Sitting on the side of a county road up in the north west part of the state, the TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely, CO is a former railroad water-treatment facility that was lovingly and expertly turned into one of the most unique performance venues in the state.
The story of the Tank dates back to 1976 when sound artist Bruce Odland was shown around by two locals. Odland was immediately enthralled with the acoustic possibilities. The Tank became a secret performance venue and recording space for a small and select group of sound artists and musicians.
In 2013, the owner of the tank considered selling it, and so the artists and other friends of the tank banded together to save it. Two Kickstarter campaigns and plenty of donations later, and the Tank and the land it is one were secured. Improvements were undertaken and eventually the Tank was officially recognized as an assembly hall and received a certificate of occupancy. Since then, the Friends of the Tank haven’t looked back.
In the intervening years, the Tank has welcomed performers from around the country and the world and has secured artists for various kinds of residency.
Obviously, this year has taken its toll on performance venues around the county, and the Tank is no exception, but even though live concerts have been cut back they haven’t been canceled altogether. On the autumn equinox, violinist Joshua Hill will be performing in an outdoor concert there, and moving forward there will likely be more events. Recording sessions have also continued.
Moving forward, the organization has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for a concert of music and film that is set for Memorial Day Weekend next year.
If you’re curious and in the area, the Tank is open from 9am to 1pm every Saturday through October to the public who can explore the facility free of charge.