Each week, I’m tasked to come up with a topic for my Sunday column, which began as way to cover local music, but has grown into something a lot more.
Don’t get me wrong, I love covering Columbia’s music scene, getting to hang out with local artists, hear their stories and, on occasion, plug in and play with them.
Some days I’m still in denial this is considered “work,” when the word is often associated with day labor, bagging groceries and confronting humanity’s awfulness while navigating the customer service industry.
But, then, nobody ever said work couldn’t be fun. You just have to find a way to make it work for you.
With that said, I’ve noticed over the last few weeks several musicians and bands reaching out to tell their story. It’s not only another chance to hear new music each week, but proof that Columbia and Maury County’s art scene has created some serious staying power. It’s become a supreme beast in its own right that’s caused us at The Daily Herald to take notice, and we’re hoping to take our coverage of the arts one step further.
With Mule Day craziness looming ahead, our focus has been on getting those stories in the can and designing our gargantuan special section, among our regular weekly newspaper duties. However, there is a buzz about what the paper can do to give local artists a voice. But most importantly, at least for me, it’ll give me the chance to be more creative each week with my column, and not necessarily have it geared toward music every week.
My column is important to me, first because it’s mine, the one thing I can control and share a little about myself with our readers, and I’d kind of like to keep it that way.
Our other reporter, Mike Christen, and I had a conversation last week about what we can do for our local creatives. We thought a great way to provide good local coverage was to have space designated for weekly music stories.
To me, it seems like a natural fit and something that can grow into a bigger entity down the road. I don’t know what that’ll look like, but it will legitimize the scene down here, which is what it truly deserves. And it doesn’t have to only be music.
Arts can be just about anything that is made with the creative spirit in mind. That also means literature, painting, sculpting, or simply someone with a unique perspective on life in general. We want to cover it all, because everyone deserves a voice.
Not to mention, devoting your life to the arts, risking everything in hope of building an audience, is someone who definitely has something to say, and is probably worth listening to.
It’s just a matter of having everything in its proper place, doing a little reorganizing and seeing what the big picture truly holds. This is a good thing, but good things require work, direction and dedication, and not to mention proper organization.
It’s nice to shake things up a little from time to time. Growing stagnant and repeating myself every week is a slump I try to avoid, but, on the other hand, it’s usually the time talk of change and how to make something better occurs.
Change is good, although not always easy to accept. In this case, it’s a very good thing, because it’s proof that with enough drive, talent and maybe a little luck, people can create an enriching community for themselves, when an idea outgrows its own shoes and becomes a major entity for what makes a place like Columbia unique and inviting.
Now, let’s get through Mule Day, see some cool bands and love that we’ve all created something beautiful that has a bright future we can’t imagine. But I’ll be there for the party, the food and the good times to come. You should, too.
Jay Powell is a reporter for The Daily Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JayPowellCDH.