Torres: What should 2014 hold for Middle Georgia?

December 27, 2013 

OK. Are we done with “Jingle Bells” now? No? Ok. I’m not a Grinch or anything, but it has been Christmas for at least two months. Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed the holiday season and are ready for the new year.

Personally, 2013 has been an interesting year full of learning curves and I think Macon has gone through the same thing. We’ve had some new businesses thrive and some choose to leave -- or be forced to leave. (Not sure which it is for Tailspin, and even though I don’t have a pet I’m sad to see them go.)

The music scene would show signs of light and then would completely disappear for weeks or even months at a time. I think we ended up finishing the year strong as far as getting more folks involved and putting on some really good shows. As far as politics, I’m not informed enough to speak about how consolidation will affect city operations. The opinions I’ve been hearing seem to be just that. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

So what could 2014 hold for our city? Better yet, what SHOULD 2014 hold for our city? That answer would most likely be the same amongst a large bit of the population in town. (And I’m too scared to ask the trolls to comment online because it will probably get ugly.)

For me, I think being able to sustain yourself as a working musician/artist is my main gripe. There are plenty of steps in the right direction (for example, College Hill’s Macon Maker campaign) but we need more. Rappers and singers have been waiting tables until “their day” since the beginning of time, but I think that our community is unique enough -- and small enough -- to create different and better opportunities to pay your bills and pursue your art.

I’d like to see more ways for indie artists to find work that is aligned with gaining experience in their field (event planning, marketing, promotion, etc.). For those who aren’t on a creative path, I would like to see more companies like GEICO come to Macon to provide more full-time stable jobs. GEICO can’t hire everybody. (Although they’re close! Haha!) I would like to hear your thoughts on what you see for Macon in 2014. Do your best to keep it positive if you can. You know my email.

Tonight at 7 p.m. I’ll be attending Youth Night 2013 at The Douglass Theater. This event is put together by the Muhammad brothers (Vinson and Karim). Youth Night is a Kwanzaa celebration and talent showcase cerebrating the principle of Kujichagulia (self-determination): “To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.”

I’m going to try to make it out to Luther Williams Field on Saturday night to watch a movie on the big outdoor screen. You can sit up in the stands or hang out on the green near the bonfires. Coolers and outside food are permitted, however there will be hot chocolate, coffee, popcorn and candy for those last minute snacks. Gates open at 5 p.m.; the movie begins at 6 p.m.; and it’s a free event.

After the movie, if you aren’t ready to head home, check out TheBlueIndian.com’s last show of the year at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. Gringo Star, New Madrid and the sunDollars will be hitting the stage starting at 10 p.m.

Happy New Year to you!

Floco Torres is an artist/songwriter. Contact him at flocotorres@gmail.com.

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