AMP by Strathmore
Every formal concert venue finds itself at the mercy of changing demographics these days. It’s hard to get younger people to commit and come out. Strathmore, an outside-the-Beltway music hub since 2005, decided to take up the challenge by bringing its programming energies directly into the heart of a hip new Montgomery County neighborhood known as Pike & Rose. In partnership with developer Federal Realty, and supported in part by MSAC, Strathmore launched AMP in 2015.
The 230-seat music space has an intimate, eclectic vibe. "We see it as an experimental crucible,” says Strathmore president Monica Jeffries Hazangeles. “It sure is fun.”
In addition to musical artists of every genre—especially emerging and local performers on their way to building bigger audiences—AMP programs yoga classes with live music, documentary film screenings, comedy shows, and fundraisers. Recently the venue hosted ArtStream, a community organization that produces theater performances for actors with disabilities. There's even talk of launching a book club.
“We see ourselves as embedded in the community, a lively amenity for the new residents. The audience has continuously increased, and further build-out in the neighborhood opens things up even more,” says Jeffries Hazangeles.
Flexible seating with or without tables enables the venue to cabaret-style dinner shows or more standard concert formats with any combination of seated and standing tickets. Gourmet food and drink is provided by Ridgewell’s Catering. The hope over the long run is that interest in AMP might eventually lead audiences toward Strathmore’s main 16-acre campus, especially if they follow their favorite artists climbing in popularity. But for now, AMP is attracting its own patrons. “We have seen some overlap [with attendees to other Strathmore venues] but generally we’re building a new audience. What has been true for millennia is still true: people come [not for the venue but] for what’s on stage."