Nonprofit St. Paul music venue closing after burglars steal audio equipment

A Twin Cities youth music charity is dealing with a double loss.

Burglars hit their St. Paul venue right after they decided to consolidate their operations at their Burnsville site.

Twin Cities Catalyst Music set out to strike a chord with kids.

"Our mission is to help young people see and experience and participate in music in the Twin Cities," said Beth Mammenga, Twin Cities Catalyst Music executive director.

At The Garage main room and The Lounge in Burnsville, they open their doors to young musicians of every stripe.

"Indie rock, alt-rock, metal, hip hop, rap," said Mammenga.

Declan McKenna, Nur-D, Mod Sun, and Bad Bad Hats are some of the acts to reach a bigger audience after playing the all ages-no substances venue.

But The Garage is more than just a venue.

The nonprofit helps bands put together albums and hosts an after-school program teaching hundreds of kids a year how to write and record songs.

They aimed to do the same when they started The Treasury in St. Paul during the pandemic.

"Built the stage and the walls and the bathrooms and everything," Mammenga said.

Live concerts started in April 2022, but Twin Cities Catalyst Music announced this month they’d close The Treasury at the end of October because of safety and security concerns.

Not quite a week later, a burglary proved those concerns valid.

In the production room, the burglars stole a digital sound system, and then out in the main room they stole all the audio equipment they could carry — a total of $12,000 worth of equipment.

"The team, of course, is really shook up and devastated that this happened," Mammenga said.

St. Paul police tell FOX 9 they’ve made no arrests, but the investigation is still active. The nonprofit’s board president, Shannon Robinson, says the crooks also stole their chance at saying a proper goodbye to the space, where they still had four more concerts planned.

"And we did have plans for that equipment," Mammenga said.

The digital soundboard was meant to replace an analog system at The Lounge, and they were planning to use the speakers at pop-up concerts in St. Paul, where they’d like to maintain a presence.

For now, though, all the shows are moved to Burnsville.

And supporters are drumming up support through fundraisers at GoFundMe and at Eastlake Craft Brewery.