1. This was the year of Adele.
|Adele is awesome. That is all.|
(photo attribution here)
For Dallas musicians and fans of great music alike, KXT is what we've been praying for. The listener-supported public music station (like KERA but with music), airing on 91.7, celebrated two years on the air in 2011, and this is a great sign, because it shows that, even in the midst of difficult economic times, listeners have kept the station going. KXT plays all sorts of music. Sometimes its eclecticism is too much for me (I'm not a big fan of 80s pop or reggae) but I'm happy to take those few songs I don't particularly care for if it means I can hear a mix of all the artists I just cited above, plus the Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows, and a mix of local artists like Seryn, who I wouldn't have heard of had it not been for KXT. The local artist bit may be the best feature for people like me, who happen to be local artists. KXT accepts music submissions -- not something many stations can do -- and proudly supports local music. Maybe 2012 will be the year you will tune in and hear Girl on a String over the airwaves.
3. Art House Dallas
2011 marked the 1-year anniversary for the arrival of Art House Dallas on the arts/music scene here in DFW and the 20th anniversary for its parent organization, Art House America, based in Nashville. The goal of Art House America is "cultivating creative community for the common good." They do this through concerts, monthly pub gatherings, songwriting workshops and workshops for all sorts of creative types, quarterly book discussions, and social networking. I attended a discussion of Francis Schaeffer's Art and the Bible, and I immediately felt like I had come home to people who were like-minded. If you are a Christian and an artist and feel that you're not sure how your calling fits in to the world when it's hard to make money and the church at large isn't always as supportive of the arts as it could be, Art House Dallas is the place for you to find encouragement, friends, and opportunities. Check out their website, because they express it better than I could.
4. Learning opportunities for young musicians: DBU
Yes, I'm biased because DBU is my alma mater, but in the 10-years since I entered their brand new music business program, DBU has grown in ways that would have been hard to imagine when I was completing my college recording projects in a tiny studio in the basement of the library with 1 computer, a microphone and pro-tools. The university as a whole continues to deepen its academic rigor and add to the beauty of the architecture on campus and the quality of the resources available to students, but the biggest change for music business majors is the state-of-the-art recording studio they finished this year. (Read all about this amazing studio here.) Now, if you are a young, Dallas musician looking for a great education in the music industry, you truly don't need to go to Nashville or LA -- everything you need is in this small Dallas liberal-arts school. And the liberal-arts part is important, because you don't merely learn technical skills -- you learn how to use your mind -- and that helps with any job you end up with (just in case you don't make money as a musician -- not that I'd know anything about that... :))
So there you have it: a few reasons for Dallas musicians to be optimistic about what the future holds. I can't wait to add to this list -- is there anything you would add?