The Sequal Strikes Back
by Mike Nason @ahemnason
In late February, 2015, I sat in a space above Davidson Kitchen Supply with a room full of local musicians, artists, writers, and other Concerned Citizens of the local scene. We shared ideas and talked about issues. We ate snacks and felt warm fuzzies. Even though we all knew who each other were (at least, for the most part), it felt like we were a unified, invested community. It’s so easy here to be swept up in your individual band or project… or art form. Finding out that many of us share the same problems and concerns was eye opening. Could the scene, as an organized body, help improve itself? Can we focus efforts? How can we support each other? What we were getting at was:
How can we collaborate to better promote and support the Fredericton arts/music scene?
We might not have answered the question, but everyone was eager to think about answers.
The event was hosted by the Shifty Bits Cult, an artist collective predominately made up of the membership of four local bands:Motherhood, The Waking Night, Captain III and Sam Salmon. This question of collaborative effort has been one near and dear to the members of the Cult. They’ve taken it to task with their annual Shifty Bits Circus festival, an event that has continually illustrated that Fredericton can, should, and does punch above it’s weight artistically.
Our conversations were fruitful and productive. We shared the needs and wants of the scene, and compiled a list of our pooled resources. We talked about fostering growth and where efforts lacking, either as individuals or as a group. Indeed, their first meeting got folks riled up enough to produce a new arts/music festival – FLOURISH – and the Cult themselves released a tremendous compilation of 41 Fredericton bands called Fredericton’s Mine (you download or stream release A and release b for free).
But, as it is for all communities, the most necessary trait is momentum. That’s why the Shifty Bits Cult have partnered up with Feels Good and Connexion ARC to present the 2nd in this series of Open Art Gatherings. In a true town-hall style, the Cult and friends are bringing together arts ‘stakeholders’ from across the City to discuss ideas, problems, desires and plans for the future.
Topics to be discussed this time around include (but are not limited to):
- How to maintain momentum in our City
- How to address problems collectively
- Fredericton’s first Swingers Club Showcase
- Shifty Phonebook
- New projects and initiatives!
As before, everyone and anyone is welcome to come discuss Fredericton’s emerging contemporary art and music scene. So far, we’re off to a good start. Let’s hope it’s just the beginning.