Street Music Week Is Here!
One last reminder: the 11th annual Spokane Street Music Week is less than a day away.
The event begins noon Monday (tomorrow) and continues daily during the noon hours through Friday on the sidewalks of downtown and – for the first time ever – the Garland business district.
I want to thank all of you in advance for your willingness to share your time and talent in the fight against hunger.
Now, for you newcomers…
Jim Lyons and I will be set up near Starbucks on Main (across from Pottery Barn) to check all of you in prior to noon.
We’ll give you a red collection bucket and a cool badge that you can keep.
(Garland buskers can get their buckets and badges on the sidewalk outside Mark’s Guitar Shop.)
Then go out and find a place to play until 1 p.m., when it’s time to bring the donations back to your check-in location. Every penny collected goes to the 2nd Harvest food bank.
Oh, and don’t forget…
**A special free showing of “Sing For Their Supper,” the documentary about Spokane Street Music Week will take placeThursday, 7 p.m. at the Garland Theater.
This is the newly edited, half-hour version of the film and it’s terrific. Along with the movie, there will be live music and a collection taken for 2nd Harvest.
Well, that’s about it for now.
See ya on the sidewalks!
Spokane has a street music sister city!
That’s right. This year, during the noon hours of June 10-14, two downtowns will battle hunger through sidewalk performance art.
They are Spokane and – Ta-Dah! – Appleton, Wis.
“We’re on a roll now,” said Appleton resident and drummer Audrey Hendrickson in a recent interview.
Appleton (Pop. 73,000) has wrapped its arms around Street Music Week.
Feeding America, the city’s version of 2nd Harvest, is actively involved. Some Appleton stores are running specials to draw shoppers to the business core during the event.
Hmm. Why hasn’t anyone around here thought of that one?
Heid Music, where Hendrickson works and teaches percussion, has taken on an overseer’s role.
Should things go well, Hendrickson said her employer wants to take the fundraiser to the other Wisconsin cities where the store has a presence.
So come June 2014, what began right here in Spokane could be repeated in Appleton, Madison, Green Bay, Oshkosh and Wisconsin Rapids.
Be still my heart.
When I began this way back when, my goal was to survive a week of strumming my beat up acoustic guitar in front of City Hall and other downtown destinations.
The plan was to breathe a bit of life into Spokane’s near-comatose sidewalk music scene.
To my utter shock and awe, however, I collected $503 in the process.
Picking a destination for the money was a no-brainer.
Despite our affluence as a nation, hunger is still a real problem in America. For every donated dollar, 2nd Harvest can buy six pounds of food.
That $503 could be turned into a serious mountain of life-sustaining grub.
An editor came up with a suggestion: Why not reprise my act the next year and open it up to any minstrels who’d like to join the fun?
Spokane Street Music Week was born.
Check out our website, www.streetmusicweek.com<http://www.streetmusicweek.com>, for photographs of past events, information about how to get involved and an interactive way to donate to 2nd Harvest.
Last year marked our 10th annual. Scores of generous musicians, dancers, artists and entertainers gave their time and talent to raise some-$12,000 for the cause.
This record amount pushed our lifetime total to somewhere in the $40,000 range.
The uncomplicated nature of the event has had a lot to do with its success. Participants simply show up, take a collection bucket and find a spot to perform for an hour.
Then they bring the bucket back along with any donations that all go to the food bank.
Because of this simplicity, I always thought Spokane Street Music Week could be duplicated in virtually any city with a downtown lunch crowd.
That came about thanks to a fine folk rocker named Angela Marie.
The former Wisconsin resident loved participating in Spokane Street Music Week so much that she decided to spread the word to her close friend and former bandmate – Hendrickson.
Street Music Week “is the coolest thing,” said Marie. “You just walk around and experience it. I knew Audrey would appreciate it and want to make it happen.”
She was right.
“Musicians are some of the most gracious people,” said Hendrickson. “And we’re all excited about it.”
My street music amigos and I have a saying about the event.
It’s not about virtuosity; it’s about generosity. – By Doug Clark.
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