Chances are you have already heard of “Who Even Listens to WMCN?” from its frequent Facebook plugs. You might even be one of the people who donated the money that made the event possible. After over a month of fundraising, WMCN confirmed that they had raised the necessary money to sponsor the event at the Cedar Cultural Center, which will take place on February 21st at 7:00 p.m.
The show relies almost entirely on students for organization, funding, audience and bands. Eliza Summerlin ’13 and Anna Faber ’13, and several others spent a significant part of the last eight weeks working to finance the project. To raise money, they used “Cedar Seeder,” a Kickstarter-like fundraising program that allows the public to fund shows at the Cedar Cultural Center, so that bands do not have to sink their own money into the concerts.
The goal was to create an event “motivated by the crowd,” says Summerlin, who is thrilled at how enthusiastically the Macalester community has stepped up to make the event happen. Just days before the fundraising deadline, donors surpassed the goal of $2,067 by more than $100. The next step is to raise enough money to pay the bands, who are currently playing for free. Crowd-sourcing was the only way WMCN could afford the show, which is an important step toward WMCN’s goal to become, in Summerlin’s words, “a more legitimate and professional radio station.”
Bad Bad Hats and Carroll, two of the featured bands made up of Mac alums, have already begun to make a name for themselves beyond the Macalester campus. The Current, Minnesota Public Radio’s internationally-broadcast music program, highlighted Macalester talent when it featured the bands on its “Local Radar” program. These groups, as well as the other three featured—Is Home Is, Maeth, and The Velveteens (the only non-Macalester band)—have a respectable presence in venues around the Twin Cities. Hopefully this event will inspire Mac students to keep producing great music, even though there might not be a space on campus specifically for bands to perform.
Through off-campus events, on-campus shows (such as Battle of the Bands), and airtime on WMCN programs, Summerlin says WMCN hopes to “encourage more of a music scene, not just in the Twin Cities but at Macalester itself.”
The Cedar Cultural Center provides the kind of inclusive atmosphere WMCN was looking for in a venue. Along with the “Cedar Seeder” fundraising program, the space is easily accessible by public transport and open to all ages. Located on Minneapolis’ West Bank, the Cedar Cultural Center was established as a non-profit in 1989 with the intention of showcasing “artistic excellence and integrity, diversity of programming, support for emerging artists, and community outreach” (www.thecedar.org).
WMCN has also made the event an opportunity for Macalester arts organizations and artists to collaborate. Look for representation from Thistle, Chanter, Mac Pics and Mac Slam at the concert, as well as the work of Christian Behrends ’13, Phoebe DeVincenzi ’13, Hannah Geil-Neufeld ’13 and Anna Van Voorhis ’14.
Hopefully, this will not be a one-time thing. Summerlin hopes that the concert will “create a precedent for more WMCN events in the future on and off campus,” as well as future collaboration between arts organizations.
If you have not already purchased tickets, visit www.thecedar.org/events and click the link for “Who Even Listens to WMCN?”