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April 30, 2013

Cultural foundation to wrap up first year with competitions

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

CLAWSON — The newly formed Clawson Cultural Foundation is looking to wrap up its first year as an organization with a trio of activities.

The foundation is hosting its first annual Melody Clash May 19 at the city park on Elmwood Avenue. Then in July, the foundation will be judging submissions from young writers and photographers as part of two separate contests.

The Clawson Cultural Foundation, which began last August with the Authors and Arts Fair, was formed from a desire to promote local talent.

Matthew Ball, a member of the foundation and one of the organizers for the Melody Clash, said there are several other cities that hold festivals celebrating local artists, and he felt Clawson should do the same.

“As a musician myself, I’d like to see more things supporting the arts community,” Ball said. “I don’t like the idea of leisure activities being limited to restaurants and movies.”

Clawson Mayor Penny Luebs, who is also part of the foundation, said young families are looking to move to places with lots of activities.

“People are no longer moving to an area for a job and then looking around,” she said. “Young people are moving to an area where things are happening. So even though we’re small, we can do our small part.”

From the formation of the foundation came the idea for several different events that have been held throughout the year. Most recently, the foundation hosted a murder mystery dinner April 20. For the event, Ball said they hired local actors to portray the murder suspects. About 90 people participated in the event, he said.

“It was just another way to embrace the arts community,” he said.

Ball described the upcoming Melody Clash as a local American Idol competition, allowing bands to play for up to 20 minutes in front of an audience and judges.

Bands are scheduled to begin playing at 4 p.m. in the park. The contest is open to all ages and bands from across the region. There is no entrance fee for either participants or patrons.

The winner of the clash will receive gift cards to several businesses in downtown Clawson and a chance to play a gig at Black Lotus Brewing, Ball said.

Submissions for the young-writers competition are due July 8, and the authors must be between the ages of 12 and 18 and be a resident of the city. Winners will have 25 copies of their book published. The submission fee is $25.

Submissions for the photography competition, which has no age limit, are also due July 8. Luebs said the photo must be a nature shot of the city, and the photographer must either work or live in Clawson. The submission fee is $5. Winners will have their photographs on display in a capacity that has not been finalized.

As for the foundation’s second year, Ball said they will be examining what events residents seemed to gravitate toward and what events did not work.

“What works, we’ll probably continue to do and what doesn’t get the response we are hoping for, maybe we’ll start another idea,” he said.

Bands interested in competing in the Melody Clash or young writers and photographers interested in competing in their respective competitions can find out more details and register at www.elevatethearts.vpweb.com or by calling Matthew Ball at (248) 589-0056.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn at rguttersohn@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5006.