Published Dec 09, 2015The Anacortes, WA arts scene was dealt a blow last night (December 8), after community hub Anacortes Music Channel, run by DIY singer-songwriter Karl Blau, was severely damaged in a fire.
The Anacortes Now reports that authorities were called over late last night to the building that housed the spot, "where crews found a room and contents fire." The Anacortes Music Channel is said to have suffered smoke damage, while the fire also claimed much of Blau's music equipment. Damages are estimated at around $160,000 USD. Other spaces within the same commercial building have yet to be completely assessed.
Blau used AMC's Facebook page today (December 9) to explain that an "accidental fire" was the cause, and that he is grateful that no one was hurt. The AMC had been planning on moving out of the space at the end of the month, transferring it over to local music store the Business, and they're already trying to figure out how the retailer will proceed.
Blau's statement reads:
Hard news, my friends and community — last night the Anacortes Music Channel place at 216 was terribly burned in an accidental fire. We feel EXTREMELY fortunate that no one was seriously hurt, AND that the Olsen Building itself is going to be OK. Sadly, among the things lost are many, beautiful, Gustavo Vargas paintings, and the vibe in there was just so beautiful that the harshness seems intensified. The fire is still under investigation, I don't have access to see what has and hasn't been damaged. This is just a little note to tell everyone that people are OK, let's keep in touch and figure out how to move forward.
I am already envisioning some sort of collaborative work effort to get the space ready somehow for The Business to move in should the damage be something we can get a handle on. Stay posted, I love you all for being a part of this wild and apparently, unruly, dream.
Additionally, a GoFundMe page has been started up with the goal to get Blau "back on his feet."
"Please donate anything you can. Karl is an amazing person, and the Anacortes Music Channel was a great community space for many people in the small town of Anacortes, Washington," the crowdfunding site reads. So far, over $9,000 USD has been raised. You can find out more info here.
As explained on its website, the Anacortes Music Channel "focuses on acknowledging and supporting artists/musicians by providing a place to gather and perform." Though the AMC is apparently looking for a future space, it also operates as an online radio station, which you can access here.
In addition to his long solo career, Blau has collaborated with the likes of Laura Veirs, Earth, Mirah, Little Wings, and many more.