I think one of the most important things an artist must do is contribute their art to the community they live in. See, many people move to cool parts of town to take. Take photos in front of something, say you were there, feel good about you. This is beautiful, but I think you must also give. How can you make someone’s day better who lives in that cool, wonderful part of town? How can you contribute something to that environment that enables it to continue thriving? The thing that happens to cool places with soul is that too many people come to suck energy from these places, they pay money to have access to something amazing, but they suck energy from it instead of contributing something amazing. This is part of the reason why I don’t enjoy moving to places that belong to someone else’s story: places like Silverlake in LA or Williamsburg in Brooklyn NY. I loved living in Downtown when I did because the story was still unfolding, at least I felt it was, and I felt that I could still contribute to what made it special, instead of sucking from it things that someone else had done to make it special. It is give and take.
To that end, I think students, especially in city like Boston that is so student-heavy, must take time to engage in the city they live in. We are all so busy, but living in Allston has given me so much joy (the farmer’s market, the bike shops, swissbakers, root, fomu, district, brighton music hall, habibi cafe, bibim, padaria brasil…the list goes on and on!!) that I wanted to be able to contribute to it as well. So, my good friend and badass Berklee grad guitarist Dave Wolfberg and I signed up to perform at the Allston Farmer’s Market in Sept. It was so magical, we got to play for 4 hours, try all sorts of different teas and veggies and very new Englandy apple-farm based snacks. I also met Emma who is a super talented artist who makes hats and gloves. She made me mittens with suns on them.
We got great feedback on our set, and for me and Dave it was so fun. Just 4 hours to listen to each other and jam and push each other rhythmically forward. Was chilled out and fabulous.