Increasing equal opportunity in Madison’s music scene is goal of new report – Isthmus

A new report on the Greater Madison Music City Project has been released, and its findings highlight the dynamics of the project itself.

Karen Reese said before introducing the findings in her presentation at Cafe Coda on December 8th. “That’s the lens we’re approaching all of this with.”

In Madison, hip-hop performers have been marginalized or barred from performing at many venues for years. One of his recommendations in the report, the creation of a city-wide music education initiative, addresses this issue head-on. “There is a very strong narrative in this city that hip-hop music is violent. [is] It’s going to be dangerous,” Reese said. “Ridiculous. He has eight years of data proving that basically every genre of music gets the same number of police calls and prosecutions, but people still don’t want to believe it. ”

Developed in collaboration with the international consulting organization Sound Diplomacy, this Musical Recovery Framework report uses a musical lens to help us understand not just giving and attending concerts, but living in Madison. and various interrelated aspects of culture. Well over 100 pages is a lot of information to process. The presentation focused primarily on the report’s 17 recommendations, which Reese and Rob Franklin, who lead the Greater Madison Music Project, grouped into several categories.

Zoning and planning: Established a dedicated cultural office centered on music. “This is one of our biggest priorities here because we have a central location where it’s the office’s responsibility to work out a lot of these things,” he said. says Reece. “As it stands, any questions about how things can be done better should be directed to other city departments.” Currently, the Madison Arts Commission has one full-time employee, his There is Karin Wolf, the administrator. The city also has one person whose duties include her 20% dedication to music. Angela Puerta is a planner for the Neighborhood Planning, Preservation and Design Section of the City’s Planning and Community Economic Development Authority.

Related recommendations include expanding red light district parameters and establishing a “factor of change” policy that establishes clearer guidelines for acoustic control in new developments. “We’re not upsetting our neighbors,” Reese said. “We have a very general sound ordinance policy. It’s a very subjective method.”

License and regulation: Clarify Madison’s licensing policy. Music is often played in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and various recreational licenses are required along with a liquor license. Determining the licenses required to display live music, or jukeboxes and dance floors, is confusing. Recommendations also include clarifying Madison’s policies regarding street performances and making it easier for performers to park their gear in and out of the venue.

marketing and tourism: Provide audiences and performers with more and better information. Recommendations highlighted by Reece included creating best practice guides for venues, establishing interactive cultural calendars, and planning the future of tourism using an impartial lens.

music education: Consider adults as well as children when it comes to music education. In addition to the continuation and expansion of youth music programs, Reese said citywide music education initiatives and expanded audience development recommendations will help change community attitudes towards specific musical styles. The recommendation also calls for incentives and training to increase diversity among those who own and manage venues, recording studios and music stories.

Economic development: Create a fair compensation policy for musicians and others involved in all aspects of music presentation. “It’s complicated because we’re working across the public-private sector, but can you come up with guidelines, policies, education about what this should be like?” Reese said. Building a creative and business directory is also a recommendation of the report.

Reece is President of the Urban Community Arts Network and Vice President of Research and Education for the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development. Franklin is working on a media project at the Madison Public Library’s Bubbler program, playing hip-hop and spoken his word as Rob Dz. He also served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Task He Force on Music and Entertainment Equity. Convened by the Madison Common Council, the committee examined issues of unfair treatment by venues, law enforcement and the media, particularly against Madison’s hip-hop community. The task force completed his report in late 2018 outlining 31 recommendations for greater equity for all musicians and music fans. The popular Mad Lit concert series on State Street is one of his recommendations. Work on the task force’s goals is ongoing, and the GMMC project will amplify many of the recommendations of his 2018 report.

GMMC’s purpose is far-reaching, hoping to “bring together artists, promoters, venues, educators, music production companies and audiences to strategize equity among all members of the Greater Madison area’s music ecosystem.” I’m in.

Beyond recommendations, the Music Playback Frameworks report includes a section that examines city and county regulatory frameworks for music presentation. An overview of the distribution of ‘music assets’ such as venues, bars, restaurants, retailers, radios, publications and studios that host music. A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) derived from a series of roundtable discussions by four working groups on Economic Impact, Artist Relations, Tourism, and Business Partnerships, along with sound diplomatic research. Data on the economic impact of the music business in Dane County (this segment of the report was previously released in August 2021).

Economic impact figures are extracted from 2018 data. This is the most complete set of up-to-date economic information available at the time of compilation. Combining direct and indirect drivers, Dane County’s ‘music ecosystem’ contribution totaled $636 million. Music-related jobs make up his 1.89% of the city’s workforce, above the national average of 1.3%. From a data perspective, 2018 may look like a world on the other side of the pandemic, but the numbers show the extent of music’s impact. “The point is that music has really had a big impact on a lot of other industries,” he says. “…not just the direct effects of putting on concerts, not just musicians earning income, but the broader implications of how we use music and how it benefits the economy as a whole. It’s an effect.”

The full report contains rich data compiled by Sound Diplomacy. Many of the findings may not come as a surprise to those who live here (inequality is found in many places; music and other entertainment options are concentrated in the Isthmus; financial support is not available). It’s worth taking the time to read his SWOT analysis for the full report. Most of it comes from group discussions with local residents. These comments speak more directly to the concerns of performers trying to book shows and the needs of audiences trying to find a scene in the Madison area.

The next step is to adopt the Sound Diplomacy recommendations and incorporate input from the public and city officials to make them more useful to Madison, Reece said. Reece said in a follow-up email: “Then we can strengthen the workgroup and come up with some concrete steps to move forward.

“UCAN is committed to seeing this through to the end,” says Reece. “People are tired of doing reports and investigations and reports are on the shelf. I know we all do. So keep pushing even if it takes forever! ”

Links to PDF versions of the full report, appendices, and abstracts can be found at

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