There is a movement going on at Grove City College. It’s called #DreamsGoLive. #DreamsGoLive is an initiative started by Grace Leuenberger – senior communications major at Grove City – which began in order to bring light to the musical acts performing on the Grove City College stage.
In an attempt to bring quality music to the campus, Leuenberger and the team of Stonebridge Concerts (a campus organization that brings bands to Grove City College) set out to start something new this year. But instead of me trying to tell you, I’ll let Leuenberger and the president of Stonebridge (Josh Delk) tell you all about it themselves in my interview with them.
See the Q&A interview below:
Tell us a bit about the start of Dreams, Grace. Where and when did you think of it, why “Dreams Go Live” and where did it come from?
(Grace) #DreamsGoLive began back in the summer when I started getting more serious about my interest and enjoyment of music, and my belief that it provides inspiration to communities and individuals alike. I went to a concert in July that was held in this field in the middle of nowhere and singing under the stars with thousands of other people just floored me. I knew that we had to have that same feeling of excitement and inspiration at Grove City College, so I started developing the idea of making a dream I had for good music and conversations about music to become central to the life of Grove City College. And DreamsGoLive was born, a movement to bring inspirational musical concert acts to GCC, and cultivate a sense of appreciation for excellent music. I wanted people to engage more firsthand with music: live music, concerts, albums, people in the industry, etcetera.
In the end, DreamsGoLive is really about inspiring people to look at art and music and creativity as a means to bring about change and shape their communities into better, collaborative places. The huge inspiration for me is a man by the name of Larry Kloess who runs a business in Nashville called Cause A Scene. The motives behind CAS are totally in line with DGL, and Larry was a HUGE inspiration and virtual mentor to me as we set these goals to bring more music into our college community. We’ll actually be featuring Larry’s story in a DreamsGoLive blog series that will come out in April.
How did Dreams get started (the school’s involvement, Stonebridge connection, etc…) practically speaking?
(Josh) When Grace began working on this idea to have a student-led concert and featuring a popular national act on campus in the Spring, Kara Mazey and I got in contact with her to talk about what this concert might look like. We quickly realized that her idea lines up with the mission of Stonebridge, and that it was only natural for them to work with Stonebridge on helping plan this event. Early in the fall semester, the idea for a series of student-led concert events on Admitted Students Day was pitched before the school administration, and they pledged to give us the financial support we needed to make it happen! Since then we’ve been working closely together to make this concert the best that it can be: the concert of our time at GCC.
(Grace) Josh pretty much got it! Myself and my #DreamsGoLive initiative partner, Molly Wicker, approached some different campus leaders about getting this thing supported and backed up in the long run, and that’s what happened. We are fortunate to have an administration and faculty who supports the expansion of arts programs like this on our campus, and see the value it adds to our community.
How is the Dreams initiative being executed (what types of promo tactics are being utilized to get the campus involved/excited)?
(Grace) We really want people to see that The Oh Hellos are people making thoughtful, creative, beautiful, inspiring, fun music. So we’re trying to keep it fun, trying to show people how their personalities are, what their energy is like. Once anyone goes to their shows or sees them perform live, they know that this band is special, so we are trying to capture that spirit and show people that this concert is worth their time and money. It’s a band everyone can love and get in to, I think!
(Josh) We’ve been working very hard to make The Oh Hellos accessible to the student body. Links to the interviews, articles, and the band’s live performances are regularly posted on our social media sites. Because this is such a big event, we’ve also been marketing this event to the Pittsburgh area and the tri-state area. This concert is also the only date on their Spring tour in Pennsylvania, which has been useful in marketing this as a unique event.
Josh, how do you think that Dreams has influenced the Stonebridge and the school’s attempt to bring good music to the campus?
(Josh) Since its inception, the purpose of Stonebridge has been to bring Christ-centered, quality and intelligent music to Grove City in order to foster community and connection through music. DGL marks our recommitment to this idea and to the student body, by bringing in larger national acts that the students can really connect with.
What developments have you been most proud of this year, and what are you most excited for in the upcoming months?
(Josh) I’m most proud of the work our members have done throughout our events this year, and their contagious enthusiasm for music. With a lot of first-year members in the group, I’m looking forward to seeing them take the lead on projects and stepping into leadership roles in the coming year.
