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I just started playing saxophone in this soul/folk band (I’m really bad at describing music). We were invited by an artist collective organization called Artery to play a secret apartment show. Artery was started by music lovers with the intention of bringing artists, performers, and audiences together in an intimate way, with the hope of sparking a connection that could inspire further collaboration.

I enter a tiny Bushwick apartment and am warmly greeted by fellow performers. We huddle together drinking beer while trying not to bump into instruments, sound equipment, and paintings. I quickly learn that this packed studio is full of travelers from all over the country. Everyone is chatty and eager to share their stories. The host is kind, warm and commands attention as he introduces the first performer. The lights dim and a lady Latina hip-hop duo take it away. Poets, country singers, and storytellers take turns sharing the stage that night and I could not stop thinking about the openness and genuine interest of audience members who might not avidly listen to country or hip hop. As one Artery member put it, “I want to bring together the punks, the rappers, the circus freaks, the computer coders, the feminists, the pan-Africanists… all the folks and make art. We have to meet each other in order to do that… we have to connect in real life, not just on the internet." 

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Every performer made remarks about the special type of energy that filled the room. I could definitely feel something warm, especially during one man’s fiery performance. He began singing in broken English, but quickly switched to his native language of Creole because he felt so comfortable with the audience. I went into this experience knowing very little about Artery and its community oriented mission and left with an appreciation and drive for finding common ground and support in a country that is struggling to do so. To any musician, artist, or art lover, I highly encourage you to check out Artery. You can go to performances all over the country! There are multiple performances every week, and it’s a chance to have an out of this world experience. 

 

Photos via Artery.is 

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