FOR DREW, IT REALLY IS ABOUT CREATING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND GIVING ARTISTS A CHANCE TO GET PAID FOR THE BEAUTY THEY CREATE. Mu Industries: Transforming Your World Since 2016 Earlier this year, Drew Clark and business partner Christopher Morrish started Mu Industries LLC, a creative agency that focuses on event design and immersive experiences. Through their work producing events, Mu Industries is engaging people by taking them down the rabbit hole and allowing them to get lost in a whole new world, if only just for one night. Mu brings together a network of designers, lighting professionals, stage hands, and all-around creatives to host salon-style parties and events. As event producer, Drew reaches out to meet new people, recognize talent, focus the creative energy, and get people to work together to create awesome experiences. San Jose has its own vibe, opportunities, and challenges. One thing Drew finds appealing about the arts and culture scene here is the room for emerging artists to grow and create an impact, to be the proverbial big fish in a small pond. That said, there is an economic challenge facing San Jose artists— it’s hard to stay here, as there’s a scarcity of good-paying, nontechnical jobs that are conducive to the artist’s lifestyle. That’s where Mu Industries comes in—by paying people to practice their art while putting on great events. Night Market: Giving People a Reason to Linger Imagine a warm summer evening strolling through a free and open downtown space that’s filled with local vendors, fortune tellers, carnival barkers, and performers of all varieties. Thanks to this vision from San Jose local Justin Triano and a grant from the Knight Foundation, Mu Industries is transforming downtown’s Post Street to become exactly this: the Night Market, a place you’ll want to linger in. San Jose has its usual hangouts, and this event hopes to grow the connective tissue that other large cities have—the pull of bringing people more to do than hop from bar to bar. The Commons: Modernized Classical Arts for the People It all started with Summer in St. James Park, when Drew
Clark won a competition to activate the notoriously defunct park in the center of downtown San Jose. He brought together a group of friends, artists, and volunteers to put on an event that recontextualizes and modernizes classical arts, bringing it to the people for a very good price: free. With this successful event as a proof of concept, the Knight Foundation awarded a grant for Drew to continue putting on a series of Commons events through 2015 with the goal of revitalizing the classical arts and creating more vibrant events downtown. One example was the Viking- and blackmetal-themed “Black Friday” Commons event last year, which transformed the cavernous Sperry Station into a spectacular performance space featuring handmade sets, chandeliers, and performances of ballet, opera, and local indie bands. For Drew, it really is about creating something beautiful and giving artists a chance to get paid for the beauty they create. This beauty is what drives Drew to keep creating. He fundamentally believes that beauty is a transformative force—and by putting beautiful things in a place, that place will be transformed and so will the people who experience it. The Night Mayor’s Platform: Unifying the Party Scene Drew’s first order of business is to unify the party scene and open up party experiences to everyone. Every great era and every great city is idealized for its parties, and Drew thinks there’s no reason San Jose can’t be one of those cities. At parties, you get people from all different walks of life coming together in a completely organic and nonstructured way— add some art, food, drinks, and music, and you have a recipe for facilitating interactions between people and breaking down barriers. People want to have awesome experiences, and we need to make San Jose a better place to mix, mingle, and create. San Jose has all the elements needed to be a cradle of creativity: people, money, great ideas, and sunshine. We need to believe in our artists, build up our community, and invest in our party scene.
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