One of the largest concert promoters in the area is using its truck that once sold tickets to collect donations of food.
IMP Productions operates venues like The Anthem, 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion, which have been closed for more than a year.
Part of IMP marketing manager Colin Gbolie's job was driving the mobile ticket van to neighborhoods across region.
“One of my favorite parts of working in IMP, whether it’s door staffing or marketing in the truck selling tickets, it’s the connection to people, it’s the interaction you get, and so, to be able to get back on that even though we’re not selling out shows and stuff right now, to be able to speak to people and, like, be able to get that connection to the community and be engaging, that means a lot to me, so it’s really good,” he said.
IMP decided to use the van to collect food for the Capital Area Food Bank.
“Every day I’ve brought at least, I would say, maybe 100 items to the food bank,” Gbolie said.
“We’re doing a food pantry for our employees as well, and we were just always trying to think about things we can do that help those who are hurting and stop us from feeling sorry for ourselves,” Chief Operating Officer Donna Westmoreland said.
The van collects food outside 9:30 Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and outside The Anthem from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays.
“We are looking, actually, to expand it to other days of the week,” Westmoreland said. “We’re talking to some grocery stores about maybe doing it in their parking lots, and we’re open to suggestions if people would like us to come to their sort of safe area where we could do this. We’d entertain the option.
While musicians and fans await the full return of live music, Gbolie is happy to be back out on the streets and making a difference in his community.
“It’s definitely a big help, and we go and fill up the food donation box, and they’re really appreciative of it too, so it’s been nice,” Gbolie said. While The Anthem remains closed, a pop-up bar and restaurant called Camp Anthem opened on The Wharf Friday.
Correction (March 27, 2021): This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Gbolie's name.