Friday, August 30, 2019

RAA to host inaugural artist scholarship fundraiser

Devon and David Young
By Lorraine Glowczak

The Raymond Arts Alliance (RAA) is hosting its inaugural artist scholarship fundraising concert on Saturday, September 7 at 1 p.m. at 163 Raymond Hill Road. The purpose of the concert is to raise funds to support local artists in need.

The concept was inspired by the aspirations of David Young, a local singer/songwriter, Raymond resident and 2017 graduate of Windham High School (WHS). David has performed in clubs for several years and has developed a strong local following. He studied guitar for a year at the University of Southern Maine and now will be moving to Nashville in the first week of November. 
The RAA hopes to donate part of the proceeds raised from this event to help with his move and start his new life, while also seeding a fund to assist others in the future.  David, along with his brother, Devon - a drummer who is a 2019 WHS graduate, is also moving to Nashville and will be performing with David.

Mary-Therese Duffy, RAA Chair, stated that the scholarship program is in the early stages and that the organization hopes to collect enough funds to support all artist and ages.

“For some, perhaps many, it is very challenging to claim the word artist for one’s self, particularly in the beginning. There are numerous cultural barriers to artists fully immersing into their ideas and vision, from simply being recognized in youth to being supported in explorations as young adults,” Duffy said. “Art is not considered a serious contribution to society and to that way of thinking, not a valued pursuit.  Many artists internalize this and believe they shouldn’t or can’t pursue what they truly love; and often, artists don’t know what that is even.  That is only because of the nature of artistic expression itself:  it is a calling, amorphous, often intuitive, looking nothing like a chosen path, never mind a clear one.  This can lead to self-doubt, second guessing, and always putting one’s
artistic process on the back burner.  Connecting to successful artists, having a mentor and the freedom to explore is critical to artistic development.  Few things adequately reflect and express the soul (if you will) of a culture than the arts, and they need to be supported at as many levels as possible.  They are an oxygen, a mirror, a compass and sometimes prophetic; a very needed element within our human collective, indeed.”

David recorded his first song at the age of 14 entitled, “Assassination #16”, a song about Lincoln’s death. He also recorded an album with Devon in 2017. Although music has played a large role in his life, he didn’t always know that music would be the direction he would take. “I didn’t know music was what I wanted to do FOR SURE until maybe a year and a half ago. Dev and I decided about a year ago that we would chase our dreams,” David said.

When asked if he had advice for other aspiring musicians, he admitted that he is still very young himself and does not have much advice to give, but does offer this suggestion: “I will say that if you know what you want to do, chase it! For me, I’d rather struggle to achieve something that I love to do than do something I hate just for the money.”

Other performers for the inaugural scholarship concert will include special guests, Jani Cummings, Dos Canosos (Raul Freyre and Gary Wittner), and The Disclaimers.  The location is. This is an outdoor event, so please bring a folding chair. There is no cover charge, but since this is a benefit, donations are greatly appreciated.

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