History- FAA's Past
Fredericksburg All Ages (FAA) was started in the summer of 2006 to counteract the lack of music venues available to young people in the greater Fredericksburg-area. It was created by a group of young musicians who wanted a place to perform their art in front of peers, and by young music fans who wanted to see live music without driving to larger cities like D.C. or Richmond.
The first show took place on Sept 10th, 2006 at a local bar/venue called The Loft on a Sunday afternoon. The Loft allowed us to do an alcohol-free matinee show for a small fee, but Loft staff offered to volunteer their time and work for free to make it work. Thanks in part to an article in the Free Lance Star, the word spread and 130 people showed up to see two local college bands, PASH and Here Today play with two local high school bands, The Byzantines and Rocky’s Revival.
Soon after its creation, FAA became a project of The Fredericksburg Athenaeum (a local non-profit dedicated to the advancement of arts and literature). With the Athenaeum’s help and tutelage, FAA was able to grow and expand. In addition to providing two different venues to use (The Wounded Bookshop and The Third Floor), The Athenaeum also acted as a mentor to FAA and helped the new project learn how to think long-term and act sustainable.
Over the years, Fredericksburg All Ages has held shows at a variety of locations: The 3rd Floor of 810 Caroline St., Eyeclopes Studio, The Wounded Bookshop, The Downtown Library and The Loft. All concerts have been non-profit, youth-oriented and volunteer led and run. All FAA-sponsored shows have been all ages and alcohol-free.
In the Spring of 2009, Fredericksburg All Ages found a home at Eyeclopes Studios – a 200+ size venue with a great stage and sound system. Starting in the summer of 2010, FAA began using the stage at Read All Over – a new bookstore opened by the good folks of Riverby Books on William St., beside Hyperion Espresso.
In the Summer of 2012 we held what became known as "the FAA Summer Series," a series of free outdoor shows held in downtown Fredericksburg's market square. The summer series featured exclusively local artists in order to promote local musicians.
A couple of years ago, FAA became an incorporated non-profit in VA and in September, 2010 found out that the IRS had accepted its 501(c)3 application so all donations made to are tax deductible. This huge leap was made possible by a grant of $5,000 received by the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region. The grant was awarded to FAA for capacity building, and the money was used to form a board of directors, establish an accounting system, and to pay for all of the fees associated with filing as a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to pass and in the Winter of 2012 Read All Over had to close its doors. With nowhere to go, FAA floundered for a couple of months, only to be saved by the awesome people at Horseshoes and Handgrenades who offered a cool, rent-free space.
In 2013 the "FAA's Second Annual Summer Series" was held with the same mission as the year before, to promote local artists with free outdoor music. This program epitomized FAA's mission, as it provided completely free-of-charge live music opportunities that benefited both the artists and the community.
In the five years since then, FAA has expanded to many other fields besides just live music. In summer 2015, FAA hosted the first iteration of its 24-hour film competition. This semi-annual contest challenges teams of local youth to write, create, and film a movie in just 24 hours. FAA's theater program, Proof of Youth Theater, has also hosted several successful improv nights and plays, all 100% planned, run, directed, and performed by local youth.
FAA just celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2016, and to celebrate, hosted a series of ten concerts to celebrate the occasion, which mainly featured local artists to represent FAA's past and deep roots within the community.