On October 29, The 1828 Leadership Project presented by Citizens Energy Group ventured to Fountain Square for Sound of the City, the 3rd session of their leadership program with Andrea McPherson, and Rob Dixon, and Josh Baker to talk all things music and Indy. Prior to 2020, Indy’s music scene was truly on the rise thanks to the pioneers leading the way in our city. Today, in the midst of the pandemic, Indy’s music artists and music venues have worked to keep the music playing and the lights on as the industry bands together to advocate for economic relief packages to sustain. This session with our 1828 Leaders and city doers really got deep into the heart of the current state of music and culture in our city, and where we go from here.
I absolutely love going to concerts, and I went to a lot of them when I was in high school. However, I never considered how formative those experiences were for me, and how much cities rely on younger people to support its local artists and venues. I would love to see Indy become a defined music city, and I am glad that there are people who are already trying to create more space for that. This discussion made me all the more inclined to go to local venues, seek out local artists and support efforts to grow Indy’s music scene.
I have a deep appreciation and love for music, so I really enjoyed this session. I learned so much about the jazz scene that once existed on Indiana Avenue from Rob Dixon. It’s important to understand the history of our city, which includes the musical talent that once existed and continues to exist in this city, so that we can be proud of the music scene in our city and celebrate it.
Andrea, Josh, and Rob also talked about how the music scene was impacted by the pandemic. They all mentioned that they needed to apapt in order to move on, which is very similiar to other industries as well. I was happy to hear about some of the ways that they have adapted to continue to bring music and joy to our city including private concerts in neighborhoods, livestreams, and live music at Lugar Plaza during early voting. If there’s one thing that this pandemic has made me miss, it’s listening to live music and going to concerts in-person. I hope we can all continue to support the music scene during this pandemic, so that we don’t have to say goodbye to any of the wonderful music venues. I am also looking forward to the virtual IndyJazz Fest 2020 this month.
I appreciated meeting Rob and hearing his take on Indiana Avenue’s National (and global) impact on Music. The Avenue is so much more than an Avenue, but a venue for so many [insert nouns here] that are beautiful, bold and Black.
Our venues and musicians need us, and we need them. I think we take for granted the incredible talent and finesse behind the music industry. In order to preserve what we all value and love, we have to be willing to work together to support both local venues and music. I’m looking forward to investing more time getting to know the Indy music scene and attending virtual concerts where I can.