Music has always been a huge part of my life. I learned to love music through the music my family loved. Then, as I got older, I started to discover music on my own – bands like They Might Be Giants, R.E.M., and The B-52s. But where did I learn about music? Well, through my schools’ music programs. The first time I set foot on a stage was in kindergarten, and for the next nine years, I sang in the choir and acted in several plays and musicals (and even auditioned for a commercial once). That exposure to the arts was essential in helping me become the person I am today. But with budget cuts, school music programs are shrinking – sometimes disappearing entirely – leaving kids without this significant creative outlet. One event helping to change that is MusiCon. While MusiCon is foremost an event to allow artists a chance to network with industry representatives and other artists, its organizers take fund raising very seriously – this event will help raise money for Indiana music programs. But why should you be interested if you aren’t a musician? Well, that’s actually the point of this post. MusiCon is open to both musicians and non-musicians alike; it’s an industry event with great non-industry appeal. There will be performances from both nationally-known and local artists; several vendors offering product demonstrations; seminars; and in keeping with the mission of the event, educational programs for kids. If you’re an artist looking for a break, or just a music lover looking to learn something new, MusiCon is for you. MusiCon will be held Saturday, August 13 and Sunday August 14, 2011, at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 West Jefferson Boulevard. A one-day pass costs $20; a two-day pass, $35. For more information, click here.