Encouraging the Next Generation of Detroit Music Journalists

In keeping with our mission to preserve Detroit’s musical stories and sounds, and on the eve of our second annual music conference, the Detroit Sound Conservancy is pleased to announce a proposed memorial scholarship for one of Detroit’s most important music journalists: Dan Sicko. Over the coming year, the DSC will partner with the late writer’s family as well as record label Ghostly International to honor his legacy. The scholarship will be dedicated to Detroit music and will be designed to encourage the next generation of Detroit music critics and historians. The first scholarship winner will be announced at the DSC’s third annual conference in 2016.

Since our Kickstarter campaign to create an oral history archive for Detroit music in 2013, the DSC has shown its commitment to the legacies of Detroit music journalists, knowing that they are the first responders to local musical culture. Dan Sicko, who wrote the first book-length overview of Detroit techno music in 1999, Techno Rebels, was one of those first responders. When he died in 2011, he left a hole both in his family’s hearts and in Detroit’s larger musical community.

To jump start this project, record label Ghostly International will print a Techno Rebels t-shirt honoring Sicko. Proceeds from online sales will go to the DSC to help organize the campaign. Ghostly founder Sam Valenti IV is excited about the collaboration. “The Ghostly team is proud to be a part of remembering our friend Dan and championing his work and life. The DSC carries a goal close to our hearts, to make things better.” You can purchase the shirts here.

The announcement of this scholarship is just one of a number of initiatives the DSC has planned this spring and summer including the recent Sonic Gates fundraising party with local party promoters Haute to Death, the upcoming annual Detroit Sound Conference at the Detroit Public Library on May 22, and an upcoming collaboration with Allied Media Projects for their Allied Media Conference June 18th-21st. In addition, the DSC continues ongoing advisory work for United Sound Systems’ which recently was granted historic district status by the City of Detroit, preservation activism around the artifacts of the former Graystone International Jazz Museum, and their engagement with the current owner of the Blue Bird Inn, a seminal Detroit jazz club, on Detroit’s West Side. The DSC was formed in 2012 to increase awareness of and support to Detroit’s imaginative musical heritage through advocacy and education in a spirit of vigilance and solidarity. Throughout the year, the DSC programs both on and offline to identify and provide services.

If you are interested in participating or donating to the cause, please email us directly at detroitsoundconservancyATgmail.com or donate here.

Updated 21 May 2015

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