Starting Nov. 4, residents will have a new space to work, record and express their creative freedom.
Space Create Interactive Studios, 207 W. Ave. D, is the brain child of singer, music teacher and entrepreneur Antonia “Toni” Ringgold, who said the venture has been years in the making.
“I’ve been having this dream in my heart for years, and it was only through the (ARPA) grant that I was able to realize it,” she said in an interview Friday.
The creative space offers a little bit of everything, with a total of six rooms for recording, podcasting and music lessons. The recording studio includes an insulated, sound proof booth connected to a full studio with analogue and digital controls, while the podcasting space features the typically associated set pieces, such as a medium-sized table and TV. Other rooms are available for mixed use.
“I came up with space create because there was a need in this area,” she said. “I have a bunch of creative friends and whenever we need to get things done like studio work, we would have to go and outsource a lot to Austin, Houston, Dallas. I just wanted to create a space where we can do that in one stop — literally a one stop shop.”
In addition to providing a space to practice their art, the studio promises to offer full editing and production support for both musicians and podcasters, as well as the equipment necessary — for a membership fee.
One key theme of Ringgolds plan to support her artists — and her business — is to offer a membership fee for users. According to Ringgold, that buys customers support for their shows, as well as recurring booking for the space in question. Booking spaces is also meant to be painless, Ringgold said. According to the business owner, the process is just like booking a seat at the theater: customers will be presented with a map of the facility, with available spaces in green and unavailable spaces greyed out. The only caveat here, she said, is that loud listening parties or bands will not be able to book the large space in the back of the building as it is right next to the recording studio.
Ringgold did not say what the membership or hourly rates would be for the facility.
Not just for beginners
“We wanted to have something for everyone, no matter where they are in their musical journey,” she said. “What we offer really is comparable to what you would get if you went to Austin or Dallas.”
The facility is largely powered by Warm Audio, Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Apple and — perhaps surprisingly — Meta.
“We are working on getting some certifications from them and how to navigate through the metaverse,” she said.
Ringgold acknowledged the controversy surrounding the Metaverse, but made the point that the new nature of the technology means that it will always draw fire.
“I just want to be involved,” she said.
Virtual reality will be part of the studio’s offering once it opens.
The studio was largely made possible by a $128,578 City of Killeen grant from American Rescue Plan Act funding that allowed Ringgold to make the deposit to purchase the building in downtown Killeen and renovate it.
Ringgold emphasized that the studio will seek to integrate itself into the community, and will offer scholarships for young songwriters through the T. Ringgold Academy of Art.
“I know that people may have had opinions about how everything was done, but it was something new,” she said. “The grant was truly life-changing for myself, my family and for the community.”