Adventures Underground is holding a massive sidewalk sale on Oct. 22, with more than 30,000 books up for grabs — everything from Treasure Island to 100,000-Plus Baby Names.
The event will help the Richland shop through a slow period, and — in a boon to the local arts and culture scene — make way for a new community arts collective and small-business/nonprofit incubator.
The sale will be a lot of fun, said Logan Kaufman, Adventures Underground co-owner.
It’ll be the shop’s biggest-ever, by a wide margin. Local bands also will play, and a car graffiti community art activity is planned.
The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Adventures Underground sells books, comics, toys and other cool stuff.
“When (we) got started, we were selling books out of our dorm rooms and my parents’ basement. As our inventory expanded, we were fortunate enough to have access to some large warehouses my brother owned. Without this very cheap (nearly free) rent for a seven-year build-up before going ‘live,’ Adventures Underground would/could not have existed,” Kaufman wrote in a Facebook post.
Now, the shop wants to return the favor by offering 8,000 square feet on its upper floor as an “arts center and launch-point for civically minded small businesses and nonprofits,” he said.
It’ll be called Back Alley Arts Collective.
Groups like Wheelhouse Community Bike Shop, SCRAP Tri-Cities and Confluent Space Tri-Cities already have plans to use the space, with room for others too.
“We all want this town to be cool. If we can help other people start nonprofits, business, art (ventures) in the Tri-Cities — that’s going to be great. We want to see more galleries, art spaces, music venues,” Kaufman said.
“I’m hoping it can be a beacon out there for people who’ve thought similar things but didn’t have the means money-wise, time-wise, space-wise. They can start here.”
David Spaulding, who’s starting the nonprofit Wheelhouse Community Bike Shop, said he sees Back Alley as fostering collaboration.
“One of the things we want to do is bike recycling. There will be bike parts from deconstructed bikes. When artists are here, they’ll be able to utilize that bone yard for art work,” he said.
People also will be able to work on their bikes and take classes, he said.
Confluent expects to use the space to kick off an independent publishing resource center.
“Also, just to have a place for artists to be able to create has always been on Confluent’s list, but we’ve been limited by the amount of space we have,” said Nick Napoli, the makerspace’s president. “We think this will be another little star (in the community) — where creative people have a place to call their own.”
Rachael Gale, SCRAP co-director, said the Tri-City area doesn’t have much in the way of “third spaces,” meaning public spaces that aren’t work or home.
“If you don’t go to church or aren’t specifically involved in other groups, there aren’t a lot of other places you can hang out,” she said.
But Back Alley will be an ideal “third space,” she said.
Kaufman, Spaulding, Napoli and Gale gathered at Back Alley’s future home earlier this week to talk about new collective.
The upstairs space was filled with books — the 30,000-plus titles being liquidated during the sidewalk sale were stored there.
But they’ll soon be gone, thanks to the sale. Donations will be taken during the event for some needed upgrades, namely fire doors.
Kaufman said he’s hopeful that Back Alley Arts Collective will be up and running very soon.
In the shop, he sometimes hears customers lamenting that there’s nothing to do in the Tri-Cities.
But, “we absolutely have enough cool people to do cool things in this town,” Kaufman said. “(The new collective) — it’s a little flag in the air, ‘Hey fellow weirdos, come out and join us.’ ”
Adventures Underground is at 1391 George Washington Way.