A Word from the Writista: Support Your Local Artists!

Sunday, 08 January 2012 21:12 Written by  Iya Bakare

As a Chicago native and an artist (in written form), I’ve been blessed to associate with, befriend and interview some of the most talented masterminds in the creative business. My city and the surrounding area give birth to some of the most gifted musicians, dancers, singers, writers, fashion designers, visual artists and photographers. One of the many things I love about Chicago is the accessibility to speak to the artists, and in some cases, get to know the stories that inspired their creative works.

Through my writing, I make an effort to support local artists. I recently had the pleasure to meet and interview Aurora, Ill. native and R&B artist Carl Thomas at The Music Experience with Dedry Jones at the DuSable Museum. I had the opportunity to hear him speak about both his personal and professional journey. I watched him in his element behind the mic as he used his voice as an instrument to serenade the crowd.

Upon the release of Carl’s new CD Conquer and his single “Don’t Kiss Me” in early December, I anticipated hearing his song on the radio. I’m no Radio Raheem, but when I did listen to one of my favorite stations at night, I didn’t hear his new song. His crisp, soulful voice and melodic sound match what listeners of this station’s demographic jam to, so I was confused as to why it wasn’t getting airtime to be heard by the masses. I was jazzed when I heard it for the first time on the radio a few days ago.

I’m not writing this column as a plug to promote Carl’s new project (although I’m an avid supporter), but he is one example of how people should rally to support and patronize the businesses and talents of their “home team.”  These artists invest so much into their crafts and take risks to share their work with the world. It’s vital to cultivate those seeds so they blossom and produce fruit.

For example, Chicago designers and Columbia College Chicago students Gordana Rasic and Omar Villalobos of GOCA Designs were invited to this year’s Fashion Week in February to showcase their label. These two college students launched their line this past summer and in less than a year, their dream came true when they received this invitation. Gordana and Omar aspire to not only share their craft with others, but to give back to their community. We can show our support to them and donate funds for their journey to www.indiegogo.com.

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

She can be contacted at Iya@glossmagazineonline.com
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare

Website: www.iyabakare.com

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