Heartland Gallery

underground performance & arts space


"Heartland was my point of entry to the Seattle DIY community, and without its existence I wouldn't have met some of the most important people in my life."

Claire Buss, Producer, Filmmaker

Heartland Gallery (Heartland for short) was an underground alternative music and performance venue that I co-directed with my talented and trusted friend José Díaz Rohena . Our vision for the space was to be a self-sustaining facility where we hosted musical events, performances, and whatever was in mind for the DIY scene when space was needed.


At this point in time there were some other underground event spaces that had been shut down or were turned into condos, and there was a pretty big hole in Seattle’s local music community. There was a great sense of urgency that I had and I was having a kind of crisis of belonging. I wanted a place for there to be a recording studio, shows, and rehearsals. I was traveling down a street one evening (not metaphorically) and read a phone number posted on a sign of space for rent, in a building I had walked by routinely. I made a couple calls to this number, checked out the space, and it occurred to me that this might be the space.

Initially José’s intent was to run a recording studio that we would both share, while I was in charge of the majority of operations of the space. Not to long after signing the lease, José realized that he’d actually need to split operation duties with, something that didn’t cross my mind until he brought it up, as I didn’t seem to realize it because retrospectively, it must have happened naturally.


Myself, José, our friends Camille Hardman and Lily Kerson (who both later became core coordinators) were responsible for daily operations of outreach, event management, promotion, booking, development and coordinated staffing of events though our group of 40+ volunteers.

Aside from performances and other public events, Heartland hosted studio and office space for an array of excellent artists and craftspeople: Michael Heck (Pity Party Corperation),animator Charlie Daugherty , comic book artists Max Clotfelter (commix illustrator) and Tom Van Deusen , Illustrator Catherine Cougan, musician, photographer Melissa Kagerer and William Statler just to name a few.


We sometime even hosted private party events for ourselves (like our love-cruise themed valentines event), benefits, after parties (shout out to Shortrun!) and many of the bands that we hosted were established acts or getting to be on the move. (Seattle band Chastity Belt often performed and even recorded their debut album No Regerts with José at Heartland)


Despite big plans and ideas, we realized that the nature of the space we signed our names to was not going to be able to accommodate the vision for the space and we had to work around these problems. We had worked with The Vera Project and Shunpike with attempts in making Heartland a non-profit with a long-term plan of sustaining the space as an all-ages venue, but persistent was that the unfortunate state of the building and unfortunate landlord that hindered any possibility of the space becoming a long-term institution. We did what we could, we had a good time, and we ended the project once our lease expired.

During the run of this project and in time since, it’s been frequently cited to me as being a place that was important for everyone involved, and that it changed a lot of lives and formed long-lasting bonds. Friend, and Seattle independent filmmaker / producer Claire Bus said that, "Heartland was my point of entry to the Seattle DIY community, and without its existence I wouldn't have met some of the most important people in my life." ▣

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Some of the artists that performed at Heartland...

