On Friday, September 16, I participated in the local Park(ing) Day. A good explanation of the event can be found on the official Park(ing) Day website “… an annual, worldwide event that invites citizens everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.”
In Chattanooga, we had parking spaces set up in three parts of downtown: North Shore, Downtown, and the Southside. The roads consisted of Fraizer Ave, Market St, and Main St. I spent most of the day in the Southside on Main St. Spots around me were supported by Folk School of Chattanooga, Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, Theater for the New South, and Chattanooga Organized for Action. The Parks and Recreation folks had fun with corn hole and mini golf. The Folk School was having fun with a piano and various stringed instruments. Other supporters were Warehouse Row on Market St and Allied Arts on Fraizer Ave. The Allied Arts spot was made into a concert hall, equipped with concert piano and organ provided by Summit Pianos. This is a modified list as I know one park provided free hotdogs and another had a old tyme photo booth and bicycle rental – just don’t remember much about them.
Allied Arts hosted a “Perform and Win Cash” park. So, I gathered up my SPB and ventured out to perform. Before this point, I had only played out a few times – for poetry reading nights and friends. A few times on the sidewalk, but not busking. I knew this could be a great starting point for me and decided to take the leap. What a fun day it was! Showing this beautiful instrument to many who have never seen/heard of such. Performing all over Chattanooga gave me a sense of how people really take to the sound, more than I had expected. The main performance went well and I took first place! I had several opportunities to play with other musicians and met many artists. Made important connections in the local art scene which I hope to work with again soon. I am looking forward to participating in the event next year. Hope to have a spot of my own full of tongue drums, flutes, and other unusual instruments for folks to experience and play on their own.
Park(ing) Day Winners
SPB with Saw
Plying on Main