#158: Kankakee Arts ColLAB: Inspiring Community with All-Ages Music Spaces

Today, we’re diving into a vibrant and evolving aspect of our community—the local music scene and the impressive efforts to nurture young talent and artistic collaboration. Join us as we explore these themes in our latest episode titled “Kankakee Arts CoLAB.

The Evolution of Kankakee’s Music Scene

Our guests, Mary and James, take us on a nostalgic journey through the local music scene and its dynamic transformation over the years. From the energetic ska shows to today’s multifaceted scene, there’s a rich history that we rightfully cherish.

James recalls his memorable days performing in a banana costume at local ska shows, sparking laughter and reminding us all of the fun and whimsical side of local music. “It was goofy, sure, but it was also a way to bring joy and connect with the audience,” James shares.

Nurturing Young Talent

Mary, a full-time teacher, emphasizes the importance of nurturing children’s interest in music. “We need to create paths for young artists to explore their talents,” she asserts. This commitment is part of what drives the mission of the Kankakee Arts CoLAB.

Getting Involved with Kankakee Arts CoLAB

If you’re wondering how to contribute to this vibrant community, there are numerous ways to get involved:

Volunteering: Help out at events and be part of something creative.

Using Meeting Space: Utilize the collaborative spaces for local gatherings and artistic ventures.

Membership: Become a member and support the mission of the Arts CoLAB.

Mary provides helpful info on how to connect: “You can find us on social media, or reach out directly through our website.”

Financial Strategies and Community Support

A robust financial plan is crucial for the longevity of such initiatives. Mary discusses strategies to raise income via events, memberships, commissions, and donations/grants. She also highlights exciting fundraising ideas, such as a ’90s emo fundraiser. “We aim to bring back accessibility, like a $5 cover, allowing everyone to enjoy our events,” Mary notes.

Creating a Community-Centric Space

The conversation highlights the goal of building a space that fosters intergenerational connections. By involving different generations, Mary and James aim to create a mentorship-focused environment for young musicians and artists.

James shares his vision for the space: “We want a place where young and seasoned artists can learn from each other, perform their original music, and feel supported.”

Internet Culture and the Nostalgic Phenomenon

The episode takes a fun detour as the hosts and guest reminisce about the quirky world of internet memes, including the infamous “Annoying Orange.” Mary even has a viral TikTok video of herself singing as the orange, adding a light-hearted twist to the discussion.

Long-Term Goals for Kankakee Arts CoLAB

Looking ahead, Mary and James have ambitious plans for the Kankakee Arts CoLAB. Short-term priorities include getting necessary inspections and hosting events to gauge community interest. Long-term dreams involve intergenerational artist mentoring and expanding partnerships with schools and other musical outlets.

“The goal is to establish a vibrant, supportive environment where local artists can thrive,” James emphasizes.

Building a Strong Artistic Community

Our episode today highlights the power of collaboration and community support in nurturing local talent. As Mary aptly puts it, “It’s about more than just creating art; it’s about forming lasting connections and giving back to our community.”

Thank you for joining us on this musical journey. If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the Kankakee Podcast and follow us on social media!

Until next time, this is Jake LaMore, encouraging everyone to keep the creativity flowing and support our local artistic community. Stay tuned for more inspiring insights from the heart of Kankakee County!

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