Over the past year, 21CM has published stories about defining ourselves as artists and redefining the spaces in which we work. In our annual Favorites issue, we revisit pieces that have helped light our path forward. 

Tanya Kalmanovitch shared a story of heart break and triumph that was shared more than 19,000 times and read by nearly 200,000 people. In many ways, How Quitting Music Made Me An Artist is all of our stories, showing us that neither life nor career unfold in straight lines. 

Ricky O’Bannon disentangled the economics and ecology of How DIY Opera Composers Reinvented a Genre. Surveying some of the most compelling operas of the 21st century, O’Bannon showed us how composers have been able to create small-scale works that speak to audiences in big ways. 

We’ve employed our new “21CM Goes Global” series to search for music beyond our familiar places. In How Indie Record Labels Reinvented Colombian Music, Ana Luisa González uncovered the critical role that independent record labels have played in reviving diverse, and sometimes overlooked, musical languages. 

We celebrate our POP Picks curators, who spotlighted another year’s worth of ground-breaking people, organizations and projects. Take a look at the finalists and vote for your favorites through December 31. We’ll announce the winners of each category, as well as the POP Icon of 2018, in our January issue. 

And, as a holiday bonus, we bring you part three of Jessica Meyer’s “Awakening Your Inner Composer.”

For so many of us, these are chaotic, confusing times. A lesson I’ve learned in some of my most difficult moments is not to run away from the confusion, but toward it: Meet it where it festers. That is the point of invention, the place where creative thinkers can make the biggest impact. And perhaps now more than ever, we live in a world that is in need of your art.

With gratitude to our 21CM readership, the awesomeness of managing editor Elizabeth Nonemaker, the artistry of our designer Studio Fuse, the eagle eye of copy editor Lilly Vanek, the ear of audio engineer Matthew Champagne and the leadership and support of DePauw University School of Music, we celebrate the closing of another successful year.

Let’s make something happen in 2019. 

Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM

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2018 POP FINALISTS

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Each month, 21CM asks a leader in music to select the People, Organizations and Projects that have inspired them most. Now, we hand the voting over to you to select your favorites.

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