15 Oct At the Center of (Re)invention: You
At some point we all have to decide whether to proceed “as is”, or to make changes that will be challenging, but overall better for us in the long run. LSP has been promoting culture through events for over ten year and we have had some really amazing nights and made some serious inroads in D.C.’s arts scene. I still remember, when we first started, how hard it was just to get 20 people out to a DJ Stylus set! These days, I can happily report we are doing much better at pulling an audience and getting better at attracting new fans to the fold, but I as a function of LSP, am more than just good time out. There is so much more that I can and want to do. I hit a wall earlier this year, because I wasn’t feeling the proverbial “it” anymore. All of the work only seemed to pay off to a point. We had gotten great exposure with our Smirnoff projects, but things weren’t growing and I was starting to feel claustrophobic with what LSP was becoming known for–the parties. It was time to maybe do things differently.
I took a little trip down a lesser traveled road–theatre. I directed and co-produced a show called Songs for Janie. This was originally an album concept I created for the talented Tamara Wellons two years prior. When we both felt the time was right, we took the songs she had created for the album and turned them into a theatrical production. It felt good to take on a new challenge and we received great reviews for what I am sure is only the beginning. It was a good start, but not enough to shake the feeling that I was still not making enough of an impact, so I went way to Europe-namely London in hopes of figuring out the next steps.
After my trip in May and some serious soul searching, I returned not rested, but reinvigorated with a new challenge. It seemed that instead of trying to remake LSP, what I really needed to do was reinvent myself. In order to take LSP to the next level, I had to be willing to go there as well. It would seem obvious, but not so much for me initially. Still ever more the introvert, I realized that I had to step into the center of this framework I had dubbed ‘The LSP Effect’ and allow it to reflect my growth and expanded thought. I could no longer separate my physical self from my creative self if I and by extension LSP, was ever going to move past what I realized were self-imposed limitations.
What does this all mean? In theory, not much but in practice has resulted in our new site design and approach to content. We are bringing all that we do right up front. There will still be snazzy video recaps and the familiar event concepts like our annual Black President’s Day tribute to Fela which happens on Wednesday, October 24th, but there will be some new additions as well. Now LSP Picks!, will take on a bolder format as our new team of writers covering culture, music, fashion and art state quite emphatically: “This is where you want to be.” Suite 301, an idea as old as LSP, finally comes into fruition as well. More musical co-op than traditional record label, Suite 301 will be a boutique label that digitally releases music from artists in the metropolitan area starting with our very own Ne’a Posey’s long-awaited project.
Even with the seemingly “new” elements in place, I much like LSP, haven’t really changed. As a culturist, I have always made it my mission to share the things that I believe to be relevant and positive about the world I live in, it’s just now I don’t plan to be so quiet about it and I think in the end it is that part of my reinvention I am most looking forward to.
Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi