Making music as an artist or an athlete can be very difficult.
If the artist doesn’t actually love the craft and show passion in their work, it becomes even worse. Nobody should become an artist because of the money, in my opinion.
I happen to know some very talented musicians and artists who barely scrape by working a full-time job and playing gigs. At the same time, nobody expects to make any money when they first start playing a sport. One expects to shell out money for equipment, proper attire, and probably chip in with food and drinks with teammates. The same with learning an instrument— even singing.
There is a lot to be said about learning a skill, and whether that skill becomes a hobby or a career there is a lot of hard work and long hours that has gone into it. Heck, I can’t even crochet and I’ve been attempting statically for years. (I’m told it is easy, but I don’t believe it.)
What I am getting at here, however, is that showcasing local talent in the community is as important to the artist’s identity and sense of pride (and simply sharing their work with the community), as it is to the wealth of the community.
I started out the semester with a love letter to South Bend, but it really was true. After living here for over twenty years, I have gotten over the “there’s nothing to do here” syndrome. If you truly believe that there is nothing to do in Michiana, you are not paying attention to what is going on.
IU South Bend is a much more student-oriented, vibrant campus than I remember entering as a student fresh out of high school. Returning the campus after a few years of working, I was shocked at how much more student life I’ve seen.
In the same way, I’m surprised at how well Coveleski Stadium and the South Bend Silverhawks are doing, and the vibrancy of the town in general.
For instance, there is are poetry jams and jazz sessions that are open to artists that I’ve found. There’s a metal, punk, rockabilly and acoustic scene as well. There are actually quite a few galleries and art shops in the area.
So again, what does this mean to support?
To support the vibrancy of a community, aside from the local businesses, there is much to be said about attending an event every once in a while, meeting new people, learning about a new medium or genre, and growing one’s appreciation for what their peers are creating. Supporting local artists sometimes means just attending a show or a gallery opening, or showing up for a traveling artist’s showcase at a small venue.
There are also historic venues that open their doors to tributes as well as a mixed crowd. Supporting the local art and sports scene means more than making passionate talent famous and well known, it is about creating a community that is supportive and caring .
I love going to punk shows, I’ll admit. I like pushing my way through people and getting up close to the stage and moshing around with people, but in the right crowd if you get knocked down, someone will pick you back up (and likely throw you back).
While that is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea (not most of the people I know), it is representative of the type of community I think everyone should experience: One where people may not know you very well, but appreciate that one enjoys the sports team, the music or the art…the support and community that is created is invaluable to the people.