There are art communities. There are music communities. There are even art spaces where music is performed, and there are music venues that display art. I had a dream of something different: not only that two creative mediums would exist under one roof, but that they would truly be collaborative in design. Perhaps one day. Fast forward to a meeting I had with Fez owner and newly opened Tavern 489 owner Eric Monte. We discussed my bringing a mash up of art and music to Tavern 489. I told Eric I would scope out my idea. Soon, the dream became clearer, less surreal. I explained my idea to Eric, himself an art and music afficionado, and he loved it. And so, T489 Original Acoustic Music Night was born. Below is part of the pitch we made to musicians and artists, which helped make the dream come true. Feel free to pass it on to any local singer-songwriters or artist who might be in the area or coming through Stamford, CT in the future. Maybe they’ll be interested in performing. Even if you’re not a singer-songwriter or artist, but you’d like to see what we’re about, come in for a wee dram and stay for a jam (as in music session, not the stuff you put on toast). So what is it? ‘Supporting artists from all walks of creative life, Stamford’s own Tavern 489 brings together two modes of the creative arts under a single roof for something we feel is one-of-a-kind. Think visual, think music, think different. Community is everything This regular event is about growing a community of visual and musical artistry through collaboration and authorship. What does mean by this? Well, to begin with, we want to use good-old-fashioned-and-proud-of-it pen and paper. The Internet will always be there as we slowly seem to be losing the ability to memorialize things: handwriting is disappearing from school curriculums, letter writing seems a thing of the past and we only see original paintings or drawings up close and personal when we go to an art gallery (if we go to an art gallery). It’s a small step but one we want to take in order to grow our community through pen, ink and a special notebook: music artists etching words and visual artists sketching imagery. How this works We use a special T489 notebook to bring art and words to the stage. Imagine, if you will, something like a ‘visitors’ book in an old country inn, or even better, at a tavern. Now imagine yourself as a travelling artist weary from the road and you step in to this tavern where you find a warm and inviting atmosphere of other artists and an audience and staff who appreciate your talent. We want to remember that you were part of our community even if only for one night. So, in the notebook, performing musicians write their favorite words from a song by another artist; words from one of their own, and their signature. On the other side of the notebook page is where the magic would continue; namely, while performing, an artist sketches the musician. Over time, this notebook will commit to page all the nights; all the words; and all the faces of those who were with us – and will hopefully re-visit us. Kind of like a time capsule in the now that hopefully never gets buried. I don’t know about you but we think it could be pretty amazing to see all these examples of art come together in one physical place, using one book, and a whole heap of lovely people. Connections made in person and on paper. The voice To add a further dimension I wanted artists to speak to their art, talk about the writing process and about how much words play a part. After the first few interviews, it became clear that the creative process is wildly different from one artist (musical or visual) to the next and is fascinating to learn about. Having an artist talk about their work, talk about a particular song and actually perform it live, unplugged. Now that would be something. And now it is; Thanks to the community spirit of the musical artists who have come through our doors thus far we created a T489 Soundcloud page that not houses the audio interviews but also the unplugged exclusive recordings or original songs. Artists have a voice in more ways than one. We can create the framework, but it will take more than that. It will take you, me, ‘us’, to make something grow. A lot of effort? Maybe but we think it’s worth it. Become part of our local movement that recognizes original acoustic music, original writing and original art as we seek to raise awareness of artists who have a voice in more ways than one’. Here is an interview with sketch artist Lily Gilbert who did these amazing drawings.