(Grace) This event has required so many complicated circumstances to come together in a short amount of time. I am most proud of the fact that we were able to set a goal and are carrying that goal out. On April 2nd, we really are going to have an amazing live act on campus and show our community that music is an inspiring, important thing for us to experience. I am so excited to see how this show impacts our community, how people are able to enjoy it and revel in the fun of the evening. And I’m excited for the blog series we’re launching after the concert is over. It’s a great way to continue the momentum, and it’s going to be called “Making Music Matter: Stories From the Industry.” We have some significant names from industry whose stories we get to tell, and it’s going to be so neat to do that. A true honor.
The spring concert headliner is The Oh Hellos. Can you share about the (sparknotes version) process of choosing them and bringing them to campus?
(Grace) Well, a lot of emails. Lots and lots and lots of emails. Many, many file folders on the computer. Oh, and more emails. *Laughs*
(Josh) Exactly. Booking a band starts with getting in touch with their manager or booking company. From there, the two starting points are price and the date you want the band to play. Those are settled through a contract, where both parties make revisions and send it back and forth until everybody agrees and it’s signed. After that, the planning begins! That’s pretty much how we booked these bands, just at different times. Having two bigger bands means lots of details, which is what we’re still working on now!
Why do you think The Oh Hellos are the right choice for the campus of Grove City College?
(Josh) I think Grovers are really going to connect with this band, if they haven’t already! They have an incredible live energy and stage presence, and their music ranges from foot-stomping folk anthems to introspective ballads, all under the indie-folk umbrella that I think mostly covers the students’ musical interests. Their music is also incredibly rich with Biblical and theological themes and narrative, especially their new album Dear Wormwood, named after C.S. Lewis’ classic work The Screwtape Letters. It seems like the idea of a worship band or “Christian” artist alienates a lot of people, while the Oh Hellos bring a positive and thoughtful message with exciting and engaging music.
(Grace) Josh really nailed it! You can also read this blog by a student on why he loves TOH.
We really wanted to pick an act that makes great art. That is The Oh Hellos. And with nine members who are known to crowd surf, I think we’ll have fun with it too.
What is your piece of advice for anyone who wants to start something or change something within their college campus?
(Josh) Don’t let red tape, logistics and details get in the way of making your idea come to life. If you’re committed to seeing it through, the details will fall into place.
(Grace) My mentor, Larry Kloess said it best: “You have your own story and your own path of ahead of you: so live that out. Don’t chase after other people’s dreams. Don’t compare them. Pay it forward, find ways to serve others, find where there’s a problem to be solved, a need to be met. And come alive in what you do.” Time and time again, words like Larry’s have guided this dream, inspired me to believe that dreams are worth pursuing, that hope is worth having. I do not believe that it’s coincidental this dream-chasing experience has happened over the course my senior year — a time in life that has forced to me take Larry’s words to heart, a time that has urged me to consider how I can continue to come alive in what I do long after this particular dream has passed on. Throughout this year as I’ve been having meetings and sending emails and dreaming big, I have also applied to two post-grad programs, five summer internships and seven full-time jobs. This time and these experiences have collided together, forcing me to reflect on not only what I want to do with my life in both the present and the future, but also prompted me to consider a question I’ve had to ask so many times this year: why. Why? Why go for this job with such little pay? Why pursue such a big dream when your days at this college are numbered? Why invest in something with such little return? Why? As I thought about why I wanted a certain job, I kept arriving at the same answer: I love dreams.
I come alive in dreams. I love how dreams are universal, how children and teenagers and moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas all have dreams. I love hearing the eagerness in someone’s voice when they’re talking about what gets them excited. I love witnessing the motivation and determination they adopt as the pursue a big goal. I love seeing the smile that spreads across their face when you affirm the hard work they have done to get to where they are now. I love helping people find the inspiration to use their talents. I love mapping out the exciting journey one takes as they pursue something they thought they’d never get the chance to. I love being part of something bigger. I love dreams, and even more than that, I come alive in them; I am inspired in the midst of them; I want to fight for them; I believe in the importance of them.
While it can be true that sometimes people don’t care, sometimes things get so hard you want to quit, sometimes people don’t want to believe or love or cultivate dreams, myself and other students have learned firsthand that people do really care, that dreams are not an allusion, that college students do believe that little moments matter, the dreams are worth chasing, that something is happening even in the little moments that each of us are a part of. So we are not going to quit. Why? Because we believe that dreams matter. We have been forever changed because of the dream we’ve been chasing this year. The hard work is going to pay off. The dream is going live. What dream do you have? Chase it. Cultivate it. Love it. Don’t give up on it. It is so worth it.
To learn more about #DreamsGoLive at Grove City College, please visit the website at:
Also, watch the campaign kick-off video below:[vimeo 146860730 w=500 h=281]