2021 Message from Owners

June 2021 Community Announcements & Update

Dear ColdTowne Family, Friends & Community,
We (Tauri, Rachel, Dave and Justin, the owners of ColdTowne Theater) would like to update you on what’s been happening behind the scenes, where we’re at currently and where we’re headed.

New Space

After many ups and downs, we may have found a new space. We like them, they like us and we think you’ll like it too. While it is too early in the process to share more, rest assured we are doing whatever it takes to create a new home for ColdTowne with some upgrades worth getting excited about. There’s a lot to work out in terms of change-of-use permits for alcohol sales, with neighborhood approval, and a significant build-out. 

In order to make it all happen, we will either need a huge influx of cash (possibly coming – see below) or an angel investor who would like to exchange guarantor-ship on an SBA bank loan for a small percentage of ownership. If that’s you and you have significant assets, please don’t hesitate to reach out to join us in creating our next dream space for ColdTowne. 

Grants

A large influx of cash is not out of the realm of possibilities.  Since the pandemic started, we have applied for almost every Austin-based, state-based or federal grant we could find. THANK YOU to all who shared links and leads with us over the past year and a half!

We did receive a mid-size grant from the City of Austin late last year that went a long way supporting our heroic staff and recouping some of the financial loss we’ve taken on by remaining in business for the past 18 months. Our savings plus the grant didn’t close the Profit/Loss gap, but it helped keep us going through the new year without using income from our bread and butter: in-person shows and classes.

Recently, we found out we will be receiving another mid-size grant from the Central Texas Better Business Bureau. While this grant still doesn’t close the Profit/Loss gap, it will go a long way toward keeping ColdTowne in business through the end of this year.

We are currently waiting to hear about a significant grant from the Save our Stages Act that will pretty much determine whether we move forward on a new space or not.  Our application has been turned in, is being reviewed and we expect to hear word in July if we are approved or not. If this Shuttered Venue Operators Grant does not happen for us this summer, and we are unable to find a guarantor on a bank loan to build out a new space, then we will more than likely have to reconsider what exactly ColdTowne is, for the period of time moving forward.

We have a contingency plan, but it’s not the plan we want, so let’s put all our good thoughts, great ideas, manifesting powers and community support toward creating the thing we want: a secure, joyful, and inclusive space to play, learn, laugh, create, perform and grow.

And if you would like to contribute something to our Patreon account by supporting ColdTowne’s mission with a monthly donation, please visit our Patreon to learn how.

Classes

In person classes are back and we couldn’t be happier about it!

Our star faculty including Will Cleveland, Katie Moore, Dave Buckman, Maddie Cordovano and Javier Ungo are teaching 8-week sessions of core improv and sketch.  And… please welcome our newest faculty members: Ben Bazán, Mollie Kirby, and Devon Coleman (online from Detroit!)!

Creative Action has generously lent us use of their space on Springdale Rd for the summer to hold in-person classes for the first time since February 2020.  Masks and social distancing are still required and class size is limited to 8 students. It will be good to get back to doing what we’re best at.

We’re on the lookout for an affordable space to teach classes in the fall and winter.  Do you know of a dance or yoga-type studio or event space that’s empty on weeknights?!?!  Please contact us at coldtownehq@gmail.com!

Speaking of leads, do you know someone who would love to be in a ColdTowne class? A fun human ready to discover or hone their comedy skills? Going forward, we’re offering a 10% referral as a thank you for all referred registered students!!!  To learn more, contact Conservatory Director CB at ctcconservatory@gmail.com.

Excused Absence Summer Camps are underway, and we’re excited to be bringing a hybrid of online/in-person model to kids and teens this summer! Know some youth? Point ‘em here!

Referring friends and coworkers to classes and trainings is one of the most effective ways to help ColdTowne stay afloat in the interim! Have you heard about our DEI trainings?

DEI Training

What is DEI, by the way??? It stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. While we have plenty to learn and improve, we have long been proponents of creating a space for comedy that is inclusive, respectful, equitable and diverse. We regularly strive for better from ourselves and each other as we continue to grow into our ideals around inclusivity and belonging. 

