monroe_marker_2014Here’s a quick update on two cool crowdfunding projects for Asheville peeps:

David LaMotte has surpassed his $20,000 Kickstarter goal to fund a new book project. LaMotte is a well-known musician, author and peace activist in Asheville. Here’s a summation of his project, Worldchanging 101:

This campaign is to fund the production of a book called Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness. The book is a collection of ideas and stories that challenge a bigger story, a common narrative about how large-scale positive change happens. It’s a book for people who care and want to contribute, but who are overwhelmed and suspect that what they do won’t really matter.

We base our lives on stories, on the stories we believe about who we are and about how the world works, stories like the hero narrative that underlies most of our movies and many of our history books. That narrative tells us that things change when someone who is special, different from the rest of us, shows up to do something dramatic in a moment of crisis, and that fixes things.

The thing is, it almost never happens that way. Yes, there are heroes, people who do big, dramatic things, but their function isn’t to address the problems, it’s to inspire the rest of us to get involved. When lots of us do a little bit each, that’s how big changes actually happen.

For twenty-five years I’ve been traveling the world as a musician, speaker and advocate for positive change. I’ve had a chance to meet and learn from front-lines world changers in India, Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Palestine, Israel, the United States and other places. I have wrestled with questions about how best to have a positive impact on the world, and I have found some ways to contribute myself, including founding and directing a non-profit that works with Guatemalan schools, serving as chair of the AFSC (Quaker) Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Committee, and being involved with movements for positive change in my home state of North Carolina.

Dallas Taylor is seeking to raise $6,000 via indiegogo for a historical marker to honor bluegrass great Bill Monroe’s first bluegrass broadcast in Asheville. Taylor is well-known for his work in preserving Asheville’s music history. From his Bill Monroe indiegogo project:

In 1938, Bill Monroe and Cleo Davis pulled a camper trailer from Atlanta to Asheville to take over the 15 minute radio show called ‘Mountain Music Time’ at WWNC in the Flat Iron Building in Downtown Asheville. He then named the group ‘Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys’, coining the term “Bluegrass” as his distinct new music style that was ready to set the world on fire! …

We have permission to install a historical marker at the front entrance of the Flat Iron Building. We estimate that $6000 will be needed to complete the creation, shipping, and installation of the brass marker. Anything extra that is raised will be put into developing ‘Bill Monroe Day’ as a world class event that Bill Monroe himself would be proud of…so please be generous (because you know the pressure is on to perform to the highest standard)!!

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3 Comments

  1. boatrocker says:

    A very articulate and well thought out response. No, I don’t consider you the spawn of Satan, but I do see you as occupying a position of being between a rock and a hard place (being forced to rely on local donated labor in order to make an otherwise well intentioned event happen).

    You’re just the unlucky messenger who is tasked with having to beg for local donated talent, which doesn’t pay the rent. Hence the “Namaste” comment.

    I find myself recalling the oft quoted mantra of local artists “Asheville loves it arts, until the bill comes due”. If only Jimmy R., Bill M., Nina, Bascombe, etc. were micro-brewers or potential hotel developers instead of musicians. We’d be tripping over historical plaques.

    As a lover of all things arty, I do find it difficult to grow up sometimes.

  2. boatrocker says:

    Great idea, honoring all those dead guys who did their time to bring and keep quality live music here in WNC.

    Dallas did a great job suckering musicians who play live music to eat for playing for free for the Jimmy Rodgers monument in Asheville. Martin Anderson, the Asheville mayor and mucho camera crews could show up, but not so much for the living wage for local musicians- cough- hypocrisy.

    As Bill Monroe played music for pay, can we assume that Dallas’ new minions who play for said dedication will be paid, or will this be a “Namaste” gig?

    • It was very clear to everyone who participated last year that there was no sponsors despite countless hours of planning and reaching out with sponsorship packages and trying to develop something from scratch that could begin the process of having something the musicians could have for themselves and not just another non-profit asking them to raise money for their cause all year long and it having nothing to so with the music industry at all. Look around, do you see anyone else trying to develop something that shows the value that the musicians bring to Asheville? I had to pay $400 for the room and the only sponsor I got was WNCW matching $250 I was able to scrape up. It’s attitudes like the one demonstrated here that will keep any progress from happening because if it’s not a completely orgasmic experience here, people will move on to the next bar. There was 2 events for Jimmie Rodgers Day, the public ceremony that was free and nobody paid or was paid. For the ticketed event there was 16 people that showed up and paid $10…including $20 from my parents…do the math! If you feel like you were suckered then maybe you need to stop pretending like you are really ready to ‘put in’ to really develop any scene here that’s not paying premiums to out of town artists while you get to beg for change. I refuse to accept any criticism for the suffering that I know me and my wife experienced trying to drum up support for this. Try it yourself and see how far you get…maybe that’s why I’m asking for $6000!? Have you considered that the person pouring his heart into these projects might just feel like dog doo anytime he asks a musician to do anything for free!!? Grow up.

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