More thoughts on making connections to nurture a city (or, hey, I’ve got a blog)

Yesterday, I posted about the impending departure of Jake Hodesh, the director of The Creative Coast, for a similar job in Cincinnati.

Jake’s work here has included lots of networking efforts behind the scenes, but he has also written columns every two weeks for the Savannah Morning News and has overseen The Creative Coast’s excellent blog, which has included many guest posts.

The sum of these efforts has been to point out positive, sometimes progressive, sometimes unfamiliar developments to the broader community

Jake’s column yesterday — Eat a Peach — Savannah Style — is a great example.

He spotlights “a few noteworthy individuals who are making positive impacts on Savannah in their own unique ways.” Hodesh manages in the column to spotlight quite a few, beginning with Kristin Russell, Teri Schell, and all the folks who have made the Forsyth Farmers’ Market take off.

He then moves to Rene Tran and the Well Fed movement, Kay Wolfensberger of The Maker Collective, the coffee scenemakers, and the public efforts of artists Matt Hebermehl and Katherine Sandoz.

Jake also talks about the music scene:

Sticking with the theme of revolutions, let’s talk about music. Bill Dawers, the most prolific attender of happenings I know, has an incredible blog covering the Savannah music scene better than anyone in the region. If you care about Savannah music, stay tuned to

Kayne Lanahan’s Savannah Stopover Music Festival solidifies the spring as the best season to be in Savannah. Kayne has transformed a simple idea into a movement, and her festival has grown into a regional powerhouse of great music. Stay tuned for bigger and better acts in 2013.

Blake Olmstead and Peter Mavrogeorgis’ recent opening of Dollhouse Studios is not only a world-class recording facility but an incredible place to hang while watching fantastic emerging acts. It’s exciting that Blake and Peter have committed time, money and energy to producing a state-of-the-art music facility in Savannah.

Savannah Unplugged covers a pretty wide range of topics, but I’m obviously pleased that anyone would think that the music category alone would be worth such a nice plug.

But we still need more people writing about Savannah’s rich, varied, unpredictable music scene.

And we just need more voices doing what Jake has been doing — looking for things that enrich the community and then spreading the word about them. Too many Savannahians — especially young, optimistic, well-educated ones who could enrich quality of life in myriad ways — are only tangentially connected with consistent sources of quality information about the local scene(s).

Forsyth_Park_FountainI see the problem firsthand in the general unawareness of local developments among the college students I teach and in the media selectivity of those who read my columns but have no idea that I have a blog — or vice versa. One of the nicest messages I’ve gotten in a long time was from a young musician who loves my blog but had no idea that I’m a newspaper columnist — much less one with over 1,500 published columns.

We’ll miss Jake’s upbeat voice and realistic perspective about what can or can’t succeed here, but here’s hoping that other voices proliferate, filling that void — and then some.