About 4 years ago I had a major realization. I realized that city governments played an important role on a musician’s ability to thrive. I started asking questions.
After about a year of phone calls, I realized that there is an entire consultancy and network devoted to the research and support of music as it relates to economic, social, and cultural benefits for cities. When I told musicians in my hometown about this, they didn’t believe me.
So, I launched How To Build A Music City — a panel series devoted to bringing in researchers, music business, and nighttime economy consultants from around the world who advise cities on music and economic development. They spoke in Columbus for the first time in 2015 and it was a hit.
Following the panel, Columbus created a task force involving many leaders of our music scene, businesses, and city government. That task force continued to work with our community to investigate potential barriers for growth, while uncovering solutions that would create new opportunities for musicians here until the Columbus Music Commission was formed.
Throughout this journey, I’ve been led to other cities across the world, like Toronto, Austin, Katowice, Adelaide, and London that have taken on similar strategic designs to help their city grow while benefiting the musicians in their community. In a culmination of my learning, I organized a panel at SXSW in 2016 and will be presenting a follow up panel at SXSW in 2017.
I’m working hard to spread this discussion and the research that backs it up. If you have contacts in an emerging music city, introduce me. My passion is helping musicians, marketers, and organizers access resources that help cities to support music and empower communities to grow their music scenes.