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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Open Space Event Studios: Entertainment is also culture in Bend  


Part I 

Skiing, kayaking, hiking, dog parks, Breweries, roundabouts and naturally, long-sleeved flannel shirts in mid-July are the setting… We’ve all heard this depiction of culture in Bend; either in an advertisement, down a YouTube rabbit hole, or on a Tinder profile we swear we don’t have. Though less frequently talked about among the cliches of Bend’s identity is a culture perhaps more deserving of notoriety. I’m referring to Bend’s pulsing entertainment culture and the visionary owners within the heartbeat of it.

As a journalistic several-part series, I started a journey to gain perspective into Bend’s entertainment culture and the people behind it. Attending venues around town, I had the privilege of interviewing many of these owners and experiencing what makes their establishment unique in driving this culture. My journey began with Charlie Theil of Open Space Event Studios

Open Space Event Studios 

Good luck trying to use only one adjective to label the type of venue this is, other than versatile. This establishment feeds the creative imagination of the community and visitors from all walks of life. Despite hosting concerts, independent films, theater, art exhibits, diverse events like “The Father’s Group” and even a Weed-themed magic show, Open Space Event  Studios has a few limits. The gallery entrance way into the building and through the double doors revealing the open floor concept gives a community-like and welcoming feel. 

However, the flexibility in accommodating stage sets, lights, room arrangements and seating is nothing short of professional. A friendly staff environment also compliments the experience. More than just providing entertainment, this venue provides platforms for community connecting events that otherwise may be too difficult for members to facilitate.  

“We want this place to be financially viable and accessible for the people who want to do something creative,” said Thiel.

Charlie Thiel, the owner 

The uniqueness of this business translates in Bend’s culture, though what else would you expect from an owner who identifies himself as a “General doer of things?” as said by Thiel. As an Actor/producer, writer, cinematographer, business owner, or (as I dare to be a taboo journalist using a cliché to describe him) “A Renaissance Man,” his over 30 years of experience in art entertainment lives up to his stated identity. Working with and becoming friends with Todd Loopy, executive director of Bend Film, and many others, Thiel also connects with other creative minds in town.

His philosophy

Thiel lives by a philosophy he calls, “The Community of Humankind,” though he is not originally from Bend (and no, he’s not from California). Nevertheless, he has found this philosophy to be very much prevalent in this high desert community.  

This philosophy thrives within the idea of connecting all races, sexes, spiritualities, and other positive groups of people as one community. 

Thiel’s roots

While growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, Thiel never truly felt like himself there. “There was very much resistance to change,” he stated, referring to the lack of acceptance of different people and ideas he experienced in South Carolina. 

On the east coast, Thiel began his pursuit of creativity as a wedding photographer. He found fulfillment in the notion that his creative vision of making wedding photo albums became etched into his client’s family’s heritage. Speaking of family, Thiel prides himself on being a family man first when listing all his endeavors.

Married with two daughters, a sense of family, community and creativity is the recipe Thiel inspires to promote in Bend.

What’s next in the creative vision?

 The plan to expand the Open Space Studios facility is next on the horizon for Thiel. Yet, his most ambitious project in town includes opening a gym called “Foundation Health and Fitness.” This facility is still going through all the red tape for city approval, but making progress.

The purpose of the gym is to bring adaptive athletes, as well as organizations who work with them together.  ‘Till next time, this is reporter Aaron Rasheed, aka The Broadside Kid, signing off.

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About the Contributor
Aaron Rasheed
Aaron Rasheed, Staff reporter
Aaron Rasheed, also known as “The Broadside Kid,” is a staff writer for The Broadside.

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