“Town Hall Collaborative was really born out of this desire and need to create space that was not just focused on a bar but really focused on activism,” Day said. “Town Hall was really about having a space to gather either for fun or to have hard conversations.”
The pair settled on the name “Town Hall Collaborative,” after deciding they wanted the space’s patrons to involve themselves in politics and help shape the world around them.
“We’re taking back this idea that politics is outside of us as a community,” Day said. “We, as a community and as a group of people, need to be involved and we wanted to make space for that.”
On separate, personal levels, both owners said they know how it feels to be excluded from more traditional bars and coffee shops. Day’s son has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and throughout his life, Day said she has noticed how few establishments are accessible for people with disabilities, which Town Hall Collaborative hopes to change.
“We always said that we would be a space that was safe and inclusive and we would do everything in our power to make it that way,” Day said. “Communities are meant to be together and to gather together and challenge each other, and there aren’t enough spaces that are intentional in doing that.”
While the location in the Santa Fe Arts District was something of a lucky coincidence, the owners said the space also hopes to connect artists and help them share their work with the community.
“To have a space where you can come listen to a lecture on race, gender or sexuality and also listen to live music and have trivia or karaoke, I feel like that’s not only encompassing of how I feel and show up in this world, but also what a lot of my friends and connections are looking for,” Beno said. “For me, creating different communities has always been really important because I think I’m also into a lot of different things.”
Alison Berg is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Moore is a senior multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach him at email@example.com.