(Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify that Project AMPLIFI is now booking shows at Smiley’s Schooner Saloon, but does not own the venue.)
Project AMPLIFI, the Bay Area organization that raises awareness for local nonprofits with the help of the music community, now has its own venue. The nonprofit is now booking shows at the historic Smiley’s Schooner Saloon in Bolinas, a place that can be used to host their typical blend of entertainment, education, and activism, regularly featuring both local and national acts.
Executive director of AMPLIFI Leila Monroe explains the decision behind the development:
“In 2004, I began working on the initial concept behind Project AMPLIFI, it started with the idea of having a physical space where we could build community through music. At the time, owning and operating a venue wasn’t feasible, so Project AMPLIFI was created to produce events wherever we could find space. Now, with a partnership with historic Smiley’s Schooner Saloon, we have the opportunity to work with musicians and artists in an intimate, inspiring location that is already fundamentally a community-based venue.”
The venue already has a slate of impressive acts booked this month, including Feral Fauna on the 16th, Jerry Joseph on the 23rd and The Sam Chase on the 30th. This is a place that truly cares about the bands and artists it showcases, not exactly an easy thing to find in a reality where both musicians and club owners are so strapped for cash its hard to truly care about anything other than the bottom line. In the best possible scenario, Smiley’s will not only become just a fun place to hang out on a weekend night, but also a sincere dialogue between performer and audience, a communal connection that can’t be found in the digital world, an irrefutable realization that music really is essential to our being, that solidarity can be achieved through art. A place where we understand that this is the starting point from which to change things.
Check out this link for a full schedule of upcoming shows at Smiley’s, and listen to The Sam Chase’s most recent LP Will Never Die, below.