Tag Archives: Arts

Stop & Listen LA is Back in the Game!

30 Nov

It’s been close to 4 months since the last blog post.  I apologize to our readers who have been kept in the dark.  Musicians have been off the streets for the better part of fall, but a few of us think it might be nice to do a bit of holiday caroling on the streets.  Maybe you’d like to join us?  🙂

I just came home from a wonderful solo adventure in Europe that I’m calling my  mini “Eat, Pray, Love”.  My main mission was to visit the roots of my favorite singer: Edith Piaf and to eat as many desserts as my body could handle.  I’m home, feeling heavier, fulfilled, and more empowered than ever!  Onto being “back in the game” …when this “project” began last March, I could only dream that I would be turning it into an arts non profit organization.  At the time ,I felt the only thing I was good at was singing a pretty song, but I’m happy to say that by going down the ‘hobby’ route, I’m continuously learning the many incredible possibilities that lie ahead instead of allowing forces within to limit that potential.

The excitement of the project had me working on overload.  Finding musicians, creating partnerships, managing social media & this website, being photographer, planning meetings & events, purchasing equipment on a meager budget, THEN focusing on the business side of creating an executive board, Strategic Plan, a Marketing plan, a Fundraising plan, a Business Plan, Grant Research, and what some like to call “THE BEAST” aka the 1023 forms.  I have attended mixers, business meetings, non profit coaching sessions and have sought advice from amazing human beings, all to be completely overwhelmed by what I had gotten myself into; teetering between dreams & practicality.  In all of that excitement, I began to lose sight of why Stop & Listen LA started in the first place, and it was not until today, while writing a letter, that I was reminded of my reasons for playing at Leo’s Taco truck that evening.

Stop & Listen LA is about the transformative powers of music.  It’s the truth in music that keeps me happy & honest.  And it’s that same truth, that which is so terribly difficult to vocalize in our daily lives, that can connect and unite people on a much more infinite and boundless level.  Far more than any drunken nights out or schmoozing with company you probably won’t keep.  It’s music for the people and of the people that make up our communities, sharing our stories, and understanding our differences and similarities.  Los Angeles is rich with beauty & cultural history that can be easily forgotten in the midst of fame, trends, & entertainment.  Admittedly, I too forget to appreciate that very beauty, especially when moving too quickly through this life.

So…yea, this is more than just music at your food trucks.  There’s a whole theme behind this madness! And I’m diligently working towards creating realities beyond it!  Stop & Listen LA plays only a small role in a practice that goes beyond “listening”.  It is merely the first step towards building stronger communities and whose mission is one I hope many will continue to support.

Stop & Listen Paris

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Melissa

Video Series: Ampersand “Pacific Coast Highway”

6 Jun