Every noble effort starts with an idea.
Radio producer at WSWO, writer and artist Shelly Hulce has an idea that she hopes will stir something inside local musicians. Having several friends who have lost everything in the Memorial Day tornadoes, Hulce has had her feet on the ground in some of the worst-hit areas.
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“Driving through there and just the deadening stillness and silence...” Hulce said. “Driving through those sites, there’s just nothing in the air but chainsaws and glass and sometimes crying. ... Having several friends who lost everything. I felt like there’s nothing to calm people. There needs to be something to kind of break it up. Radios are probably just not the most practical things with little to no power.”
The idea is to organize local musicians to add positive energy and entertainment at some of the cleanup and volunteer sites. Hulce created the Facebook page, '"Takin' It To The Streets" a week after the storm in hopes of beginning that organizing and connecting musicians with opportunities to volunteer. The group's description reads:
“The air is thick and daunting in the areas demolished by the tornadoes. Only the sound of breaking glass, chain saws and generators can be heard. Music provides relief and promotes emotional healing. Let’s go to the folks working to clean up and rebuild and nourish them with singing and playing to take the edge off the situation. This group page is to help coordinate playing music at various sites throughout this long ordeal.”
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One of the many hats Hulce wears is manager at the non-profit community radio station, WSWO Oldies 97.3 FM. Hulce said she plans to use her radio station to gather some battery-operated turntables and tailgates, go play some records at relief sites and spark motivation in other local musicians to do what they can.
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“I just want to spark the idea and help people feel empowered to do it. Maybe coordinate something for somebody. Get people together and network like ‘I have guitars, who wants to go out?” Hulce said.