Alpena, MI - August, 2022
This past August, The Sunset Project had the great pleasure to award Nick Lusardi of Alpena, MI with The Sawyer J. Boyd Creatives Grant - a $1000 funding opportunity to help local creatives expand their passions and endeavors.
We sat down with Nick at the event to discuss his unique story, why he applied, and what the future of creativity in Northeast Michigan looks like to him.
How is this grant going to help you achieve your creative goals?
I'm looking forward to using this award to purchase a new MacBook, and that's going to be great for video production and for music production stuff. I really need a powerful computer, especially one like a MacBook that a lot of artists champion in today’s world, so I'm excited to get to know it and streamline all of the editing stuff that I do.
Then you dabble in both the production side and the performance side of music? Very cool.
So yeah, I feel like the recording and the production goes hand in hand with the performance side, especially nowadays you know? If you want to get out there, then you're going to have to have decent recordings, and Apple’s stuff makes it so much easier from what I know and have been told.
Then yea, once I have a new computer then I'm going to start looking into different digital audio workstations and something like Premiere Pro for video editing. My hope is I'll be able to train on those things and then, since those are like the industry standard, get familiar with them at somewhat of a young age to better the video and audio work that I already do now.
A lot of the video and music I do now, yah know, gets done on my iPhone with free apps, and then I use like an online platform from the school to make my videos. It’ll be nice to just have something with a lot more options. Even if I don’t use all the available options, I'm just excited to have the opportunity to have them at my disposal.
That really opens up the door for more stuff for you to experiment with then too.
Exactly, and then essentially there are no limits anymore, you know? If this is what professional videographers use, then I should be learning how to use that too, and it’s no longer the software side of things holding me back at that point.
So then what does the future look like for you? Maybe the next couple of years down the road or so?
I'm not sure. I'm a senior in high school this year and applying for colleges. I’m very interested in a lot of fields of study. I'm really interested in language and psychology mostly – but I love making art. I love making music and videos and I love writing and those are where my passions are. I don't see a future where I'm not doing that stuff and if I can find work doing it, then great but I also love studying and I love going to school and I definitely want to do as much of everything that I can.
Sounds like the possibilities for you are endless right now. What are your thoughts on the current, creative environment in Northeast Michigan?
Oh, grants like this are amazing. Last year a friend and I had a big push to start a film club at Alpen High School and we’re trying to grow that this year too and bring on more people. I think what I love about being in high school is that so many people are so creative, and they have these super interesting hobbies that are like, within them and I want people to seek those things and seek careers and paths that embody that creativity they have. I think Northern Michigan is cool because you know, there aren’t a lot of other huge cities around, so you don’t have an overly competitive art scene that you get in places like Chicago, LA, or New York. Here it’s more down-to-earth and more passionate, you know? You can go to craft shows and you can talk to people like my fellow grant winners who just make music in their garage or design apps and stuff.
I think, there's a lot more love in this community because there's not that intense competitiveness and it really excites me to see people my age who are great artists, and I just want for them to keep at it and not lose that drive and feel like they have to do something else, just because it isn't a viable option for a career.