As a creative person whose primary source of expression is writing, be it songwriting, articles, blogs or Web content, there is a big bad dark fear that musicians and other creatives share. It’s a fear I happen to be wrestling with even now. The “B” word. You guessed it. “BLOCK.”
Creative blocks can occur for a variety of reasons. Currently, there is so much on my mind and so many thoughts racing around in there that I have no idea how to pick ONE subject to share with you. Sometimes it’s the dearth of ideas — the lack of spark — that, for whatever reason inhibits our ability to create. There is one SURE FIRE cure I’ve found to fan the creative flames in my heart, however. Community.
Whether it’s Athens or Seattle in the 90s and 2000s, Detroit in the 60s, or Paris in the late 1800s, these communities had a boom in arts and music because there was a perfect alignment of stars to bring artists to those locations, and where artists gather, they thrive. Creativity is contagious and when a community decides to become an incubator for the development of artists and an arts culture, amazing things happen.
It’s begun here. There are a few of us in the area who carry a passion for seeing Bulloch County become what we know it can be — a haven where artists and musicians gather, collaborate, create, and attract others. To that end, we are taking the steps to begin drawing like-minded creatives together to build momentum in that direction. Where the arts thrive, a community grows. The research is out there, for those who want to Google it.
So, what are we doing to undo and prevent blocks, not just in the creativity of our artists, but in the growth of our community? We are connecting. We are changing the perspective from competitors to family. We are offering opportunities for gatherings. We are inviting our friends, family, and fans to be aware and support a positive momentum in this direction. For those of you who aren’t musicians, you may be asking, “How can I help?”
I’m so glad you asked!
Support local musicians, artists, and venues where they learn and share. Patronage of these people and places through your donations, attendance, and business means more than you can possibly imagine.
Talk to your city councilperson, county commissioners, and state and federal representatives to find out more and to encourage them to vote in ways that support the arts.
It’s a drum I find myself beating all too often, but far too few of our residents understand that supporting the arts leads to a stronger community and thriving nightlife, which leads to thriving small businesses and more offerings for industries and big businesses which strengthens our local economy which makes life even better for everyone here, which draws in artists and creatives...and the cycle of a thriving community continues. It’s up to us to provide the venues and the support.
As for those of us on the creative spectrum, we have a responsibility to create and support opportunities for community amongst ourselves and new artists to our area. Just last month, the Statesboro Musicians Guild held is first musician jam at the Brannen House at Statesboro Inn. Just a few hours of musicians playing, pitching, working, collaborating, and growing as a individuals and as a community. This was the first of what we hope will be an ever more frequent event to foster creativity and help artist remove those blocks.
The Rising Creek Music Series is coming up on March 1, bringing in artists from surrounding areas to open doors for performance. Eagle Creek Brewery opens its doors every Wednesday for open mic which provides artists a chance to try out songs on an eager supportive crowd. I am in development of a songwriter in the round workshop and concert series to be held at the Whitaker Black Box on West Main Street downtown. Little by little, we are opening the doors and removing the blocks so that this amazing community can fan the sparks of creativity and live into the potential so many of us see here.
I guess I got over my block for my article this month, but April’s just around the corner, so if you’re an artist and you’d like to be featured in Discovering Bulloch, help me avoid writer’s block! Send me a message on Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org If you just want to connect with other artists, I’d love to hook you up. Let’s build community.