Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Jason Walsmith (and a plea)

Jason Walsmith (and a plea)

...meet the man who makes music and other stuff

No transcript...

Today’s podcast with musician and entrepreneur Jason Walsmith does not mention the great news that he has joined the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative ranks, as we launched it on Saturday.

As regular readers of this column know, I am on a mission to support writers through the Okoboji Writers’ Retreat (OWR) and the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative (IWC).

This September, we’ve added songwriting to the OWR curriculum. In the process, I am learning about the similar challenges individual performance artists face — much like those in the publishing industry — due to the impact of corporate consolidation and technological advances. Taylor Swift is doing fine, says Jason, but the musician who once could pay rent through CD sales is struggling with the free exchange of digital music, where artists see little or no return on their work.

Historically, societies have honored the arts, and patrons have supported individuals who are still household names today. But today, we are on a precipice of significant change and must collectively help the artists.

To that end, Jason and I are conversing about ways to make a difference. Stay tuned for some big ideas, and please share this podcast and Jason’s new column.

And, consider hosting a house concert. It’s a great way to entertain and help preserve this form of storytelling.

The Monday Zoom Lunch guest for February 19 will be Sam Helmick, the Community and Access Services Coordinator for the Iowa City Public Library in Iowa, the ALA Councilor for the Iowa Chapter, and the current chair of the Iowa Governor’s Commission of Libraries. https://libraryfreedom.org/team/sam-helmick/#:~:text=Sam%20Helmick%20is%20the%20Community,Iowa%20Governor%27s%20Commission%20of%20Libraries.

Here is the Zoom link for the discussion of the legislation:

Monday Zoom link or February 19.

Okoboji Writers’ and Songwriters’ Retreat: A Plea

If you want to help us, please tell anyone you know who has picked up a guitar, plucked notes on a piano, pounded away on a drum set, fiddled a tune, or imagined him or herself as Paul McCartney on bass, to come to the Iowa Writers’ and Songwriters’ Retreat.

There will be workshops on how to write a song; all 13 of our musician speakers believe we each can do it. Most of the workshops will be directed toward novice music makers, and there will also be panels and workshops for those who want to make a living doing so. There will be connections made, professional relationships established, a Hollywood film producer on hand, and television scriptwriters. I do not want to set false expectations, but I also believe everything begins in a conversation, and there will be a lot of big talk around campfires and sunset cruises, so who knows what can happen?

I’ve reserved the entire church camp next door to Lakeside Labs, specifically for the songwriters to hold workshops. Wooded trails and golf cart ferries will connect the campuses to facilitate cross-collaboration during OWR IV.

I need your help reaching out to songwriting participants. There will be partial scholarships available for those in need, so please send this to everyone you know who might benefit from the retreat.

I can’t pull this off without the help of this community to unearth songwriters. HELP.

Check out the speakers section of the OWR IV website.



To receive a roundup of columns by outstanding Iowa writers, subscribe to the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative column:

The Iowa Writers’ Collaborative


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Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
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