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Arts and Entertainment

Charlotte music curator takes care of artists' business, too
Advocate Arsena Schroeder earns ASC fellowship
Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:34 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

Arsena Schroeder, owner of Dear Soul Music Co., earned a $10,000 Arts & Science Council Creative Renewal Fellowship.

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Arsena Schroeder married knowledge with her passion.

One of seven recipients of the third wave of the Arts & Science Council’s Creative Renewal Fellowship, a $10,000 grant, Schroeder dispels the theory of the starving artist. Her fellowship will take her to Prague, Czech Republic, for nearly 10 days in October, as well as helping her company support artists. The fellowship also allows her to create content and record with international artists.

“I’m going to be doing some music, some live shows,” Schroeder said. “I have a company called Dear Soul Music Co. We support independent artists. We do workshops. We do live shows, and we just help creatives get their brand and their vision together so they can actually present themselves in a professional and polished way as creatives. I’ve been invited to Prague to bring some of that.”

Schroeder has been curating shows since 2013, officially launching Dear Soul Music in 2017.

“It just came from people just wanting to sit down and talk,” Schroeder said.

She attended Pfeiffer University with the intention of pursuing a career in corporate America, but a friend suggested during her freshman year that she record vocals on a mixtape. She wrote two verses and realized that enjoying music also meant making music, which inspired her to buy a guitar.

“Then I got bit by the music bug and I fell in love with music, so I completely changed my course,” Schroeder said. “I wanted to stay faithful and true to that, even going to the lengths of turning down my full ride to grad school to focus on music. Some of that business savvy from that world carried with me into the creative world. I was able to marry my type A and my creative.”

Schroeder’s ability to combine the two provided a space to help fellow artists.

“A lot of times, creatives just don’t know business as much,” she said. “They need help. That is where the company started—let’s make sure that the stigma of being a starving artist is dismantled because that is not true. In order to be a great artist, you have to have great business wits and business savvy so that you can concentrate on your art and be great at your art. They go hand-in-hand.”

Schroeder has called Charlotte home since she was 5, growing up on Central Avenue and attending Phillip O. Berry Academy. She has seen the mom and pop music spaces disappear.

“There is a blessing and curse, because to get into a place like Belk [Theater], the costs or how many tickets we would have to sell to even breakeven is mind blowing, but the positive side is we are able to take unconventional spaces and have live shows there,” Schroeder said. “I have my concert series, ‘Unplugged + Live’ and that is what we do. We originally started as a house concert series in 2013. We eventually outgrew houses. We’ve been in coffee shops since 2017.”

However, they have also outgrown coffee shops.

“We have our last coffee shop one this week, which is kind of sad, but we are busting out of the coffee shops now,” Schroeder said. “The cool thing is, we are able to turn unconventional spaces into live shows. We bring in sound. We bring in lighting, and we make it work, but I do miss the smaller places.”

Final performance: Unwind Tea & Coffee (333 Main St. Pineville) May 16 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, as it is part of the ASC Culture Blocks program.

For more information: http://arsenamusic.com.

Other 2019 fellowship recipients: Boris “Bluz” Rogers, Nico Amortegui, Paula Martinac, Andrew McMillan, Timothy Morrison and Thomas Thoune. This is the largest Creative Renewal Fellowship class since its inception in 2017. The program expanded from $40,000 in 2017 to $70,000.


Please check out our website and get in touch with me. I think we may be able to work together. www.artistsmusicguild.com
Posted on May 23, 2019
Hello, I am a aspiring Music Artist, Poet, Songwriter, Author, and motivational speaker. I am 18 years of age, From Charlotte NC, currently attending Northside Christian Academy. I am a POB Alumni, I just transferred this year. I have a dream, a outlook on the world I'd love sharing and growing with you. I have more than a few Ideas, words, and art.
Posted on May 17, 2019

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