What Is Busking and Why Does It Matter? | Skillshare Projects

Heather Jacks

Rock art for the hip at heart!



What Is Busking and Why Does It Matter?

I can't believe I am the FIRST!!

Who: My name is Heather Jacks and I am a professional writer, which means I was an amateur who didn’t give up!

What: I write about independent music, busking and buskers. Last year, my Limited Edition Art Book, The Noise Beneath the Apple®, won a Book of the Year Award in its category of Performing Arts & Music. When the book was finished, I took the 30 NYC street musicians from the book, to Grand Street Recording, in Brooklyn, NY, where we covered the Billy Joel song, New York State of Mind. Due to the nature of the musical component, buskers doing something uber cool, I chose to donate 100% of the proceeds to Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund. The goal was to get more ears on the music and do some good along the way. The music premiered on Esquire Magazine to rave reviews and about 8,000 downloads!  Give it a listen here: Esquire Mag

Where: My multi-media project was set in New York City. I am starting my second project here in my City by the Bay; San Francisco.

When: Ongoing!

Why: To preserve the history and culture of busking and legitimize it as a profession.

How:  For the past couple of months—(since the short film & music were released)—I have been doing events in various cities. (NYC, Nashville, Boston, Savanah and St. Louis.)  The events include a wine/cocktail reception, a brief talk about the history, culture and evolution of busking, a presentation of the book, a screening of our short film and music and a brief Q&A.  The entertainment is provided by local buskers that I hire in each city.

Here is a clip from The Martin Lawrence Gallery in SoHo: SoHo 

Here is a clip from Green Apple Book Store, which was the only good book store event! Green Apple

What I have discovered is:

  • Smaller, intimate venues—(approximately 40 pple.) work best for me.
  • Most important; the venue itself. Art Galleries/Museums work great for this project. Book Stores are the worst and clubs can be hit or miss---mostly miss!

I just got back from a presentation at Washington University in St. Louis, which went amazingly well. (Literally, just got off the plane, so video to come!) The Alumni group invited me to go to Chicago, Boston, Austin, LA and Orange County to do the same presentation. The academic angle works well for me and the Alumni group is a built in audience.  I am taking Seth’s class to learn how to increase my circle to ‘strangers’.  I am hoping to tailor my message/story, so that people I don’t know come!  I hope to engage new people in the conversation about busking and broaden my network.

Hosting an event in San Francisco, is my class assignment.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Feedback? I welcome it all!

I am on Twitter @TNBTA

And Facebook: TNBTA



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