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December 2, 2008

Chat with a Changer

Jared Brickman, ROKICT.com

Heather Bohrer

In this town, right now, there’s a group of young professionals poised for world domination with “world” being that individual area of expertise and passion that drives that person to create dynamic community change. In this week’s Chats w/Changers, I spoke with Jared Brickman, the owner and developer of a new amazing site growing rapidly called ROKICT.com
A few weeks ago, I friended Jared on Facebook. YPW had ROKICT.com as the featured website for November and I was starting to notice this large black box logo thing with “Rock” spelled wrong. Trendy. Cool. Fun. Most important, intriguing!

After a brief Facebook chat about world domination and what makes each of us tick, I wanted to meet this guy. Hanna Cafe was the place– Sushi was his deal, L-2 was mine– and we’re off and running.
I love talking to younger professionals that have put themselves out there to change the world. In Jared’s case, his “world” is the local music scene in Wichita. A transplant via girlfriend from New York, Jared brought his knowledge and passion for the music industry here to organize the craziness that is the local music scene.
“Visual Arts has got it going on in Wichita. Music, I can tell you from hanging out with these people is jaded,” says Jared.
Aaaaannnnd and idea is born: www.rokict.com.
“ROKICT.com is a website and an organization. It extends beyond a website. It stands to foster a positive attitude for local music and arts– all arts; music, dance, drama– anything having to do with art.”
While Jared’s main passion is in fact music– he dabbles in other arts as well– ROKICT.com and the organization that is was born to do something very simple; organize and communicate.
“Kansas City’s happening. Oklahoma City’s happening. Austin is one of those national places to be, but you have Wichita where local musicians are frustrated because of the lack of organization. Before ROKICT.com there wasn’t a site dedicated to not only promoting local music, but also allowing musicians to communicate with themselves and with other communities.”
Here’s the plan for ROKICT.com in a nutshell. For visitors that are not bands, it is THE site to go and check out what band is playing where. Simple. Needed. Done.
BUT, ROKICT.com is more. Imagine you are a local band trying to spread your wings and fly. You’ve practiced. You’ve got a small following and you may even have a CD or 7. Without ROKICT.com and the growth projected, it can take you forever to get gigs in OKC, KC or Austin, never-mind Lawrence and Topeka. ROKICT.com’s other side that’s more focused on musicians is that ability to network within the local music community, but also showcase Wichita’s great talent (which we have) in other regional areas. (What else does it do? Go there and find out. It is an amazing site.)
Alright- not to get a little Generation Y preachy on you but- Jared is also interested in something that makes the younger generation great. It’s a little button called collaboration. ROKICT.com isn’t here to dominate and take over every cultural arts website out there, but to work together as much as possible to showcase the talent of the community. It’s about putting the message above the dollar (although money is good too.) Jared’s site is unique, yes, but it’s supplementary and complementary at the same time. It’s a trait that makes a project of this magnitude amazingly sophisticated, but due to the passions of Jared and his group of volunteers, definitely doable.
“The bands that are the house bands are being lifted up, go elsewhere and carry that Wichita name so people can say ‘yeah, Wichita has some great musicians.'” ROKICT.com is the place and organization to make it happen. Jared Brickman has the talent, the passion, the drive, the ambition, the knowledge to make Wichita that place for change. His strategic business partnerships throughout the community make it easy for him to position his business and the music scene in a much more positive light. It allows artist and fans to connect. It gives visitors a place to see what’s going on in town. It allows me to know when and where the Plumbers are playing. I can rank bands. I can listen to them. I can go there and be lost in local talent for hours. It’s growing and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
The vision is impressive, the change has begun and I can’t wait to see where Jared and ROKICT.com leads out community.
Rok on Jared. Rok on.

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