One of the ways we’ve been able to survive this long during the pandemic has been the work that Tauri and Rachel have been doing developing and delivering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshops and programs for businesses and teams.  We’ve worked with a number of new clients this year including Jenni Kayne, Austin Creative Alliance, RetailMeNot and SourceDay, to name a few….  

We are also leading all faculty members through some components of these workshops before they return to teaching, as well as incorporating the materials into our core classes so that every graduate will have gone through a version of this training as well.

Thank you to everyone who has connected us with amazing companies large and small to be in service to in this way. Do you know a business that could use our powerful DEI or Team Building Training? We offer a 10% referral THANK YOU on all booked private gigs!!!  Contact coldtownehq@gmail.com for any questions or introductions.

Shows

Official ColdTowne shows are going to be sporadic for the time being, and most likely limited to special events until we have our own space.  BUT we will be having class showcases at the end of the summer for our summer classes. 

And in the meantime, we have some of our favorite House Troupes and MASH teams doing some longform sets to kick off each of our Backyard Jams, Fridays at 6:30pm. Emmy Silak has graciously given us permission to use her backyard stage for jams. Some weeks we may get rained out (like baseball) but it has been amazing to see friends, get some hugs, work out the kinks and perform for each other again. Make sure to reserve a spot (limited to 25 jammers each week) on Eventbrite, so that you get the actual physical address and not just the advertised location, which just for parking.

ColdTowne TV is still rocking on our Twitch Channel.  In addition to Lane and Katie’s award-winning “Yeah But Are You Happy?” on Wednesday nights, we will be switching our CTTV Live! programming to Thursday nights going forward, so as not to compete with people going out on the weekends. (THANKS AGAIN to Olivia Logan Wise for teching this past year, and welcome to our new tech Mollie Kirby!) Do you have a streaming show / podcast / game show idea?  Contact Ari Valente-Johnson here with your show pitch! And subscribe to our Twitch channel (if you have Prime you can subscribe for free!) We are excited to be working on an amazing line-up for Pride Month starting June 24th! More details to come. 

You can listen ColdTowne Radio and subscribe to new episodes of Victrola and our Stool Pigeon Podcast. We also have a handful of other Podcast titles at ColdTowne Radio.  Got an idea for a podcast to join ColdTowne Radio?  Reach out to WIll at cleveland.will@gmail.com

Austin Sketch Fest went off with an impressive bang in April – stay tuned for 2022 for a hopeful return to in-person performances.

Family Reunion + Hang Outs

This Sunday, June 13th, we’ve rented a picnic spot with a covered overhang at Patterson Park in Mueller for a BBQ and potluck. Bring a lawn chair, some snacks or side dishes to share, and your fully vaccinated self from 12noon-5pm to laugh, cry, eat, do bits and celebrate! (Rain or shine – absent a lightning storm, we’ll be there!)

In late October we will be celebrating ColdTowne’s 15th Anniversary. Will we have shows? The ColdTonys?  An elegant prom/homecoming party? We’re in the process of planning and ideas are underway. We will let you know dates as soon as we know them, so you can celebrate with us! 

We have an awesome new community board in Jenn, Dani, Anne, Christina, Dana, and Neil – don’t forget you can always reach out to the Board with ideas and feedback! (As well as Community Liaison Jennifer Rosario at thejennrosario@gmail.com with any issues.)

Are you or a friend celebrating a community accomplishment? We wanna hear about it!! Send congratulatory shout outs to CB for inclusion in our weekly 5 Things update at ctconservatory@gmail.com

Bottom Line

We’re hopeful there will be big news coming soon. In the meantime ColdTowne is very much alive and there are lots of ways to stay connected. We will keep you in the loop every step of the way and are profoundly grateful for your continued support, love, participation, collaboration, bits and enthusiasm!

Love,

TRDJ 

P.S. We sent our first batch of Patreon rewards out last month. If you think you missed yours, please let us know at coldtownehq@gmail.com! Thank you for your ongoing patronage <3