3rd Place opens in downtown Boone

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Jul. 16 | Modified: Jul. 16
3rd Place opens in downtown Boone

Katie Kehoe, staff member at 3rd Place, said the downtown studio can ‘be anything the community needs it to be.’

Photo by Jesse Campbell

Finding comfort in faith, spirituality or a sharing a new creative vision can be a nerve-wracking experience for those looking for like-minded individuals who share common ideals.

Fortunately, 3rd Place, located at 132 Appalachian St. in downtown Boone, has become a safe haven for finding spiritual and creative fulfillment on a personal or group level.

The studio offers ideal acoustics for a musician looking to try out a few new tunes and has ample space for those seeking quiet meditation or the tranquility of a yoga lesson. A cozy couch in the corner also offers a quiet spot of contemplation for aspiring poets.

Most importantly, however, 3rd Place can be whatever the community needs it to be.

“We are more of a place where people can come in and say, ‘Hey, I want to do this. Can I?’” staff member Katie Kehoe said. “3rd Place is a radically open space to delve into the topics of spirituality, creativity and social justice. We want to provide a space that supports all of these things.”

3rd Place is also a proving and testing ground for aspiring artists who might not have the money to fund a professional gallery show.

“A lot of galleries will charge 40 to 60 percent (sales commission) for shows,” Kehoe said. “That is a lot for a beginning artist.”

Instead, 3rd Place charges only 10 percent, Kehoe said, or nothing at all, if the artists agree to donate proceeds to a local charity or nonprofit.

To educate the community on all that 3rd Place can offer, the center is inviting interested townspeople to attend a fundraiser from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the downtown studio, which is located below Jimmy John’s downtown.

N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti and Kermit Margeson will be the featured speakers.
The cost is $5 at the door, but as Kehoe explained, the price to pay is a small one for all the organization has to offer.

The prerequisites for programming at 3rd Place are clear and to the point.

First, the program must be open to everyone in the community and must relate to its three-prong mission of service. All prospective programs must also be free of charge.

As its members describe it, 3rd Place isn’t just a studio, but rather an organization working to effect change in the greater community and world.

Currently, a group of students that utilizes the studio’s services is working toward ending sex trafficking by raising money for a victims’ safe home, Kehoe said.

While it may appear at face value that 3rd Place better serves students from the university, Kehoe has noticed quite an overlap in those attending classes and workshops from the greater community.
“Our audience is definitely emerging adults,” Kehoe said.

Demographics aside, 3rd Place isn’t a place that fosters criticism or judgment of anyone’s personal faith or beliefs.

While the organization is funded by local Episcopalian and Presbyterian churches, all disciplines of faith are welcome.

"We really are trying to be all inclusive,” Kehoe said. “It definitely is a Christian ministry. We are not here to try to convert anyone, but to have a healthy spiritual community in Boone, regardless of faith or sexuality.”

For more information on 3rd Place, visit http://www.facebook.com/3rdPlaceBoone.

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