WINONA — Treedome Productions is branching out. A year ago, the fledgling creative production group operated out of the back rooms of a downtown Winona record shop.
Last winter, the group moved into its own commercial space. In September, the group shut down Third Street in Winona for the appropriately named Shut Down Third Street music festival that drew nearly 3,000 people. This season, the group has a holiday concert scheduled and bigger things in mind for 2019.
Rochester brass ensemble Loud Mouth Brass and Treedome Productions are hosting a holiday party and concert at Ed’s (No Name) Bar on Thursday.
“People can come grab a beer with Santa,” said Nathaniel Nelson, Treedome co-founder and creative director. “It’s a chance to celebrate, have some spiked cocoa and belt your lungs out with holiday songs.”
Collaborative group A Little Too Short to be Stormtroopers headlines the holiday celebration bill.
Treedome started as a collaboration between Nelson and Ben Strand. Strand was hosting poetry slams and open mic events and decided to help some of the poets and hip-hop artists record their work. They set up a small studio in the back of Mid West Music Store. The pair initially mulled creating a record label. However, after adding artists to the endeavor to assist designing and photographing album cover art, show posters and filing music videos, the project mission and scope became bigger.
Their new goal is to be a hub for Winona-area artists and to build a network of connections with artists and music makers in the region.
“We wanted to create a backbone for the arts community by the community,” said Nelson. “We want to be a resource for artists and companies who need artists.”
Maggie Panetta moved from Rochester to Winona to help spearhead promotional work for Shut Down Third Street.
“It’s a robust music scene that has developed here over the last several years,” Panetta said.
Treedome recently shot a music video for Loud Mouth Brass, she added.
Eddie Elsen and Avery Mossman handle audio production projects. Gilberto Hidalgo does photography and videography.
The driftless region is rich in arts, Nelson added. However, it has the disadvantage of being large — occupying portions of four states.
“The driftless art scene is more than Winona, it’s more than Rochester,” Nelson said. “The art scene is huge, but it feels like it’s dwarfed by bigger metropolitan areas like Minneapolis or even Iowa City.”
For 2019, the Treedome team plans to hold the second Shut Down Third Street festival along with co-hosting shows throughout the year either at the studio or partner organizations in the area. In January, they host Porcupine at Ed’s (No Name) Bar Jan. 12.
“We want to ride that momentum and do as much as we can,” Nelson said.