This week I am taking part in the #YourTurnChallenge, a 7-day blogging challenge inspired by the Your Turn book by Seth Godin. Since being introduced to his daily blog years ago, I am constantly inspired by his views on work, art and how to treat people. A lot of what he writes about is along the lines of, "go, make something happen."
It was in this spirit that we approached starting the rehearsal studios in the first place, and most recently propelled our involvement with the SoundSwell project. Back in August of 2012 I read an article on Hypebot about the Iowa City Public Library and how they were offering free downloads of local musicians for those with a library card. I couldn't help but think that if they were doing it in Iowa, we could do it here in Santa Cruz. I tweeted as much to the Santa Cruz Public Library and the next day got an email from the virtual services coordinator.
She was aware of the ICPL work and was also about to attend a leadership retreat the next month which included the development of a year long project for which she would get help applying for grant funding. We got to emailing, she got to talking around her office and before you know it, we started to make something happen. Serendipity? It was through this one interaction that we opened the door to being involved with this amazing project from the ground up.
To date the Santa Cruz Public Library has paid local musicians over $5000 to license music for library patrons to download free of charge. This year they have another $4000 waiting to distribute to new local bands what would like to join.
This project is a win / win. Local musicians get real money in the bank ($100 for full length LP, $75 for EP). To earn that much from iTunes band would typically need to over 100 downloads. With SoundSwell, bands not only make the money up front, but only local library patrons can download the music, so bands are not only earning money, but also making new local fans. Our community also gets access to a library of free local music.
All it took was one tweet to make to make the connection to start this project. I encourage you to send one email, or tweet, dedicate a FB post or an Instagram hashtag to foster more SoundSwell connections.
If you know a local musician, tell them about the opportunity. If you have library card, download some new music. #keepsantacruzweird #liveformusic