SHANNON CLEARY ON RVA’S COMMUNITY (2013)

I have spent the majority of my twenties in this never-ending cycle. With each year, my role in the creative community continues to evolve and it’s truly rewarding. I have been a songwriter. I have been a music journalist. I have been a storyteller. I have been a DJ on independent radio. I have been an event organizer that sets out to benefit local non-profits. To me, the idea of any community is to consider the social contract at hand. It’s all about what you put in and what you take from it all. The inspiration you absorb from several creative outlets while continuing to show your constant support of any and all happenings. It’s not a responsibility that should ever feel like a chore. Despite complete and total exhaustion, there is nothing more thrilling than feeling as if you were part of a greater moment. That is what I have always set out to do with all of my endeavors. To capture moments and archive them as a means of maintaining a grasp of the creative importance everything around us contains. The only way to allow the arts to thrive in our community is by continuing to support them and never letting anything dissuade us. To me, community can be summed up as this. It is just as much an extension of my family and my creative spirit as it is an attribute I am proud to define myself by. -Shannon Cleary, WRIR, The Commonwealth of Notions

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