May 212018

Thanks to all for a very unique and successful event, Let The Blues Be Your Muse! The videos of this event are available for all to enjoy! This was our final event of the 2017-18 season, and it was a collaboration intended to create crossroads between artistic communities, in particular writers and musicians, and to set the stage for June’s blues events in and around the area. The brainchild of Steve Warrenfeltz, LTBBYM evolved into a collaboration between Steve’s store, Kiss The Sky; the Fox Valley Music Foundation, of which he is the director; Water Street Studios and Waterline Writers.

In January, we sent out a call for submissions for written work inspired by or evoking blues music, and received 30 submissions, an impressive number! I also had a great team helping with submissions: Memphis-born Paula Garrett, whose love of the blues and National Public Radio led her to host a blues radio show during her years in Australia, also helped coordinate the entire event. Scott Tipping and Dave Nelson, two first-rate musicians, guitarists and dedicated blues lovers, lent their expertise to the submission selection process. Notably, they selected a poem from participant Latrina Childs and wrote a song with her lyrics, sharing it with us for the first time at the event. While Latrina was unable to attend at the last minute, we’ll be able to share the event video with her very soon.

Other selected participants who attended and co-created this great evening of fiction, poetry, essays and music included Robert Hellenga, Emily Hollis Tipping, Dave Ramont, Paula Garrett, Joan Colby, Sharon Kotzin Frolick, and Al Schubert. Christopher Stolle was also selected, but unable to attend. It was a strong evening from start to finish, but I have to say it was very special to be able to host Bob Hellenga, one of my first and most memorable Knox Professors, reading from one of his seven novels, Blues Lessons, and playing Mr. Jelly Roll Baker on his guitar.

We had a great time presenting this event from the Kiss The Sky music stage, so appropriate for a blues literary event. As always, in the adjoining art gallery at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, we offered authors’ books & CD’s, charcuterie from The Market At Gaetano’s, wine, beer from Solemn Oath Brewery, hand-tooled pens from Wooden Writers, hand-crafted books and journals from Tieri Ton Books, the chance to meet the folks from The Republic of Letters and The Book Shop Batavia. Look out for the launch of their upcoming Batavia Lyceum series.

Now that you’re in the mood, don’t miss these upcoming blues events:

Friday, 6/8: Art of the Blues art exhibit at Water Street Studios

Saturday, 6/9: Blues & Roots on Water Street with one stage at Kiss The Sky and another stage at Water Street Studios.

Friday & Saturday, 6/15-16: 22nd Annual Blues on the Fox Festival at RiverEdge Park in Aurora

And if you want to be a featured reader at Waterline Writers next year during the 2018-2019 season, please closely read and follow our Submission Guidelines and send us your work no earlier than August 15, 2018. 2018-19 events are held at 7 pm, on 3rd Sundays: 9/16, 10/21, 11/18, 12/16, 1/20, 2/17, 3/17 & 5/19. (No April event due to Easter.)

I can’t thank Water Street Studios’ executive director Dani Hollis and special events manager Jaime Gutierrez enough for being so supportive of Waterline Writers! We ask anyone who loves Waterline and is able to support the arts to become a member of or donate time, talent or money to Water Street Studios! They make Waterline Writers possible!

I also want to thank Kevin Moriarity, Managing Director and co-founder of Waterline, for another seamless, drama-free year of partnership. The other long-standing volunteers who make Waterline happen and have done so much to create the community it has become include Frank Rutledge, Ginny Klespitz, Barbara Barrows, Chuck Bennorth Photography, Denise Bennorth, Ray Ziemer and Paula Garrett. Rick Veague is not only on our volunteer list, but is on my A-list for supporting this endeavor at every level. Thanks to all of you!

Anne Veague, Creative Director of Waterline Writers



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