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Music Town Hall gives voice to local music scene, says what it needs to thrive

Music Town Hall gives voice to local music scene, says what it needs to thrive

A citizen at music town hall speaks about the importance of music venues in Denton. The music town hall meeting was held on Monday at the Patterson Appleton Arts center.

Music Town Hall gives voice to local music scene, says what it needs to thrive
August 23
00:09 2016

By Victoria Monteros

Citizens met and discussed issues affecting the local music scene Monday night at the Denton Music Town Hall Meeting.

Panelist and audience member topics included music venue closures, a lack of funding and the need to help the Denton music community.

Amongst the attendees were local musicians, local business owners, UNT President Neal Smatresk, and council members Keely G. Briggs and Kevin Roden. The panel was made up of prominent figures in the music community, such as 35 Denton festival founder Chris Flemmons, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios owner Josh Baish and Dallas Guill of the Greater Denton Arts Council.

Attendees addressed the lack of an all-ages music venue in Denton.

President Smatresk chimed in and told the crowd that he wanted UNT to help in any way that it could.

“What I hope for is the fusion and creativity of technology,” he said. “[Sack N Save is] another place that will make a really good place for very free expression for some of the bands and groups and creative energy that I see here tonight. I wish you all the great luck and if UNT can help, let me know.”

A few panelists referenced 1919 Hemphill, which is an all-ages community space in Fort Worth.

Event moderator Chris Cotter said he volunteers at 1919 Hemphill and is also involved with many aspects of the Denton music scene. The 1919 Hemphill space survives off of small donations and money earned from shows.

Panelists and locals alike expressed a desire for Denton to create a similar space, but some mentioned a lack of funding to create the music community space.

Some were in favor of getting the government involved, while others said that government intervention would limit the creativity.

Locals debated whether or not alcohol should be served at a future community space. Some residents said alcohol was appropriate for musical environments with one local expressing how music and alcohol go together.

Other locals were more in favor of creating a space for all ages. One audience member noted that it’s important that high school students are also included.

Locals said another important group needed to be included: hip-hop and rap artists.

One resident said the changing music scene has made it harder for hip-hop artists to break out.

“We are all concerned about the music scene and saving it, just as much as everybody else,” he said. “Whatever solution we do come to decide on for the future of the music scene, it’s going to include everyone. Rappers will have just an easy time throwing a show there as anybody else.”

One man stressed the importance of voting, saying that if residents want to see change enacted and they want their voices heard by the city council, they must vote.

On Twitter, council woman Keely G. Briggs invited people to contact city council if they have an issue.
“Just email or call us. We represent everyone who has a stake in the city,” Briggs said. “Citizens, businesses, students. But yes, VOTE.”

@ToriLaSuper

Featured Image: A citizen speaks to the music town hall about the importance of going out into the community to support local artists and musicians. Antonio Soresh | Staff Photographer

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