As a venue that hosts underground music and celebrates the arts, 924 Gilman is linked to the larger artist community of the San Francisco bay area. Although primarily involved with DIY punk culture, 924 Gilman can speak to a number of varied interests and subcultures. From politically involved individuals to board game buffs, 924 Gilman can be a destination for a range of local and international people. With better publicity of events and ethos, the organization can reach out to a wider and more diverse audience.
The immediate community of 924 Gilman consists of the musicians and their fans, particularly the Bay Area punk music community itself, both in and outside of Gilman. Besides the primary stakeholder of the Gilman community (which is auditing our work in order to avoid misrepresentation), there is a wider Bay Area punk community that can have a greater awareness of Gilman and greater consideration of what it represents to them. In addition, there are people who are just beginning to enter the punk community through friendships or discovery of music. This project would make them aware of the venue, and the emphasis of Gilman’s values of tolerance, nonviolence, and a general safe space for interaction can make the venue more attractive to these “prospective punks.”
The second audience is the neighboring area surrounding Gilman. The venue has had a history of tense relations with neighbors and the city of Berkeley itself. Gilman attracts a following that tends to be loud and has in the past attracted trouble causing violence outside the venue. Combined with the popular stereotype that views punks as deviants, Gilman has not had cozy relations with the surrounding area, and there have been anti‐Gilman interest groups trying to shut the venue down through city action. This plan presents a positive interpretation of 924 Gilman as a site that is connected to a rich and diverse cultural heritage in opposition to the common misconceptions of the music club and subculture.
The third and final main audience is the “casual/curious onlooker” that has heard the name “Gilman” and wants to know more. By presenting our material in as much of an accessible format and medium as possible, we hope that we can maximize appeal and interest in 924 Gilman to a wider audience. This interpretive plan aims to show as complete of a picture of the venue and its community as possible — not only drawing from aspects of cultural heritage in North Berkeley, but also in the greater Bay Area. By opening its doors to the public and providing a safe haven for marginalized peoples, Gilman has naturally cultivated a creative and energetic community. In addition, the community is quite productive in maintaining the operational aspects of the organization (which depend entirely on volunteers), and in becoming involved with a issues that do not directly relate to art and music, such as politics, social awareness, and offering help to those in need.