About the Writer:
Maryland-based writer and musician Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and nearly a decade of experience in the marketing industry, She is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
Written by Cynthia Gross
August 25, 2020
Chance encounters sometimes result in the most memorable experiences. Perhaps it’s how you met your significant other or were first inspired to pursue your passion as a creative. While it can be tempting to attribute chance encounters with a stroke of luck, I tend to think they are much deeper and more significant.
My Honest Expectation
Case in point: Last year, I was assigned by Alchemical Records to cover the DC Music Summit, an annual full-day event designed to elevate and grow the DC music industry. As one of the publication’s writers at the time and an independent musician, I knew the DC Music Summit was a relevant story opportunity, but I admit, I was skeptical about the experience.
Like many of us, I’ve attended a number of conferences that provide high-level generalizations and cliché advice, at best, where you walk away thinking, “How could I have been fooled by marketing-speak?” That was my expectation. What I found was much different.
The Surprising Reality
From the moment I stepped into the lobby of Eaton Hotel DC, the conference venue, I felt a warmth that was palpable. DC Music Summit founder, Dior Ashley Brown, a DC-based artist extraordinaire, dubbed the “Hip-Hop Polymath” by the Washington Post, made it clear that the DC Music Summit is more than your average conference, and she was right! With more than 300 attendees, including the region’s top presenters, panelists, performers, and vendors, the conference covered topics ranging from making money on the road to inclusivity in music.
The conference was a refreshing reminder that in the midst of a world that creates labels and tries to tear us apart based on markers such as race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, partnership still exists. Like the Kenyan proverb says, “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” I left the event inspired, uplifted, and excited about what was in store for the 2021 conference.
Recently, I caught up with the DC Music Summit leadership team. In exchange for sharing a valuable piece of fitness advice (the ladies got to stay fit in COVID, I’m just saying), I got a sneak peek of what’s in store for next year’s DC Music Summit. Here’s what I know: The 2021 DC Music Summit will be online. At last year’s conference, I heard a number of attendees comment about how difficult it was to select a concurrent session since all of the topics were so intriguing and relevant. Next year, the virtual platform lends itself to the event to be even bigger and more in-depth, and provide more opportunities to attend the program sessions you want.
Trusting the Process
These are unprecedented times in our country and our world. People are struggling, forced to change course and chart a new one. Some of us have lost loved ones. Uncertainty, fear, and anxiety seem to cloud our vision. Perhaps more than anything, this season has taught us that things can change in an instant. Be fluid. Cherish little and big moments. Love generously. Live in gratitude.
It has also reminded us of the healing power of music. Somehow, through it all, music serves as a balm that enables us to face our fear and doubt with courage. This spirit of resilience is at the heart of the DC Music Summit. Growing and thriving as a creative must start within and reverberate outward. When things change, we don’t give up. We innovate. We acknowledge the process as part of our journey to become all that we were meant to be.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional details on the 2021 DC Music Summit.
Are you a creative looking for resources on how to navigate the pandemic? Check out the DC Music Summit’s COVID-19 resource portal.