Music can unite unlikely collaborators. Punk meets hip hop or rhythm and blues meshes with industrial metal. For communities no longer buoyed by traditional industry, rejuvenation is possible. Utilizing the impact of music scenes may hold the key.
Alumni, community members, business leaders and local government reps came to the 2019 Alumni Lecture held on November 13 at Trent University Durham GTA to find out more as Dr. Scott Henderson ’84 and “Music Scenes and the Post-Industrial City,” took centre stage.
“I’m really excited that people want to talk about the Oshawa and Durham scenes, and how we can revitalize communities.” reflected Dr. Henderson, the head of Trent Durham and its first dean.
In addition to sharing academic analysis and on-the-ground research from his time exploring the civic impact of music scenes in Saint-Etienne, France, Glasgow, Scotland, and Hamilton, Ontario, Dr. Henderson brought forth tangible ideas such as access to technology, walkable areas, local hangouts and creative spaces. Respect between local residents and musicians is integral.
“I was totally jazzed because if there is a big idea or question it is, ‘How do we raise the awareness of arts and culture in Oshawa?’” mused Georgia Fullerton, cultural development coordinator for the City of Oshawa. “What is it that people need, what is it that turns them on or what do they feel is lost within the identity of Oshawa?”
“He is a scholar in his own right and a Trent alumnus,” states Jess Grover ’02, president of the Alumni Association. “It’s amazing to see all parts of our community come together, to hear what is happening in his field of research.”
Dr. Henderson is an expert in film and popular culture and a professor of Communications. He’s also in a band.
Trent University president Dr. Leo Groarke observed, “He is interested in how he can build on local culture to create identity and make Oshawa and Durham even more successful.”
Dr. Henderson predicts that the 200 Trent students moving into the new campus residence next year will be a big part of the local community. “Hopefully, there will be a lot of back and forth synergy.”
“The tagline of the city is, ‘Prepare to Be Amazed,’” states Ms. Fullerton who works out of Oshawa’s Arts Resource Centre (ARC). “It’s time. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to implement some of the ideas that he brought about.”