GREENFIELD — The music venue whose route is essentially guided by the neighborhood has modified possession, opening a brand new chapter within the enterprise’ life with hope for a sustainable future.
Ang Buxton and Alex Noonan purchased 10 Ahead from proprietor Sarah Lanzillotta after the delivery of her second baby. They hope to maintain most of the staples of the venue that’s situated beneath Mesa Verde on Fiske Avenue whereas additionally implementing extra organized managerial parts to help its longevity.
“This place is inclusive, queer, bizarre, in one of the simplest ways, and experimental,” Buxton mentioned of 10 Ahead.
Charlemont residents Wendell Rheinheimer and Shana Totino first opened the enterprise as The Root Cellar — a venue specializing in all varieties of acoustic and electrical music — in July 2016. The membership modified palms briefly in 2018 earlier than possession was transferred to Lanzillotta and Paul LaBrecque in 2019. Like Buxton and Noonan, Lanzillotta and LaBrecque had labored at The Root Cellar underneath the earlier proprietor, and selected to rebrand it as 10 Ahead, named after the bar/lounge on the USS Enterprise on “Star Trek: The Subsequent Era.”
Buxton and Noonan mentioned Lanzillotta known as a gathering for all of the venue’s employees and volunteers in August 2022, at which era she defined she wished to spend extra time together with her household and could be giving up possession of 10 Ahead.
“This might have been a horrible loss to the neighborhood and a horrible loss to us,” mentioned Noonan, who was a bartender at 10 Ahead on the time. Lanzillotta hoped somebody within the membership’s neighborhood would buy the venue, or else she would put it up on the market on the final market.
The younger couple from Springfield, who now lives in South Deerfield, had goals of proudly owning a stand-up comedy membership in addition to a T-shirt printing neighborhood house, so that they determined to step up and buy 10 Ahead.
“Working with Sarah was sizzling Virgo power to sizzling Virgo power within the scariest, coolest approach,” Buxton mentioned to explain their expertise transferring possession of the membership.
Noonan cited her nice eye for enterprise operations and success working together with her associate up to now as examples of why her administration will assist the enterprise develop.
“Sarah was operating the enterprise extra experimentally,” Noonan famous.
The 2 defined anybody with any concept can come to 10 Ahead and host occasions. The venue has hosted many sold-out exhibits of touring or native acts, akin to punk band House Camp and comic Neil Hamburger. However the venue additionally opens its doorways to any occasion, together with one thing so simple as “three mates and a banjo,” Noonan mentioned.
“Creative expression is at our core,” Buxton continued. “I’m right here attempting to make mates, not cash.”
Having labored as a slapstick comedian for a number of years, Buxton has connections with most native venues. The couple mentioned they aren’t involved about competitors between companies. Quite, they hope to proceed constructing relationships with different house owners, mentioning a rising connection between 10 Ahead and The Majestic Saloon in Northampton, one other LGBTQ bar and neighborhood house.
Lanzillotta specialised in connecting with touring bands, however Buxton defined they’ve connections with different musicians in addition to stand-up comedians.
“The neighborhood is gaining momentum,” Buxton mentioned. “We’re persevering with to hold the torch.”
The 2 mentioned astrology-themed month-to-month raves, weekly karaoke and various comedy exhibits are standard, often deliberate occasions they hope to develop underneath the brand new possession, however they plan to let the neighborhood information the route of the membership sooner or later.
Additionally they hope to domesticate new expertise by offering classes and an area to carry out. Buxton and Noonan have revived month-to-month “open decks,” the place individuals can learn to DJ. With this in thoughts, they’re elevating cash for in-house DJ tools.
“If somebody hasn’t come to our house, they need to test it out. We would like individuals to come back and make the house what they need it to be,” Buxton mentioned.
Go to 10forwardartsvenue.org or 10 Ahead’s Instagram web page for extra info, together with a often up to date record of occasions.
Bella Levavi will be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4579.