This month, Kevin Erickson is moving to Washington D.C., but he isn’t going alone. As the coordinator for—and only paid employee of—the All-ages Movement Project, he takes five years of grassroots organization with him, as well as the collective power of more than 200 all-ages music venues—including Seattle’s Vera Project, the Kirkland Teen Union Building and the Firehouse in Redmond—that belong to AMP.
The move has been in the works for some time, Erickson says, and its aim is to take the cause of all-ages music venues straight to the seat of power.
“AMP has always been about giving the young people running their own organizations at the grassroots level tools and strategy and resources,” Erickson says. “But increasingly we’ve realized that there’s also a need to assist in the translation for people working in the policy-making side, or the philanthropy side, in a whole bunch of different fields.”
Started in 2005 by Shannon Stewart, one of the founders of Seattle’s all-ages club the Vera Project, AMP aims to spread the knowledge collected from Washington State’s vibrant underground music community to any city in need of an all-ages music venue.
In January, the organization hit a milestone after self-publishing In Every Town, a “manualfesto” featuring an introduction by Kimya Dawson and filled with tips on starting and sustaining an all-ages music scene. Since its January soft launch, the book has sold more than 1,000 copies. Now that people who want to create these spaces have the manual, says Erickson, AMP’s job is to make sure the political environment is friendly for young punks, emcees and indie rockers to create a place to call their own.
“Every major city in the country has a city represenative,” Erickson says. “They’ll meet in D.C. and look for strategies to solve problems in their communities. This is an opportunity to tell those people about the positive impact all-ages music can have, all in one place.”