My name is Hailey Magee. I'm a musician, a community-builder, and an advocate. I’m the founder and director of Emerging Boston Area Singer-Songwriters (EBASS), a 700-member community-based organization that provides a space for musicians and music-lovers alike to celebrate homegrown local talent, the beauty of unfiltered artistic expression, and the healing power of community. I am also the founder and owner of Talisman Music Group, a local artist consulting business that elevates homegrown artists to their maximum potential.
Live music has the ability to unify disparate groups of people around a shared passion. Live music provides those who have been silenced the opportunity to experience complete catharsis and share their experiences with listening audiences. Live music brings depth, meaning, community, and critical thought to societies that have been numbed by technology and social isolation. Most importantly, live music bridges our differences and brings us together in pure, unadulterated celebration.
It can be challenging to communicate the value of the arts when we as a society are accustomed to valuing resources based strictly on their productivity. But artists are not expendable, and they provide an incredible service. One of my biggest goals through my work with EBASS and Talisman Music Group is to contribute to a cultural shift that urges businesses, organizations, and individuals to appreciate the value of live music, and demonstrate that value through adequate compensation. I think that we as a city can do more to inspire collaboration between sectors to create opportunities for the people of Boston to gather and celebrate the passions that unify us.
Hold up a magnifying glass to any of Boston’s neighborhoods and you will find countless pockets of people creating art, building businesses, and serving their fellow community members. Our city is brilliantly alive, home to a beautiful, diverse assortment of individuals with boundless passion and motivation. In my vision for Boston’s future, the arts are universally understood as the catalysts for bridging the divisions between us, and every sector works together to bring these opportunities to the people of Boston.
What advice would you give to the aspiring leaders and changemakers among Boston's millennial population?
The most meaningful relationship-building happens in-person - not over the phone and not over email. Do not underestimate the importance of in-person meetings. By turning up to meet others, we have the opportunity to learn that people have fantastically complex, nuanced stories; they make diverse contributions to the world. Oftentimes, those surprises are only unearthed as a conversation unravels in-person. Don’t ever sacrifice the opportunity to learn more about a person in an honest way. My life is far richer for having taken the time to forge meaningful connections with members of this community.
SPARK IMPACT AWARDS
SPARK Boston is Mayor Walsh’s millennial engagement initiative. Our mission is to engage the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of city government. From dedicated public servants to community builders and connectors, millennials are some of Boston’s most impactful citizens. Each year, the City of Boston celebrates the millennial contribution to our city with the Annual SPARK Impact Awards.