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Independent Music Collaborative of Central Minnesota

The Independent Music Collaborative of Central Minnesota (IMCCM) 's vision is to advocate for Central Minnesota musicians and diverse audiences by providing space (conventional and unconventional) to create, perform, and experience original music in the Greater St. Cloud communities. Making original music accessible in the community can be influenced by many factors, and the IMCCM intends to focus on fair treatment and pay of musicians, as well as providing the means to educate diverse audiences within the community.

The Independent Music Collaborative of Central Minnesota (IMCCM) was created in 2016 by a group of local musicians who were passionate about the need for more local outlets for original artists. The closing of Electric Fetus, a popular music shop in town, in 2014 started the discussion.

“When Electric Fetus announced they were closing, we were concerned about the direction things were going,” shared IMCCM Co-Chair Zachary Dorholt. “We wanted to create a more formal network to engage and connect original artists with venues and other various community events, focusing on supporting live and local original music. We also wanted to create something long-term, so we started with Common Roots Fest, but we've always wanted our own venue where we can host all-ages events and were inspired by past venues like the Java Joint.”

Independent Music Collaborative of Central MinnesotaIMCCM is a non-profit organization completely volunteer-led and driven. “We focus specifically on original artists,” said Dorholt. “Cover and tribute bands dominate most spaces, and we know a wealth of talent in Central MN, but it just needs a little boost. We believe the "St. Cloud Sound" exists somewhere and want to put it on the map.” IMCCM has several different programs under its umbrella, all aligned with its mission for accessible, local music…

Project 37

Project 37 seeks to provide a place for all ages to enjoy a sober and safe venue for music. The long-term goals are to plan workshops with local musicians or other music-related people in the community and to have and host a sober venue intended for all ages to come and experience music.

“Over the years, the IMCCM Board has done some showcases featuring local singer-songwriters or student musicians. When a building called Studio 36 became available, the possibility of an all-ages venue started forming. Unfortunately, ownership of the building fell through, and it was suggested that IMCCM's project for a sober venue would be called Project 37. Since 2022, we have hosted almost 30 different shows and showcases, ranging from our popular Punk Nights to more intimate singer-songwriter showcases,” shared Project 37 Director Anna Bovitz.

“We support the next generation of musicians by giving them safe spaces and opportunities to go to shows and to perform their music. The majority of our featured bands and artists almost exclusively play their original music, and in a way, we hope to revitalize the original music scene in St. Cloud. Every business, organization, or network we've worked with has been so enthusiastic about helping Project 37's mission. They see the need for what we're doing and want to support us as best they can. It's wonderful to feel the support that the community has for Project 37.”

Anna finished, “The most helpful things people can do are attend shows, follow us on social media, and talk to people about us. Visit our website to find previous and upcoming shows, learn about our mission, and see how we've been working to see it become real.”

Common Roots Festival

This three-day showcase of grassroots talent, beautiful art, and original music started in 2017 to support all things local. “Central MN Common Roots Festival started as the brainchild of St. Cloud downtown businesses and affiliates during the overhaul of 5th Ave in 2017. We were looking for a way to support downtown businesses and our local musicians and artists. We decided that hosting local original music all over downtown was the way to go,” shared Janna Idzerda, Festival Coordinator.

“Our festival is focused on bringing business downtown with ALL ORIGINAL music and musicians connected to central MN in some way. This way, we showcase our best and brightest. Festival “entry” also only costs $10—this buys your button, which gains you entry to venues that would be ticketed and also gets you discounts at your favorite local restaurants and shops.”

“We’ve loved watching Project 37's creation as our sister within IMCCM. Their goals are intertwined with ours, supporting live and local, which is one of our intrinsic values. Each year, when it comes time to plan for this year’s fest, the business owners always have excitement in their eyes, which is great to see.”

“We partner with venues all over downtown (from Pioneer Place to Jules’) by coordinating musicians to perform throughout the weekend. KVSC has also been a great partner - because of this relationship with SCSU, we plan each year for the festival around Move-In Weekend. We are always looking to create new partnerships to grow our downtown and the festival itself. There are sponsorship opportunities and volunteer opportunities, you name it! Follow us on social media, visit our website for more information on the festival itself, and email for volunteer, donation, and sponsorship options.”

ICCM; Music for All

indpendent music collaborative“I really believe in the mission of the Independent Music Collaborative of Central Minnesota, and seeing the benefits our programs have had really makes me proud to be a part of it,” said Angela Ringsmuth, Board Chair of IMCCM. “I am also a local musician and piano instructor, and so it aligns with my own goals, too. I don't know of anyone else doing what we do; we are committed to growing local music by creating safe performance opportunities and paid gigs for musicians of all ages.”

“We currently rely completely on local businesses and venues to host our performers since we don't have our own space. Every opportunity we've given a performer is also an opportunity given to us by a local business, which is priceless. We are so grateful for all the collaboration. We partnered with many businesses, especially downtown St. Cloud, for our Common Roots Festival. Our All Ages and Sober Program - Project 37 - has recently received partnerships from KVSC, our local college radio station, and the Recover Community Network to put on some of our upcoming shows,” explained Ringsmuth. “We are very excited to be partnering with anyone who shares our mission of Growing Local Music!”

If you desire to help, there are many ways to get behind IMCCM. “We are always looking for great board members for the Independent Music Collaborative (help steer the big ship!) and committee members for Common Roots and Project 37. Our projects are the practical arms of the organization, and if you appreciate helping in a hands-on manner, these are great places to land,” said Ringsmuth. “We also accept donations and sponsors for both organizations. We are running an ongoing fundraising campaign with Project 37, designed to get us our own All Ages Sober Venue. And, of course - we’re always looking for more audience members and performers. Come just to have fun and you will be supporting us!”

“We'd love to get all of St. Cloud supporting local music! We have so much to share with each other. If you feel called to participate, please take a baby step and reach out, come to a show, or tell your friends about us.”