At the end of October, Develop Indy led a delegation funded by the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) that visited Memphis, Tennessee for the Music Cities Convention. Focusing on ‘Music, Equity & Access in Cities’, topics of the convention ranged from mass music participation in cities to philanthropy in music’s roles in cities to music city strategies and smart music cities.
With participants in attendance from as far away as Melbourne, Australia, the convention drew a crowd that focused on the ways that music impacts an economy, and on how policies and practices should be in place to support its success.
Perhaps the most recognizable music economy close to Indianapolis, Nashville, Tennessee’s music industry supports more than $3.2 billion of labor income annually. In a cluster analysis produced by the Music City Music Council, there were over 8,300 music-industry jobs in the Nashville area, with an average annual earning of $9.7 billion in 2012. With impressive statistics like that, it is clear that Indy has an opportunity for growth. We also heard from cities like Denver, where they are opening a new nonprofit public music pavilion, Atlanta where they have used film incentives to debut music incentives and Telliskivi, Estonia where they have a developer backed “creative city” dedicated to artists. It was also useful to hear from established “music cities” like New Orleans, Memphis and Detroit who have struggled with maintaining equitable space for their grassroots music communities.
Moving forward, Develop Indy will be working with the City, members of the delegation and other creative stakeholders to produce strategies and plans that focus on supporting the music economy in Indianapolis, and creating an infrastructure that allows for broader success.
Questions about the convention can be directed to Jim Rawlinson at