June 23, 2021
Jun 23, 2021
Our founder and CEO, Gar Ragland, contributed a heartfelt letter to Capital At Play Magazine’s November Music Issue, to share what the Citizen Vinyl project means to him and what he hopes it will be contribute to the Asheville community.
You can read the full op-ed below, or view the feature via Capital At Play’s website.
One Last Thing: Gar Ragland, Founder & CEO of Citizen Vinyl
Three years ago, when the Citizen Vinyl project was little more than just an exciting idea, I attended the first annual Making Vinyl conference. I booked a plane ticket to Detroit, and arrived in the Motor City with sharpened pencils, an empty notepad, and lots to learn about the exciting and enduring rebirth of the music vinyl record industry.
I was there – as a longstanding music producer and small business owner – to assess the viability of establishing a new record pressing plant here in Asheville, a business opportunity that seemed timely and very well-suited to my music and craft-loving hometown.
I learned so much about the renaissance of the vinyl record industry during the conference … about the reasons behind the fourteen years of continual growth in vinyl record sales, about the pros and cons of colored versus black vinyl records, about new advances in manufacturing technology, and much, much more.
But the most important takeaway was not the promising data I gathered about this growth industry, or the confidence I gained in Asheville’s perfect suitability. Rather, it’s been a beautiful, open-source collaboration from the start. As such, it has harnessed the collective creativity, vision and expertise of some of Asheville’s top talent.
As our name suggests, Citizen Vinyl is a testament to both the history of our historic building and the invitation to explore what it means to be a citizen . . . to ‘belong’ to a place. Our team shares an understanding that together, and despite the unforeseen and very real challenges of opening a new venture in the midst of a global pandemic, we have a very exciting and unique opportunity to create something that’s enduring, inclusive, inspiring and impactful.
It is a privilege and responsibility to create a community landmark that both unifies and inspires; one that celebrates our rich history and informs our future; one that helps our community – most especially our artists – recover from this damn pandemic.
In doing so, our team aspires to be good citizens, and to inspire others to do the same. I am excited about the future, most especially the creative renaissance that I feel is now being born from the pandemic. We look forward to playing our role.
Thanks to Asheville based music writer Bill Kopp’s excellent feature on Citizen Vinyl for Goldmine Magazine. The three page spread originally ran in their November print issue, but you can read an excerpt on Bill’s personal blog, Musoscribe, here. Truly Fine Citizen: Citizen Vinyl Launches… View Article