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Orlando: The Colorful Center of Diversity

By: Dexter Ray Ellis Jr.

Patio of Elixir, a popular bar that host weekly music and art events

In a time where “coming together” is finally becoming a phrase we can comfortably use again, we can all take in a moment to see the beauty this city gives us. Having been in and around the music scene for the time I have, I rarely have a chance to step back and take in the equally impressive, and inspirational amount of diversity in the city beautiful music scene. If there were a checklist for inclusivity, Orlando would have an over abundance of checks. Put together, we form a collective more colorful than the power rangers.

Amidst the world getting back to some semblance of normalcy, diversity has yet again taken center stage. We’re at a point where there’s literally almost every demographic accounted for, all in a comforting and harmonious balance. Men, women, non-binary attack helicopters, and any remaining groups are all welcome and working to keep our scene thriving. As things move forward, it’s endearing to see the growth remain trending in the right direction, in which everyone is learning from one another.

There is a true resplendence in seeing the musicians, DJs, artists, promoters, writers, and even owners of venues, and bars, all learn from one another. There was a time, not long ago, where if you just relied on the internet as a way to gauge the social conversation, it would look bleak, and full of hatred. Here in this city, it has been nothing but cooperation and growth, that is directly a result of our deep diversity. A great example of this amazing cooperation and diversity can found at one of the more frequented venue, Elixir. (shout out Coop, Barbie, and David). This popular venue has been an absolute hotspot for our diverse growth. Every Tuesday, Injoy hosts their powerhouse event, Taco’ver, which highlights the music and art of people and cultures from all over. Then the very next day, Top Notch Entertainment hosts Local Motion at Elixir, highlighting the amazing women of our music scene. From one of the most incredible, surreal, and visceral artwork of the incredibly talented Twas, (pictured below, on the left), to the proper party vibes curated by the hands of our own Vicky B!

Elixir continues to be the small scale representation of the melting pot that is Orlando. In the same night that we have the trippy and elegant fashion of Aquazotic on display, all while Austin Hammer and his musical adaptation of the UN, more formally known as HouseKeepers Records, bless the ears of the masses. Everyone has their own style, background, ideas, and thoughts on the future and the all blend in a glorious mixture of art and music that is the not-so-secret glue that keeps this scene as important as it is.

Seeing the trickle down of everyone working together is something I am lucky enough to have a behind the scenes view on. I can tell you first hand the opportunities and projects that would never be possible in other places less open to new views on life. Moving forward, I see nothing but positive projects coming from the fruits of the collective labor. We can be a beacon and inspiration to other cities, of the right way to progressively and inclusively have a well oiled machine as a colorful, loud, bright, and open as our city. Cheers to you Orlando, The City Beautiful, and all the colors you give us.

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