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Midwest Music Foundation Staff Spotlight: Brenton Cook





Midwest Music Foundation Staff Spotlight: Brenton Cook

 
(Photo by Forester Michael) 
 
The Midwest Music Foundation staff constantly works behind the scenes at live music events you have likely attended. They’re the ones who search for facilities, supply entertainment, coordinate with vendors, and generally ensure that your live music experience will be a good one. They’re also the ones that get the word out about musicians’ health care and other educational resources for musicians, filling a vital gap in the community.
 
Before the advent of the sixth annual Apocalypse Meow benefit, we hear back from some of the staff to find out what they do and why they do it. We’re talking here with Brenton Cook, Web Admin and Music Promotions Assistant.
 
The Deli: When and how did you first get involved with MMF?
 
Brenton: I guess MMF first came to my attention around 2010 as I was heading down to attend my first SXSW. That first year [the MMF showcase] was called Midwasteland Takeover and I had an absolute blast down there. In 2011 after spending some time with the staff at Murder Ballad Ball, I decided to volunteer some of my time and filled out the online volunteer form online at work one day. I heard back from Rhonda within an hour and I've been spending time on various projects with them ever since.
 
The Deli: What is your current role with the organization?
 
Brenton: My background is computers, particularly software programming. There was a real need for someone to handle all of the web updates when I started, so it just seemed natural that that's where I could help out best, so I've been the web administrator since I started, but I work on a lot of different stuff. You'll find me behind the MMF booth at a lot of events, or asking questions at the Musicians' Bootcamp, or working with bands to get tracks contributed for MidCoast Takeover samplers or the Midwestern Audio compilation series that I have been assembling.
 
The Deli: Why is MMF such an important cause to you? What do you hope it will accomplish in the future?
 
Brenton: I've always been such a music nerd and even though my experience in physically creating music is limited, I feel like I have a really good ear for it and a genuine passion to push Kansas City music further. That's one thing that I’ve found to be so great about MMF: the idea of helping form this community of musicians and music enthusiasts and make the most out of what is already here. And there are so many very talented musicians in this area. I'd like to see MMF continue to grow and provide more opportunities for everyone; be it more exposure, more musical connections or better health care and easier access to emergency medical funds. There are several similar organizations that are thriving in other music cities that I think serve as a good guide for what we could grow into.
 
The Deli: Who are some of your favorite local artists?
 
 
The Deli: Do you have a favorite memory of a past Meow? 
 
Brenton: Last year's Meow was pretty memorable. It was at the cavernous Beaumont Club, but we still did a pretty good job of filling the room, and the love and support was really felt. My favorite memory from Meow though was a sealed envelope casually handed into our donation jar. I knew the person who put it in there and couldn't resist opening it at the end of the night as we were counting up the proceeds. I was surprised to see a crisp $100 bill, and I knew that this was from a person that normally has to watch every dollar spent. It was a strange feeling at first, but I knew that this person wanted to share what they had with their music community.
 
The Deli: What are you most looking forward to about this year's Meow?
 
Brenton: I'm very interested to see Chris Meck’s new trio (The Guilty Birds) play songs for the first time. I just feel like this is going to be something really special. I'm also excited that day two is at Knuckleheads this year. I can't wait to see Meow fill that space full of people enjoying the music and be a witness to the outpouring of support for the local music community.
 
 
Say hello to Brenton this weekend at Apocalypse Meow. It starts tomorrow, November 1 at The Midwestern Musical Co. and Saturday at Knuckleheads. Doors open at 6 pm both nights. Friday’s show is free and all ages, Saturday’s show is $10, 21+. Visit http://www.apocalypsemeow.net for a full lineup and schedule. Ticket linkFacebook event page. To find out more about MMF, visit http://midwestmusicfound.org, and learn about Abby's Fund for musicians' health care. 
 

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