Holland Origin Stories: HPHQ

Holland Origin Stories: HPHQ

From time to time we get asked about certain names, phrases, stories, titles – and sometimes we gotta prove or bust some myths!

The HPHQ was our landing pad after the closure of Keystone Avenue. It was located at 30 Cheney Street and was about the size of a living room – small and cozy with a fireplace and a bright red door. This was pre-Midtown insanity – the street was quiet, there weren’t coffee shops or other businesses around us yet, it felt like a safe haven after the heartbreak and disorientation of leaving Keystone. At first, there was a great gallery – Grayspace – that shared the other half of the building (and was how we came to find the space in the first place) – the layout was a mirror to ours. Later the Obama Campaign would be our neighbor for a few months, then Bootleg Courier, and then Neverender for a time. On the other side, the Hub launched out of the tiny garage space. Now the building has become home to Death and Taxes and Cheney Street is Midtown Central.

While the space was smaller and had constraints, the HPHQ held its own. When we couldn’t do amplified shows, Ty Williams launched Punk Rock Storytellers (a series of unplugged shows where typically loud bands played quieter sets, telling stories about their music in-between songs) – still among Holland’s most favorite memories; Anthony Alston rebuilt the gallery program in the pint-sized space and soon it was home to BFA exhibitions, cool installations and even the first Stranger Show (packing the tiny space with 100 people or more, spilling out into the street); workshops thrived in that environment; and it was where we launched Holland’s summer event series (Localmotion, Forage, etc). It was also home to a BUNCH of unforgettable and killer shows – both quiet and intimate and high energy, shaking the space (and sometimes the framed artwork or goods on the walls next door).

In another favorite memory, Van Pham and Clint Neuerburg covered the entire space in vintage Reno show fliers for Paper Thin – an incredible visual testament to Reno’s music history. There was also a time when the space was covered in “secrets” hanging from fishing line from the ceiling – all secret messages written on scraps of paper from people in our community – some funny, some sad, and of course, some love notes.

We knew it wasn’t a forever space, but it was a lifesaver at the time – a place to regroup, a place to be resourceful and creative, to continue with programming, and most importantly, a place to gather.