HELP The Bartlett
November 27, 2012

As I mentioned in my last post my husband and I are starting a business. Another business…I should say. But this kind of business requires a lot more than a laptop and some office supplies.


Something I love about Spokane is that everyone here is connected. And even people who have lived here in the past feel connected somehow. Spokane has a great community feel…probably not for everyone. But for me it always has.


Watching donations come in has been so awe-inspiring and makes me see this great connectedness that music and art bring to our city. Don’t judge me but I was watching the voice last night and Cee-lo Green is always surprising me with little words of wisdom…last night he said “Music is for imitating life and for encouraging the living.” I love this. As culture proceeds to monetarily de-value the artform of music (a perfect example is the fiasco happening currently with the Spokane Symphony) we will realize that a culture void of the arts is a very lifeless culture. Music imitates life in that it takes on millions of forms, genres, voices, emotions. It can put sound to every experience and through that it encourages us through our moments, days, months and years. It keeps us in the moment allowing us to drown in our tears more sweetly or rejoice in our triumphs more exuberantly. It ties us to our memories in a unique way and at it’s best…helps us to reflect a little bit on who we are and who we want to be.


I could go on and on. Music has been a huge part of my life since I was little and I have always been greatly drawn to it. I could list a thousand moments at concerts, in living room sing-alongs or listening to cds in the car where the world just comes alive. And the real beauty of this is that it has little to do with the fact that I’m a musician and more to do with the fact that I’m a human. And each of us has this ability to connect with music…it’s actually knit into our brains and hearts.


The problem is, people often know how much they love music, but for some reason they forget what it takes for it to be created…and created well. It’s not easy, and often the life of a musician is a tormented, lonely, impoverished road. If I sound dramatic, good. Short of Lady Gaga and the other 1% of pop stars…most musicians are struggling by. When I say most, that probably includes your favorite bands, even some that you have maybe seen on the Grammy’s or on your favorite Late Night show. Fame doesn’t always equal a consistent paycheck. After bands walk off the stage they are greeted by a culture that wants what they are providing, but doesn’t want to pay for it. They are greeted by an industry that is looking for every chance to screw them over and by clubs who are professionals at half-assing everything. (more drama…sorry, proving a point here) Obviously, there are some people who are doing well, there are some good venues out there and some industry professionals who are kind and hard-working. There is hope for musicians who are talented and ready to work hard. But things in the industry are getting more difficult not easier, read more on that here.


All of this leads me to a philosophy that Caleb and I feel very passionately about. The culture of music in our country and in our city is struggling. We can complain but instead we are choosing to bring change and to advocate. Our city needs us…and it needs you. We all have things we are passionate about and parts of culture that kind of make us cringe. Why not take a step towards changing that part of your culture? If music is something you are passionate about, or if my ranting resonates with you at all. Think about helping us, we really need you to move forward with this cause. Also…follow what’s happening with the Spokane Symphony, it’s a similar story and a place where musicians need us to stand up for them.

Click here to help with The Bartlett.