Pioneer Valley Soundscapes

All Ages: A Flywheel Documentary

Flywheel is an arts collective that prides itself as a space and resource for people of all ages to use as they please to express themselves in a variety of creative means. The Flywheel community is diverse in age, occupations, and talent. The volunteers who work the door and run the coffee bar are as essential as the bands that  draw the audience. Everyone who enters the doors of the Flywheel count in defining what Flywheel is.  The people who invest time and energy in Flywheel are people who are curious to see what they can create on their own and who want to find a way to present it to an audience. The audiences that come are there in order to open themselves to something new and to support their local community. Volunteers give their time and energy because they support something more than just the music that is played at Flywheel. They come because they see the need for a place where people have the opportunity to use their space to create local art and culture in the form of music and visual arts.

This mindset extends into other aspects of Flywheel culture and the community as a whole. The bar serves only snacks, soda, and coffee. There are no age restrictions, which allows teenagers that would be banned from bars and clubs that have 18+ rules, and lends itself to a straight-edge air.  The general absence of alcohol and other substances is a large part of Flywheel culture. A formidable and organized collection of zines sits in a bookcase in the back, and this points as much to the community as to the type of music that is played. The space is constantly reminding visitors that their opinion, artistic taste, and values are important and, more importantly, that they have every right and every tool they need to display their values to the world.

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