The concept of Dstreet was born in the early days of 2003, before the golden age of ‘social media’, My Space, and Facebook. It was envisioned by founder David Dauer as a place on the web, where local bands and musicians could gather to exchange ideas, promote themselves, and generally kibitz about Mid Michigan’s music scene. It was a popular website where musicians talked shop about gigs, groups, gear and one another.
The plan was a good one, but eventually living only in the virtual world seemed lacking. Dstreet decided to reach out and spread the joy that live music can bring to an audience. In 2005 we partnered with Midland County Parks and The Eagles club #3667 to stage the first ever Parkapalooza festival. The free concert was held on the shores of Sanford Lake in Sanford lake Park. We were thrilled with the attendance of nearly 2000 people, but it was just the beginning of what was to come.
2006 brought two major changes to Dstreet; a change in vision and a change in status. As vital as the local music scene had always been (and will always be) to our organization, Dstreet realized that the music is just the vehicle to make good things happen. Music brings people together and improves our quality of life. It holds the magic to do great things for people. We took a serious look at what we wanted to accomplish and developed a mission statement to help guide us (*) and a simple slogan to explain us: “Banding together to build a better community”. We also applied for, and were granted 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status by the IRS and officially became The Dstreet Entertainment Foundation.
From the beginning, Dstreet had been led by its founder David Dauer and a board of directors. Having transformed Dstreet to a viable and growing service organization, David stepped aside in 2007 and a new president, Dennis Beson, took the reins of the group. Under his leadership Dstreet became even more finely tuned to the needs of the community. It was a banner year, as we formed partnerships with many other outstanding organizations.
Among other milestones in 2007, Dstreet took over back-stage duties at the Labadie Pig Gig, conducted a ‘business of music’ youth clinic for young musicians, and gave away our first thousand dollar scholarship to a deserving and music minded high school senior.
Still another significant aspect of 2007 was the creation of the Dstreet Band Wagon program. Bandwagon is an in-house effort to collect and refurbish used musical instruments and donate them back to disadvantaged kids. Our first Band wagon donation was made in 2008 when Dstreet turned over a trumpet to a young band student from the Midland area.
Dstreet is always looking for ways to help bring people and local artists together and, in 2009 the foundation bought a makeshift stage to be made available to local events. Restoring the stage is an ongoing project, though it has already been used at Midland’s “Be a tourist in your own town” event and The Sanford Freedom festival. The year also brought a partnership with Phoenix Productions and their great indie music event, the FreeMusic festival and saw the Fifth birthday of Parkapalooza- with an audience topping five thousand people!
Rock this Country was a new venture in 2010. With the second Rock this Country event in 2011, this proved to be truly a special event. The Dstreet Foundation partnered with Bay Area Family Charities and, for the first time, with the Yellow Ribbon Guard, to produce a concert not only in support of our country, but in support of our troops. The concept was to send America’s music overseas to our soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to music download cards sent to our soldiers, dstreet produced a live recording to be netcast to our troops overseas.
After shepherding Dstreet through 3 years of tremendous growth, Dennis Beson chose to step down at the end of 2010, and in 2011 Darrin DeMott was elected as board president.
History tends to change with the telling and it’s a story that is never really complete. We at the Dstreet Entertainment Foundation are proud to have forged a little piece of history, and we are humbled by the many wonderful musicians, sponsors, organizations and individuals who have helped us along the way.
If you believe, as we do, that music has the ability to do great good in the world, please join us.