There’s gonna be a Revival

A Bolder Humboldt is renovating a former church into a music venue. It will offer concerts from national touring artists and include an educational component, offering music lessons from around the world in a virtual format.



July 9, 2021 - 3:26 PM

A pipe organ will literally set the stage for the Revival Music Hall. Damaris Kunkler, community engagement director for A Bolder Humboldt, left, and Jaylynn Reno, Humboldt High School student intern, are working on the project along with Tony Works, not pictured. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — Be bold.

Be bold in your thinking. Be bold with your ideas and your vision. Be bold with projects.

That’s the idea behind A Bolder Humboldt, a development group led by the Joe and Janie Works family.

The latest project may be one of the boldest yet: Turn a former church into a music venue that hosts national touring artists as well as regional performers of all genres. 

Then, add a music educational component, bringing musicians, lessons and opportunities from around the world, both in person and virtually.

It’s called “Revival Music Hall,” a name that capitalizes on both the history of the church as well as the resurging business development in Humboldt.

The former Presbyterian church near downtown Humboldt is being renovated into a music venue. The sanctuary is being converted into a stage area.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

The music venue is currently under construction at the former Presbyterian Church at 10th and Bridge streets. 

In 2006, the building was established as the Confraternity of Our Lady Peace House of Prayer, run by a controversial Irish woman who claimed to be a prophet who saw visions and had stigmata. It closed a few years later and was eventually purchased by the Works family, along with the Bailey Hotel building.

Tony Works, son of Joe and Janie, is overseeing the Revival Music Hall project on behalf of A Bolder Humboldt. Damaris Kunkler, community engagement director for the group, is the project manager.

“The project saves a beautiful historic building that would be tragic to allow it to deteriorate,” Works said. “It will bring the joy of live music to our community, and expose visitors to what’s happening here. It’s definitely a shoot-for-the-stars attempt at creating a unique destination.”

Music venue

Construction began about a year ago, but has been slowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shipments of material and equipment were delayed. Construction crews were busy with other projects.

Still, it’s shaping up. Kunkler hopes the music venue will be open by the end of the year. 

The former sanctuary has been updated with professional lighting, above, and sound with a sound booth in the upper right. Most of the pews will be removed to allow for general admission downstairs, with a bar and seating areas in the balcony area. A VIP section will be offered at the top left. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

The first priority was to preserve the structure of the building, through tuck pointing and foundation work. 

“It’s always in the front of our mind to preserve the historical integrity and do as little altering as possible,” Kunkler said.