First, the good news:
Last night I attended something that seemed different for Montgomery. The Denied and Underexposed Art Initiative had a showing last night, and while Montgomery has had art galleries and showings in the past, I don’t know if they have ever been on this large of a scale.
Montgomery, for a long time, has had a reputation for people complaining about having nothing to do and then not showing up for things that did happen. So I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout last night.
Some of my friends had some great, eye-catching pieces in there, and the event really showcased the great talent that Montgomery has.
Maybe things are turning around for the better. With the downtown redevelopment, the great artists and musicians working together instead of competing, I’m very optimistic about what could happen here.
Now for the bad news:
Well, one of the neighbors close to the venue is now complaining about the noise. The thing is, they are doing everything they can to accommodate this neighbor.
Before opening, they made sure the property was zoned for commercial and approved for live music by the city’s planning commission.
After the complaints started, they installed interior walls, added insulation, filled in air gaps in the building, sound-proofed the back doors and even started shows earlier to make sure any louder noises were before curfew hours.
According to a recent post by the venue owners, they even purchased a decibel meter which showed idling cars on the main road were louder at 100 feet away than the noise from the venue at 10 feet.
It’s a shame that when someone tries to bring good things to their community – in this case, a safe venue to showcase original music – someone tries to shut it down.
So you, even though you may not live anywhere near Ocean Springs, Miss., can help by signing this petition to help save original music in that Gulf Coast town:
Please take a moment to sign it and send it to some friends that care about original music and positive community enhancement.
[Update]: Tomorrow, there is a roller derby event in Montgomery. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. at Looney’s on McGehee Rd. There will be skaters from the Auburn, Birmingham and Montgomery teams in a “mixed scrimmage.” Check out all the details on the Facebook event.