Philadelphia music industry taskforce recommendations get City Council approval

The Philadelphia City Council on Thursday set up a permanent citywide music office and opened Sigma Sound Studios, a physical storefront for Philadelphia Sound, as part of an initiative local artists and industry professionals hope to revitalize. (the birthplace of the city’s music economy.

Amid a standing ovation, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution approving ten recommendations from the Music Industry Task Force to support the growth of the city’s music sector.

Established in 2017, the task force includes local musicians, vocalists, lyricists, businessmen, historians and industry professionals who are passionate about the Philadelphia music scene.

» Read more: What does Philadelphia sound like? Here’s what four composers came up with.

Although not binding, the Board’s approval marked a milestone in a “long road” that began more than a decade ago and began through the pandemic, said David Orr, the board member who introduced the resolution. I was.

“Every artist, producer, or anyone involved has been so passionate about this and so dedicated. This is all really a volunteer effort,” Oh said. After was hit so hard, with live music venues and such uncertainty, they’re staying together and continuing to push this forward.

The task force advised the city to:

  1. Establish a “centralized and permanent” music office or commission in Philadelphia.

  2. Develop a campaign for fair compensation for musicians.

  3. Fund the ongoing efforts to grow Philadelphia’s music economy.

  4. Create a museum or cultural center celebrating the city’s musical history at the Sigma Sound Building on North 12th Street, where the Philadelphia Sound was born and where artists like Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and David Bowie recorded .

  5. Market the strengths of Philadelphia’s music history and current music venues and artists.

  6. Promote Philadelphia music at Philadelphia International Airport and 30th Street Station.

  7. Install temporary parking lots so that artists can load and unload equipment from the concert venue without receiving a parking ticket.

  8. Specifies a hub to create promotional materials for the concert.

  9. Encourage music venues to cater to all ages.

  10. Use zoning and development policies to benefit the music industry.

According to David Ivory, music producer, Grammy-nominated sound engineer, and task force chairman, the goal is to put Philadelphia on par with cities like Nashville. Austin, Texas. and New York, They all have designated music offices and thriving creative economies.

“Here in Philadelphia, we have all the ingredients to do it,” says Jack McCarthy, a longtime Philadelphia music historian who noted that the city once staffed the Municipal Music Department in 1929. told the Council, pointing out The music industry task force’s work can help make that happen. ”

Wearing a black T-shirt that read “Save the Music of Philadelphia,” the report’s supporters urged The city is trying to turn its tune towards funding the local music industry.

“Philly is lagging behind. But I believe we can do better. We need to do better,” said the recording artist, also known as “Donn T.” said Don Thompson Morelli, president of the Academy’s Philadelphia chapter. Morelli, who also happens to be the Roots drummer and sister of frontman Questlove, stressed that “the city needs to make a dedicated effort to recognize and preserve important music sites like Sigma.” [Sound Studios]”

In 2020, Sigma Studios—a legendary recording studio boasting over 200 gold and platinum records that closed in 2003—will be listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, protecting the landmark from demolition. bottom.

» Read more: Preserving Sigma Sound: Fans and Conservationists Want Sound of Philly Studios to Become Music Museum

John Legend, HER, Diddy, Ludacris.

Ivory said the music task force’s next priority is to establish a permanent city music office or commission. Oh said he plans to meet with the group next week to discuss the type of funding the office needs.

From there, members of the General Council hope to introduce legislation to establish a music office and follow the Task Force’s recommendations.

“If we don’t make something happen, nothing will happen,” he said.

According to Oh, the city’s music office will not only focus on “growing and building a creative arts economy,” but will also generate income for musicians and others in the industry. He said he is seeking state funding and partnerships with local universities.

» READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Proposes Creative Arts Fund, Seeks ‘Results’ When City Lacks Art Funding

“The creative economy is not a hobby,” said Oh. “And if you continue to treat us like that, we will lose a lot and it will be difficult to maintain the advantage you had.”

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