KING CITY — Sol Treasures board members Jeff Hinderscheid and Jamie Jones recently announced the nonprofit’s new virtual lab, which will be used to produce videos, record audio and music, helping to expand educational opportunities both in the arts and in content production and engineering.

While speaking during King City Rotary’s Nov. 4 meeting, Hinderscheid and Jones said Sol Treasures would purchase equipment for the new portable lab and studio beginning this month, but the room would not be finished until after the holiday season due to the various events going on at the arts center.

“As soon as we’re through our holiday events, we’ll get started on that room,” said Jones, noting that some work will start early, as it doesn’t require overhauling the current setup. “You can paint a wall with green screen paint, so we’re going to have the back wall as a green screen,” she added.

The decision to move ahead with the project came as a result of Covid-19 and activity restrictions.

“When Covid hit, we were not able to do all the things we usually do in person, which as an arts organization, a lot of things were in person,” Jones said.

The setback caused the board to evaluate what could be done in an “expand, not replace” mindset while still providing participation and learning opportunities.

“Anything we’re doing with our programming now, we’re trying to be careful to have it be something that will be valuable for the future even when we can go back to in-person interaction and events,” Jones said.

The lab’s first focus will be to record lessons or other activities for people to view online. From there, the center will figure out how to teach the technical side of the arts, such as video editing and audio engineering.

“Once we can go back to normal and use the beautiful places like the Stanton (Theater), these will carry over and give us the opportunity to have access to both sides of things, the stage and performing arts side, and the technical side,” Hinderscheid said.

The equipment will be portable to be able to take to stage productions or even outdoor activities. Later, the idea of classes or even community use as a recording studio can be considered.

“What we’re doing right now is phase one,” Jones said about the intent to keep expanding. “We want to start reasonable. The idea is that this is just the beginning, and we will keep growing as organically as we can with the interest and utilization of the equipment.”

The dual-natured lessons offered by the lab will allow Sol Treasures to place a focus on the technical behind-the-scenes portions of the arts.

“One of the things I’ve noticed with directing kids in our community, is not every child wants to be on stage and not every child wants to be in the spotlight,” Hinderscheid said. “We need technicians as well.”

The idea is that they will have an artist who needs to record a performance, and in the future they will also have a learning technician who can work to record, edit and share that performance.

“That gives us the opportunity to teach people in the community, students of any age, to use the technical side of a studio,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of potential for what we’re going to be able to use it for.”

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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