08/12/18 — Street Beats: Sounds of downtown

View Archive

Street Beats: Sounds of downtown

By Sierra Henry
Published in News on August 12, 2018 3:05 AM


Christina Marks performs during Street Beats Friday in the 100 block of south Center Street.


People gather in the 100 block of Center Street Friday night to listen to live music during Street Beats.

Florence Cutler and her husband, Edwin Cutler, decided to take an impromptu trip downtown to enjoy the weather and beat the heat with a bite of ice cream.

After grabbing their cones, they stopped in the median of South Center Street across from the Paramount Theatre to relax and listen to the music provided by Friday evening's Street Beats performer Christina Ivey Marks.

"I love it -- it's soothing," Florence said. "We were just saying how wonderful it is down here. It's beautiful, just beautiful.

"It's just really nice down here, and she (the musician) adds to it. It reminds you of the big city."

Street Beats is a new acoustic jam session that was created by the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation to encourage creativity downtown. It is held every other Friday during the summer months in the median of South Center Street across from the Paramount Theatre with a rotation of artists headlining every session.

"Everybody loves a vibrant downtown alive with people and creativity, so this is our opportunity to encourage that type of activity on a regular basis," said Erin Fonseca, promotions coordinator for DGDC.

"(It) not only encourages the creative types, whether they play an instrument or are painters, to collaborate and make art together, but it's also a point of interest for people who are walking to dinner or to get a drink."

Street Beats is a new initiative started by DGDC in May. According to Fonseca, DGDC was inspired by cities such as Asheville, where artists perform downtown on a regular basis. The idea is similar to that of an open mic night where artists are encouraged to perform voluntarily.

In order to get the initiative started, DGDC does offer a $50 stipend for one artist to commit to performing that week.

"We're really trying to infuse art downtown and this is just another piece of it. It's just visual art or music. All of those together create this wonderful buzz that breathes life into the downtown," Fonseca said. "One of the things that our organizations strive to do is create a sense of place in our downtown.

"That's not just captured by properties and beautiful buildings and businesses. People are a big part of that and people like to listen to music and they like to be inspired."

The last Street Beats summer performance will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 24 in downtown Goldsboro. Volunteer artists are welcome to join and perform their music for voluntary donations throughout the evening.

"A lot of organizations in our community are looking for are ways to engage the youth in our community," Fonseca said. "Something like this could really be of interest to our young people and that is something that they are passionate about -- creating programming our young people can get behind and engage in."