Downtown Artery: Creating a Hub for Local Music


by  Mikaela Antonelli

The Downtown Artery has long been known for their contributions to the art community with their Old Town gallery and their constant support of local artists; this past July they staked their claim on the music scene as well. In early July, The Artery opened their music venue and café.

“We want a space for artists to come together and collaborate and push the envelope on art,” William Knudsen, Director of Marketing and Development at the Downtown Artery, said.

When Knudsen moved back to Fort Collins from Portland he was excited to see how the musical and artistic landscape had changed and was eager to get involved in it.

“[The music scene is] Growing, every day growing. There are some amazing acts in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado in general. There are so many people that I’m excited about,” Knudsen said.

Knudsen recognized the music boom that is currently happening in Fort Collins and began working for The Artery on the project to create a venue space and café.

“We saw a community need for more [venue spaces] and we wanted to bring a safe space to bring in national acts and boost local acts … for us it’s about having a space where music and art are really the main focus … we want it to be about the community and about the music,” Knudsen said.

Since it’s opening in early July, The Artery has had shows nearly every single night. They aim to raise the bar with shows of high quality for the Northern Colorado Community.

“Our ethos is lined with booking quality … upping the bar,” Knudsen said, “We want people to come out just because The Artery is throwing a show.”

The Artery is much more than just another venue, likened to the support that they give to their 47 artists in residence they will also help build up local musicians. They pride themselves on having a staff that is very experienced in many different areas. Whether it is booking a tour, marketing themselves, or networking, The Artery is there for Northern Colorado bands.

“We don’t want to be a space where people just come and load in and play a show and that’s it … We want to create a community space for artists and community appreciators to collaborate and grow.” Knudsen said, “The better a scene gets, the more pressure is put on artists to constantly be evolving and constantly be improving themselves and we provide a space for that.”

In addition to the amazing music that they have they will also have dance performances, DJ sets, poetry nights and drag shows. They also have plans to create a retail space and recording studio opening in early August. The Artery will be a space for every form of art to flourish.

In the next year Knudsen says that the Artery will be a fixture of the downtown community. They will be a gathering place for everyone to come and appreciate and collaborate.

“We are excited everyday about the music and we are excited to provide a space for these other ventures … come down and hangout with us.”

Visit for a list of upcoming shows.

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