Rallying Calls – Fostering a Supportive Community for Artists/Bands

. April 28, 2017.
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Pretty soon you can start picking up print editions of our May Issue, where we’ll be talking, again, about the state of the local music scene in Washtenaw County.

If you’ve been following Current’s issues and its online columns since last September, you’ve noticed that we’ve been doing our best to keep venues in the conversation. We’ve talked to Grove Studios, we’ve talked to Crossroads, and we’ve talked to the Arts Alliance. We’ve talked to bands, we’ve talked to talent bookers, we’ve talked to lots of folks – and it’s consistently been about why it’s so vital to have designated spots, venues, galleries, clubs, etc, that can accommodate artists with opportunities to reach audiences.

But it is vital… That’s the word, “vital…,” that I chose when I spoke with Jenny Jones, recently. Jones is a local singer/songwriter, a member of The Understorey, and a managing/publicity/marketing specialist for musical talent with Sadie Madden Music, and musical manager at Ypsi’s Cultivate Coffee/Tap House.

“I like the fact that you approach (this) as vital…” said Jones. “The importance of performing spaces isn’t necessarily just for those that call themselves musicians, but it’s imperative for mindful development, too—encouraging and cultivating thought and creativity!”

A number of factors, trends, or shifts in preference could be the culprits that make it harder for venues to attract more crowds. It’s just unfortunate timing, as we’ll note in our print issue, because we seem to have more bands, songwriters, producers and performers than ever. But we don’t want to provide a simplistic prognosis, or some magical formula to fix it all…

What we have to remember is that we’re at risk of losing authentically inspirational moments and life-lasting memories.

Musicians and artists alike will tell you,” Jones said, “that at one point or another, they have encountered or been exposed to a moment, an evening, or event where they experienced someone’s pure expression of themselves, whether it be art or music; and that that experience changed them…made them better people or helped them see something in culture that they wanted to be a part of made them change their perspective.”

That is what happens at live music events! And I’m so glad I could get a chance to chat with Jones before this issue hits the stands.

“Live music venues – in whatever form (house concerts, actual venues, theatre, breweries, bars, orchestra halls, bedrooms) are essential to our survival and ability to see other people differently and to be able to communicate differences and likenesses,” said Jones. “Think of it as a space for communication and ultimately answers to many questions that we didn’t know to ask!”

Find the answer to your cultural questions this weekend, any weekend, at any of the several venues around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti!