Guest Writer: Erin Smith
Shop local. Small Business Saturday. Support the Makers.
The whole idea of “bloom where you are planted” has always been important to me. Advocating for and supporting people who are brave enough to make their dreams come true is something I try to do as often as I have the opportunity.
I also believe this mentality should not stop with business owners. Supporting local and growing musicians is just as important as supporting brave entrepreneurs.
Listen local. This is my mantra.
There are musicians in every town, no matter how small, who are aching to share their music and be supported. Whether their dream is to play on the biggest stage with thousands of fans screaming for them or to simply share their art to remind people to believe in something, their hard work should be celebrated.
Supporting big names in anything is easy; it’s familiar. Does the support we give large corporations and internationally recognized superstars actually matter? Absolutely. But doesn’t it feel good to help the little guy out? To look into someone’s eyes and demonstrate your support is special and important. It is personal, and a real relationship is there.
Supporting local musicians is beneficial to the economy as well. It helps people like you and me chase their dreams. It helps entrepreneurs who host budding musicians. It builds the larger organizations who support the musicians and also have an influence in the community and economy.
Discovering you have something in common with someone is one of the most comforting steps in the friend-making process. Music can be that exact factor. It brings people together. Going to local shows can present you with an opportunity to meet new people in your area to be friends with, and you already know they have great taste in music. Then, you can introduce one another to more music and more friends.
Becoming friends with local musicians by showing your support for their art and dreams is an exciting possibility and not at all unlikely to happen. We naturally gravitate closer to people who support us. Your support of them becomes even more real at that point.
The flipside of this coin is supporting your already-friends who are artists. Being friends with people means having the opportunity to celebrate who they are and what they do. Musicians are not exempt to this.
Music is art. Art shows us more about the world around us and the wonderful people who live in it. We can learn so much about ourselves and those important people through what they create and share. It helps us think and feel more deeply. It is important to appreciate the beautiful things in life, and I firmly believe music is one of those things. It can put words and rhythms to thoughts and feelings we cannot express.
Everyone starts small. No one becomes a scholar, professional or superstar overnight. It takes time, hard work and dedication to what one loves. That process is a rocky road that cannot be traveled alone.
It takes people who believe in those dreams and the effort and magic it takes to make them true. Your support gets the message out to other people. Especially if you refuse to love quietly.
Love loudly and passionately. Share it with the world. Show everyone why it is important and why it is important to you.
“Listening local” does not have to stop at a certain radius from where you live. The idea is to believe in dream chasers who are local to someone somewhere.
Give your ears to the people who are saying and doing things you want to be a part of and stand with. Be part of something bigger by being part of something smaller.
The authentic blood, sweat and tears of someone who is trying to figure out how to make it through this life are valuable. That describes you, me and gifted people who can play wonderful music.
We are all in this together. Let us support one another in the things we do to make this world a better place.
Erin is a junior public relations major from Anderson, Indiana.