Local Record Label Holding Free Summer Concerts in Underserved Neighborhoods

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Summer concert series organized by Station One Records (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  With overcast skies, wet ground, and a chill in the air, it certainly doesn’t feel like summer; but the weather didn’t dampen the spirits at Good Park on the north side of Des Moines. That’s because rain or shine, a free concert was being played.

“One of the things that we realized is that so much of the arts and culture activities that take place in Des Moines tend to be downtown, and what we want to do is looking at Des Moines becoming more of a live music city, we feel that in order to do that we have to get music and arts and culture out of just the downtown sector and into other neighborhoods,” said Tobi Parks.

Parks is the executive director of Station One Records, the local music label spear-heading a series of four summer concerts being held in underserved neighborhoods and under-used facilities.

“Particularly, one of the things that happens when we have a lot of that arts and culture activity concentrated downtown, a lot of the economic impact of those free events happen downtown, and what we feel like is we want to take some of that and get it out into neighborhoods that can really use that economic injection. So when you come out to the concert here, you’ll go to the convenience store across the street or go to the café that’s just up the block,” said Parks.

But it’s not just about economics. Parks says youth in underserved neighborhoods need easier access to culture, so instead of having to go downtown, the music comes to them.

“This is an opportunity to say, ‘you know what? This is a low bar of entry, so I’m going to go and maybe checkout something I may not otherwise if I had to pay for it,'” said Parks.

The community says they appreciate it.

“It’s awesome! We’re out here today, it’s not too hot, not too cold, it rained this morning, people got discouraged, we’re not discouraged!” said Dawn Johnson.

“I love it, and it gets the kids to meet new kids and become friends instead of out here doing all this dangerous stuff, and it brings the community together and I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said Barbara Bynum.

Parks says music at the series will be family friendly and positive, ranging from hip-hop to R&B to jazz. Entry to the series is free with help from sponsors like Mid-American Energy, Principal, and Coors Lite.

The three remaining concerts will be on:

-June 9th at Stewart Square Park.

-July 14th at Martin Luther King Park.

-August 11th at Greenwood Park.

Click here for more information.

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