Lori Goldston • Jessika Kenney • Mount Eerie • Ashley Eriksson • Riley Pile • Remembran • LAKE • Craig Salt Peters • OCnotes • Jaberi & Deustch • Koda Sequoia • Perpetual Ritual • your rival • winnebago • your heart breaks • ghost mice • Nana Grizol • Pregnant • Mason Lindahl • Weird Bug • sleuth • Cool Ghouls • Stalebirth • netcat • Imaginary Pants • Mselasco • Amenta Abioto • OCnotes • Briana Marela • Bad Weather California • Swamp Meat • Chemical Clock • SSRIS • Mega Bog • WaMu • Bad Luck • Secret Colors • Hive Dwellers • Slashed Tires • Richie Dagger's Crime • Lié • Koban • Black Hat • Bardo.Basho • Pony Time • Universe People • Don't Talk to the Cops! • Punishment • TacocaT • Pacific Pride • Matilda • Thrones • Midlife Vacation • Mutant Video • Total Life • La Luz • heatwarmer • Pretty Old • Whitney Ballen • Albert Square • Youth Tunes • Transparent Aluminum • Part Wolf • Lovers Without Borders • Pleasure Beauties • Corner Kick • Judo • netcat • Hardcoretet • Lawson • Party Animal • Monogamy Party • Neighbors • Song Sparrow Research • Hana & the Goose • Owl Pussycat • Humble Cub • Ozarks • Tenspeed Music • Pitschhouse • Mitts • Health Problems • Freak Heat Waves • Babysitter • Happy Noose • Darto • dreamdecay • Mutant Video • Coleen Green • So Pitted • White Fang • Slam Dunk • • Hibou • Dan Sasaki • Venessa Renwick • You Are Plural • Lisa Shonberg • Cascadia • Weed • Scarves • No Grave • Oh! Pears • Chastity Belt • Needlecraft • Tele Novella • Bandolier • Malaikat Dan Singa • MTNS • Geist and the Sacred Ensemble • DJ Urine • Jason Anderson • iji • Lexi Lee • Karl Blau • Grand Hallway • Katie Jacobson • Aaron Otheim • Thousands • Street Eaters • Tender Hips • Acapulco Lips • Freak Heat Waves • Marvelous Good Fortune • CROSSS • Thunder Grey Pilgrim • Priests • Calvin Johnson • Fucking Dyke Bitches • Naomi Punk • The Courtney's • Filardo • Japanese Guy • PETS • Tim Leingang • Jaill • Cosmonauts • Dude York • Seacats • Superprojection • Tangerine • Lures • Zachary Cale • Le Sang Song • Case Studies • Stillsuit • Deathdrive • Dogjaw • Sick Sad World • Land of Pines • Ever Ending Kicks • Jordan O'Jordan • SK Kakraba Lobi • Dogbreth • Diners • Master Mahan • Places We Slept • Sandy City • Gossimer • l'île pica • Love In Mind • Song Sparrow Research • Robin Bacior • Alex Guy • Empty Room • Sister Girlfriend • Owl Pussycat • Stickers • Lié • Peeping Tomboys • Grave Babies • Hornet Leg • Posse • Zebra Hunt • The Ghost Ease • the Webs • Mary Pauline Díaz • the Echo Echo Echoes • The Exquisites • Wild Moth • the Iguana • Pill Wonder • Meth Dad • Yer Heart • Charlie Daugherty • Dragons • Special Explosion • Is/Is • Autococoon • winnebago • Julie Byrne • GRR • CS Luxem • Animal Lover • Elch • Spoonboy • The Bepstein Show • Tummy • Bex Berryhill • Run-On Sunshine • Dear • Younger Shoulder • Dennis Driscoll • Cock & Swan • Ionophore • Corey J. Brewer • Prissy Clerks • TacocaT • Wimps • Blooper • Cold Fronts • Wynne Greenwood • Of Magic • HITS • Jongu • Joseph P. Traina • Richard Album • Hedgehag • Palace of Buddies • Ursula • Erin Tanner • Eleanor Murray • Simon Kornelis Band • Autococoon • Goose Island • Cold Lake • My Parade • Ox • E.T. Russian • Nation of Two • Upside Drown • Night Cadet • Lovers Without Borders • tender forever • half breed • Stephen Steinbrink • Julie Byrne • Babysitter • JLK • Hair & Space Museum • Witches Titties • american dream • Landlines • San Onofre Lizards • Reivers • Sojourner • Woolen Men • KMVP • Celibacy Now • Smear Lord • Oh! Pears • Secretary • Eidolons • Sama Dams • Naomi Punk • FF • Olivia Neutron-John • Huge Rock • Spring • Chemical Clock • USF • Red Alder • Children of Kids • Younger Shoulder • Claire Yazza • Tyson Ballew • Krist Krueger • Chung Antique • Heavy Petting • Audrey Horne • Medium Soda • Tough Age • Stuporhero • The Beach Boy • bardo:basho • youryoungbody • Tangerine • The Yellow Dress • King Brat • Snuff Redux • Screaming Multitudes • Erin Jorgensen • Lo' There Do I See My Brother • Orange King • Follies & Vices • Grand Arson • The Ghost Ease • Cloud Becomes Your Hand • Marvelous Good Fortune • Thee Samedi • Vexx • Apparitions • Big Crux • Wimps • Darlingchemicalia • The Dumps • SiLM • Half Shadow • Geological Creep • Will Murdoch • ings • Autococoon • Dio-Jean-Baptiste • R.C Love & The Goodness Gracious • Air Jackson • Lilac • Vats • Smiling