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Downtown Events Bring Business Community and Artists Together

Whoever first said business should never be mixed with pleasure must not have spent much time in Columbia. The second half of August brings at least two big chances to have plenty of fun while making new connections and gathering information which could be useful in business.

“Connections are what keep people propelling forward,” said COR Executive Director Abigail Zeiler. “Let’s increase the opportunities for people to be successful.” The opportunities are coming this week and next.

The Columbia Museum of Art will host Arts & Draughts Friday night. The recurring event brings people from all walks of life to the museum, where they mingle and enjoy a mix of art and music as well as plenty of food and drinks.

The August edition includes a “Booze Cruise through History” tour of the museum’s galleries, led by Lexington County Museum Director J.R. Fennell. A new exhibit of photos of the Carolina Coast by J. Henry Fair will be open, and guests ready to create their own art can try out live figure drawing. Four bands will provide live music throughout the evening, and those interested can volunteer their time assisting with the event and receive free admission. More information is available here.

Josh Roberts & the Hinges performing at Music Break 2014 (photo provided)

Josh Roberts & the Hinges performing at Music Break 2014 (photo provided)

Just as with Arts & Draughts, bringing the community together is the goal as Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR) hosts its 5th Annual Music Break Aug. 23. Zeiler said the event was born out of COR’s overall mission to “connect people in the Midlands who should be connected.”

“The music scene in Columbia is growing,” Zeiler said, which led to the idea for Music Break. “Let’s focus on this one niche group of people and connect them with the business community.” Zeiler said the message COR wants to send to local musicians is that the event is for them most of all.

The musicians are invited to a workshop at Tin Roof, where a panel of local people who’ve found success in the music business will offer advice and share stories.

The workshop will be followed by a concert at Music Farm, with local artists Ropeswing Marathon, The Harsh Truth, and Kelly Cheats performing in front of a VIP crowd of community leaders, local event planners and Midlands based venue owners who can potentially hire them. The local artists were chosen by COR through an application process.

The evening will wrap up with performances by The Marcus King Band and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, both regionally successful acts with local ties. “We’re all just going to come together and celebrate,” Zeiler said.

Tickets are just $15 ($10 for students, military personnel, and COR members), and Zeiler said a concert like this for that price is something “you’re not going to find in other places.”

“Go ahead and take an hour off Wednesday morning” after Music Break on Tuesday night, Zeiler suggested. “Come out and have a good time and support our local music scene.”

More information on Music Break is available here.

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