The TANK Center for Sonic Arts

A nonprofit organization

$33,582 raised by 94 donors

The TANK is a unique arts organization in Rangley, Colorado, dedicated to a seven-story water tank that possesses an extraordinary acoustic resonance, a reverberation longer and richer than the Taj Mahal's.  In 1976, Boulder sound artist Bruce Odland was shown the place by two locals and immediately knew that he had happened upon a treasure.  For years after Odland's discovery, The TANK was a secret performance and recording space for a dedicated group of sound artists and musicians.  Today The TANK Center for Sonic Arts is a nonprofit arts agency, a busy recording studio and concert venue, a haven for the local community, and a one-of-a-kind destination for artists, sonic explorers, and curious visitors who learn to listen in a whole new way.


Your gift to the TANK will support


  • New concerts--mostly free--in the 2024 season
  • Continued free access to visitors on Open Saturday
  • New community programming both at the TANK and in town
  • Remote recording that puts your ears in the TANK from anywhere




Mission

The TANK Center for Sonic Arts, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect, operate, and share The TANK, a world class sonic resource in Rangely, Colorado, as a unique and transformative audio laboratory, recording studio, and venue for musicians, sound artists, educators, the Town of Rangely, and the general public.

Background Statement

As one of the few arts facilities in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, The Tank has made a specific commitment to serving the region and broadening access to the arts for its neighbors.

The Tank's recording program serves area musicians, sonic artists and ordinary folks, coaches them in making their own music in the Tank, and gives them a professional quality recording of the results.

More basic and informal is The Tank's free, Open Saturdays program, popular with locals, who often come together to sing in the Tank, as featured in a 2016 CBS Sunday Morning segment about the place.

Each season the Tank produces two major concerts at nominal ticket prices and about eight free concerts. It also produces offsite free concerts in the local assisted living center, the town park, the local schools and elsewhere.

The Tank's unique acoustic potential was first recognized in 1976 by Bruce Odland, when this empty steel water tank in Rangely, Colorado, began its secret life as a recording destination for local musicians and a dedicated group of artists around the country.  When, in 2012, The TANK was in danger of being sold for scrap, this group formed a nonprofit to save the unique sonic resource. 


To that end, Friends of the TANK ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign, raising more than $46,000 from 750 backers, worldwide. With the invaluable support of volunteers from all over the country, as well as members of Rangely and Rio County government, many Rangely area residents, and local businesses, those funds were used to secure The TANK and its land and begin to renovate and rehabilitate The TANK. 


The fundraising committee was further able to raise $35,000 to commission a shipping container from Rhino Cubed in Boulder, Colorado. Designed by architect Sam Austin, it was outfitted acoustically as a state-of-the-art recording studio for The TANK.

Over the next three years, volunteers installed electrical service, ventilation, and lighting; built an access road and parking lot; cut a full-size door for legal access and to accommodate large instruments; sealed and painted the floor and walls, built a deck, installed safety fencing, and provided sanitary facilities. They successfully petitioned for a Change of Use permit from storage facility to assembly hall and, once the renovations brought the facility up to meet international code, The TANK received its Certificate of Occupancy. As an innovative reuse of an existing industrial structure, the TANK won the 2017 Edge Award from Colorado Preservation.

Since then the TANK has risen steadily as an institution and a factor in the region's economic development, producing dozens of concerts and hosting hundreds of recording sessions. The National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado Creative Industries, Chevron and many foundations and individual donors have supported its programs and events. The TANK's annual budget has grown from about $25K in 2013, the first year of its life as a nonprofit, to $273K in 2023, in the process gaining renown for artistic and technical excellence, with concerts by GRAMMY winners and national notice. The New Yorker named Tank's 2018 Solstice Concert as one of its Notable Events of the Year. The Tank’s three-day Solstice Festival has for seven years attracted many visitors to the area.

As one of the very few cultural facilities in the region, The TANK has made a specific commitment to broadening access to the arts for its neighbors, programming its onsite events with the aim of connecting the community, and producing offsite concerts by visiting artists in the local assisted living center, the town park, the local schools and elsewhere. The TANK has also trained local young people as sound engineers and developed educational programming for elementary school children.

The TANK sustains its economic impact on the town and the region with two major events, its fifth annual Solstice Festival and a film and music concert in conjunction with the town's 50 year-old Septemberfest. These events fill the local hotel, bring customers to area restaurants and businesses. During the pandemic, The TANK also developed the capacity to record remote sources in its profound resonance, conducting sessions with artists in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

The Tank is also co-producing a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Bill Morrison, telling the story of The TANK and the community that has risen up around it, featuring a soundtrack recorded in The TANK by GRAMMY-winning guitarist Bill Frisell.

In 2023, The TANK launched its own record label, ROUND SOUND, with a first album release that rose to Number 14 on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart.

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

The TANK Center for Sonic Arts

Year Established

2013

Tax id (EIN)

45-5620412

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Small Organization

Address

233 County Road 46
Rangely, CO 81648

Service areas

Rio Blanco County, CO, US

Phone

518-789-4182

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