A Big Eclectic Renaissance

Spending the day at the Big Eclectic show at Big E’s Coffeehouse in Sarasota yesterday gave me a great infusion of the artistry coming out of this town. Aside from the smooth sounds of Truman Adams and the downright kickassery of Traphik 316, the heaping handfuls of other artists that came out to perform and the audience that came out to support the event is a testament to the building Renaissance here in Sarasota. But it’s not just the music and artistry, there’s just something building in the consciousness of those who are willing and open enough to connect to it.

And I don’t believe that it’s just limited to Sarasota. Granted, I feel it and see it very strongly here because it happens to currently be the center of my universe. Nevertheless, I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that the world at large is on the verge of a grand shift. So many of our older institutions are starting to falter, and in lieu of the security they offer, people are waking up to new dynamics of creating community and reestablishing their connection with what is really important in life.

Here in Sarasota, part of this movement is being spurred on by the homeless situation. As the rich and elite make moves to remove park benches and take other initiatives to remove the lowly and downtrodden from their site, “normal” people, the everyday schlubs that make up the general populace are realizing that it is more important to care for your fellow man. I believe that it is this understanding that is truly going to bring about the most magnificent changes in the coming Renaissance. Interestingly, it is the same simple wisdom shared by Jesus when he said to love your neighbor as yourself.

In the first Renaissance, much of the art was infused with religious symbolism. It’s interesting to me that, as I’ve been witnessing this change in the world around me, I’m noticing more and more people referring to Jesus and the simple wisdom that he taught. Not that this movement is becoming largely religious, but it seems that the religious trappings are being diminished while the truth that they point to is rising into the light. It’s a very exciting time to be alive.


Steve McAllister describes himself as a Renaissance Man. An author, filmmaker, songwriter, and perpetual artistic experimenter, he has recently re-released his second book The Rucksack Letters into paperback to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the journey. A journey of ink and soul, the book recounts his year and a half trek through 26 states, exploring the underbelly of America in order to better know himself. A pivotal first step for a generation in search of a new direction, The Rucksack Letters is available now. His latest book is How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.


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