Last night there was a meeting of the music masses of Denton hosted by Christopher Cotter, a devoted DIY scene supporter. The town hall was set up to last for 4 hours. We went, we listened and nodded, and heard what people had to say. From that we've gathered a few of our favorite quotes and ideas from the evening. Read on to find out our biggest take aways from a evening of DIY venue talks.
"If you can't respect someone as a human being, you might want to leave." - Christopher Cotter
"This is a lot better sitting on Facebook and yelling at each other." - Chris Flemmons
"We definitely need an all ages DIY venue in Denton. Now is the time" - Dr. Michael Seman
"We didn't feel like we had a lot of options. We tried to work our way up and find a way into the other places." - Eric Pulido on starting out (Fun fact, the small stage in what is now Oriental Garden was the first stage that Midlake played on.)
"This is not a real estate bubble." - Dr. Michael Seman on the prices of real estate recovering post recession
"We're arguing with profiles, not people." - Keldrick Scott on why it is important to gather and discuss things in person, instead of fight online
"A forum like this, where we get together, I almost feel like this should be a weekly thing. This is where we can make things happen." - Erick Pulido on the importance of gathering together to discuss the challenges ahead
"Where is the next frontier? Where is the next strip mall with bays that can't be rented out?" - Dr. Michael Seman on broadening our scope to look for spaces that aren't downtown, but would be viable to the needs of the DIY community
"There is a difference between music economy and music culture. House shows feed culture, venues feed economy." Josh Baish
"This town is still remarkable, because you can call the council members and staff members. You can sit down with them over lunch and discuss the issues." - Chris Flemmons on the uniqueness of Denton's government
Idea proposal: Music council; made up of people from different aspects of the music scene to gather regularly and communicate needs and struggles with city council, so that there is an opportunity for legitimate solutions to be made. - Dr. Michael Seman, modeled after the Austin Music Council, which was later backed by UNT President, Neal Smatresk as one of the best things he heard all evening.
HEARD was brought to light as a bridge for artists to be amplified in the community. Which went to show that there is a lot of good being done here.
There were also many proposals from audience members for DIY spaces that are funded through crowd-sourcing, fundraising campaigns, modeled after 1919 Hemphill in Fort Worth, accessible to all, open ended for genres, and supported not only musicians across multiple genres, but also other art forms. Some wanted alcohol free venues for young up and coming artists and others wanted a bar to help float the cost of keeping the lights on.
In researching DIY spaces and community based music enrichment outreach programs, we thought back to panel last year that included AV the Great proposing a music magnet school in town. In the search for similar models to what he proposed Dr. Michael Seman guided us to Youth On Record, a Denver based youth outreach program that allows students access to collaborative musicians.
Our biggest takeaway? Denton, you're full of talented, driven and creative people. There was a great conversation that was started, and we're excited to see what you do next.
Despite news of the contrary, the kids are alright.