Musicians just trying to make living |

Musicians just trying to make living

A strong spirit of community is one of Nevada County’s outstanding qualities. Residents who have fallen victim to misfortune can count on unwavering support to help them through a crisis. Friends, neighbors, and strangers regularly jump in to ease another’s burden, and this selfless response to need is what makes this such a special place.

Sadly, the generosity that defines our community becomes contaminated when giving of oneself becomes expected rather than appreciated. And more often than not, it is the local musicians who are targeted to “give until it hurts.”

Several of my friends play professionally, and they are more than willing to donate their talents when a legitimate need arises. But time and again, they are called upon to perform gratis for a local organization’s fundraiser. Why do these groups think it’s perfectly OK to generate funds for themselves at the expense of another? Why do they behave as if a musician’s time and artistry are theirs for the asking?

The attempt to earn a living is compromised when people expect far too much for free. If we want to take pride in the magnanimity of our community, we must learn to balance it with a little respect.

Elle Mansfield

Nevada City

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