have in-person shows. Now I’m proud to say that we offer year-round paid audio/video opportunities for young people who wish to learn more about the field!

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