I’m feeling pretty supported and loved right now. Lately I’ve been challenging my own ideas of what support, kindness, understanding and generosity are. I’ve been asking myself what I value and attempting to help others feel their value as well as feel my own.
Last weekend we had a community music event at the farm. We had an incredible musician come out and share their stories. They were one with the crowd and the evening was simply magic. We were asking people to donate a minimum of $5 for the event. All proceeds to go to the musicians who in this case drove all the way from Toronto. We chose $5 as the min amount as it seems very few people with a regular job, who buy coffee, alcoholic drinks, go out to dinner, a movie etc, couldn’t afford. Correct me if I’m wrong. We also were hoping that those who have a little more would give a little more. This would help balance things out and therefore provide the artists with money at the very very least for gas (which is still not enough in my opinion)
Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and I started running the Monthly Sound in January. Each month has been very successful. Wonderful people come out to play and enjoy alike. A community is growing. We are loving it and loving how unique each month is. We are aiming to build a community however, that can sustain artists and give back to those who give us so much of themselves. Last week our artist walked away with $10.25. Later on in the night we managed to ask a few more times and collected another $20 in donations. There were around 20 people in attendance….if everyone gave $5 this would have made $100.
I recognize that not everyone can give and if this is the case and you’re interested in being a part of our events, then I would encourage you to discuss with Carson or myself. We are happy to provide you with other ways in which you may be able to give back. We are not asking anybody to fork out something they need to survive, but if you are going to attend there must be an energy exchange of some kind.
Would you expect to go to a yoga, dance or any other kind of class for free? Would you expect to get a beverage for free? Would you ask someone to drive two full hours there and back, play an incredible show and take us through an incredible evening for free? Would you still show up for your job, if this was what you had to face?
This is what artists have to deal with EVERYDAY.
For those of you who did not give, I find it a huge shame. Not only is it dishonest and disrespectful, but it highlights an even bigger problem. At the end of the day it’s not about the money it’s about our value systems. Something is really wrong, if we think a situation such as this is ok.
Trust me I’ve been there. I get what it’s like to be on a budget. I am very frugal with my money and try and save it anywhere I can. I am thousands of dollars in debt and make very little money, but I will always give when I enjoy a performance. Because I have a fully educated understanding of what it takes.
I’ve come to realize that the only way to change the system is from within. This is why we’ve started these nights in the first place. I realize now that in addition to all the other musical hats I where, I must become an educator and activist for social change.
The first piece is we wanted to create a community of people who would like to hear and be a part of good music in a setting that is not about getting trashed. And the second piece was we wanted to create a foundation that would allow us to generously pay our guest artists.
We love having people out. We love sharing of ourselves, but it is not enough to come out and not give back. We all need to be more aware of what it takes. I find it so unfortunate that people who are willing to spend money on bigger artists and festivals cannot give $5 to someone who’s as, if not more incredible than the cookie cutter bands who play the bigger venues.
In addition if you buy a cd this does not mean you don’t have to give to the donation pot. Artists put a lot of money into design, production, hiring musicians and manufacturing. When you buy a cd you cover those costs and allow an artist to make back what they’ve already spent. Donations for the evening must be given as well, as they’ve again donated their time.
I am not trying to shame anyone here, but rather bring awareness. I was very upset last weekend about how cheap people can be. It always gets me too, because I always catch those who I know have very little money, giving. And I know it is those who give that will also read and take to heart this post.
We do want to love the world and make it a better place, but we have to start supporting those who are attempting to do so by monetary means. This is how we make our living. This is how we get the word out. This is how we ‘be the change we want to see’.
We are asking you to join us in song, start a movement and empower a community of people. But we won’t be able to continue our nights of we cannot find a way to support the artists who graciously give of themselves.
Thank you to those who did give. Let us all use them as our example. Thank you to those who read this. For me it’s is of utmost importance and I have to start speaking out.
Money in our society has power, so why not put our money in the hands of an individual who has inspired us? It is all too easy for us to be a part of the cycle of corporate greed. We allow our money to go back into a system that serves very few. Let us reclaim our culture and how we would like to live, and give to those who are searching for new ways to connect!
Please share if you agree!
All my love,
Piper Hayes