SEATTLE – When you think of local music, you probably think of nightclubs, Nirvana or the symphony. You might not think about jobs. Perhaps you should. Local music is a $2.2 billion industry that provides more than 20,000 jobs in Seattle and King County.
To raise awareness of the economic impact of music, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, along with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Councilmember Nick Licata will announce a new “City of Music” partnership tonight at the Triple Door Musicquarium.
“Our local music scene is a key component of attracting and keeping talented people here, which directly helps grow our economy,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “We are excited to have the Seattle Chamber join the City of Music Initiative and shine a spotlight on our local music industry, helping ensure that Seattle is a place where musicians can make a living making music.”
“Music is a homegrown industry that we need to celebrate and support,” said Bob Donegan, chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and president of Ivar’s. “It’s sort of like the region’s secret sauce. Directly, music creates jobs. Indirectly, it’s essential in creating a vibrant and varied arts and cultural scene that helps attract and retain people. And music has increasingly become part of the business model of some of our largest companies.”
The partnership formalizes a history of collaboration between the Chamber and Seattle’s City of Music Initiative, which began on the Chamber’s 2008 InterCity Study Mission to Austin, Texas. The study mission’s impact was far reaching, and recently led to the establishment of Sea-Tac Airport’s “Experience the City of Music” program, which showcases Northwest musicians to the millions of passengers who travel through the airport each year.
That Austin trip served as a catalyst for the Chamber’s support of the City of Music Initiative’s launch in 2008, and fueled the formation of the Chamber’s new City of Music Task Force. The task force workplan outlines a series of shared goals, metrics and tactics intended to propel Seattle’s music community and industry to the forefront of the creative economy by implementing industry promotion strategies, professional development opportunities and by including music industry related issues in the Chamber’s advocacy agenda.
“The Seattle Music Commission and our music industry make music a significant contributor to Seattle’s reputation as a great city,” said Councilmember Licata. “The ‘Experience the City of Music’ program at Sea Tac Airport and the new City of Music smart phone app will expand upon that reputation.”
The City of Music App and Partnership Initiatives
The Seattle Chamber and City of Seattle will focus on increased visibility for our local music scene and help connect local businesses to artists. Efforts include an annual music event focused on emerging artists and innovation in music-associated sectors, such as gaming, as well as an event to educate businesses on best practices for incorporating local music into their advertising campaigns and corporate events. The Chamber will also fold music issues into its policy work at the local, state and federal levels. Issues include the alternatives to the state’s interpretation of the “Opportunity to Dance” tax, foreign performing artist visa policies, and supporting marriage equality initiatives.
The first feature product of the partnership is a new “City of Music” app. Produced by local app developer, FrontRunner, this new app expands on a music discovery tool launched last January as part of SeaTac Airport’s Experience the City of Music initiative. With the new app, local listeners and visitors will have a single source for listening to local music playlists, finding upcoming live shows, and viewing documentary videos about the Northwest music scene. Content is provided by a dozen local outlets, including KEXP, PlayNetwork, Jet City Stream, SSG Music, Rainy Dawg Radio, Seattle Weekly, Seattle Times, 107.7 The END, Sound on the Sound, the Stranger and Sport'n Life Records.
“As a Seattle area based music business, PlayNetwork is committed to promoting local artists on a global front. Having the privilege to work with over 275 national brands in 75+ countries–we take every opportunity to actively promote and introduce our region's vast array of musical talent to the world,” said Nadine Zgonc, Client Innovation at PlayNetwork and a Seattle Music Commissioner. “PlayNetwork applauds the city's ongoing awareness efforts as we band together in support of our unique culture with music at our heart and soul. We look forward to continuing to develop innovative ways to connect brands and consumers through music and supporting this exciting partnership.”
The Chamber’s music initiative underscores the community’s desire to champion Seattle as the City of Music through significant investment that goes above and beyond the scope of everyday business. Community-driven efforts will continue to grow the City of Music Initiative, enhance the climate for our music industry, and propel Seattle's leadership role in music throughout the nation and the world.
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most diverse network of influential business leaders in the Puget Sound region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization of 2,200 businesses representing a regional workforce of approximately 700,000 people. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.
City of Music Initiative
In 2008, the City launched the City of Music initiative to create action that enhances the climate for Seattle’s music industry, and propels Seattle’s leadership role in music throughout the nation and the world. The initiative brings musicians, audiences, business leaders, educators and politicians together in enthusiastic support of the creative, economic and culture value of music. The initiative is organized into three categories: City of Musicians, City of Live Music and City of Music Business. The most recent endeavor and a highly successful program of the initiative is the Experience The City of Music program at Sea-Tac International Airport. For more information: www.cityofmusic.com.
Seattle Music Commission
The 21 member Seattle Music Commission represents a cross section of Seattle's music sector, including a broad range of individuals from the local music community. This Commission is tasked with advising City officials regarding leadership and support in the music arena, and also serving as a forum for City employees and departments to share information on upcoming issues and opportunities of relevance to Seattle's music sector. This Commission strives to enhance the growth and development of Seattle's music sector and convey the City's commitment to the industry, musicians and audience. For more information, visit www.cityofmusic.com/music-commission
City of Seattle - Seattle Jobs Plan
Mayor Mike McGinn’s vision for next generation economic development that creates a sustainable economy with shared prosperity in Seattle was launched in August 2010. It consists of new and existing policies, programs and investments designed to help create quality jobs, protect the environment, and ensure that taxpayers get true value from the city of Seattle's public investments. For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/mayor/jobsplan.