Monday, April 16, 2007
Open Expression at 516 SS: tribute to Tommy Welch of Raised Under Reagan 2 pm Sun, Ap 22, 516 Soundstage
Performances by Dirtfoot, Chris Alexander, Kern Courtney, the Peekers, and other musicians will take place alongside displays of original art in a one-day exhibition. The site is 516 Soundstage, 516 Texas St.
Eds note: This thoughtful essay is by writer Cassie Smith and is posted at her Janedoughnut site (see links).
Memorial services for Tommy Welch have also been held in Colorado and California. Sunday's tribute will provide an opportunity for all those in Shreveport touched by Welch to gather together in remembrance. Organizers will also be raising money for Welch's family.
Tommy Welch passed away in Los Angeles on February 27th at the age of 29. He grew up and lived in Shreveport until moving first to Colorado Springs and then Long Beach and Los Angeles with punk band Raised Under Reagan.
During his time in Shreveport, he was an influential player in the music, art and theater communities. He used his talents in everything from his work with children to expressing his anger with the government and status quo. Friends describe him as someone that lived every day like it was his last. He was an inspiration for countless people from the deep south to the west coast.
Welch attended C.E. Byrd High School and graduated from Centenary College in 2001 with a degree in Theater. He stayed involved and invested in the community in more ways than most of us would have the energy for. Among other things, he worked with KSCL, Centenary's radio station, was active in local theaters including the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, and passed his love of drama on to children through drama workshops, art classes, and the Peter Pan Players children's theater. Welch was also active in the music community and worked with groups like Shrevepunx, booking shows at the Zebra Room and expanding the range of music available locally.
The tribute, which will be on the eve of Welch's 30th birthday, is open to the general public. To contribute or to find more information, contact Amy Guendulay at 865-5257 or 210-5836.