Updated: Nov 15
The Music Friendly Texas Program allows for smaller communities to benefit from the activities of what a local music office would do, even if their local government hasn't created one yet.
The Music Cities Awards, presented by “Saxony, State of the Arts”, is a global competition designed to reward the most outstanding applications of music to improve cities and communities all around the world. You can learn all about them here.
In this series, we’ll focus on sharing the stories of those projects and partners that were part of the latest edition of the contest.
In this occasion, we’ll take a closer look at the work of the Texas Music Office, sponsor of “Category #7: Best Initiative Using Music for Economic, Social or Community Development”, and one of its most iconic initiatives: the Music Friendly Texas Program.
Let’s dive into it!
The Texas Music Office holds the prestige of being the first (and currently only) U.S.A. statewide music office. Its purpose is to bring music businesses to Texas, advocate for the importance of music for the local economy, provide a link between the Government and music businesses, and to share knowledge and best practices across its stakeholders.
Since its creation in 2015, it has worked on several initiatives that are having a significant impact in the music ecosystem of the state. Some of these initiatives include the creation of a tax rebate programme for Texas Music Venues and Music Festival Promoters, assisting in the passage of the Music Modernization Act, helping in the effort that led to the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant and running consultations and capacity building efforts to assist local music businesses.
However, amongst all of them, there’s one that stands out, and that’s the Music Friendly Texas Program. The program includes several elements, but in a nutshell, what it does is that it allows for smaller communities to benefit from the activities of what a local music office would do, even if their local government hasn't created one yet. The programme currently has 51 certified communities across all of Texas and counting.
How does it actually work?
To be part of the program, the certified community has to follow a checklist and commit to a Memorandum of Understanding.
This is the summarised checklist:
Host a Texas Music Office sponsored Music Friendly Community workshop.
Establish a Music Office/Liaison within a division of city government that will be responsible for monthly reports concerning the progress of local music industry development programs.
Register with the Texas Music Office’s Texas Music Industry Directory.
Commit to creating and updating monthly a local Music Industry Directory.
Demonstration of partnerships with the community's music-related 501c3 nonprofits, to foster community development.
Demonstrate collaboration with music education programs, including area college or university music schools.
Create an advisory board made up of local music community industry stakeholders.
As you can see, this checklist establishes a single point of contact within a city organisation so it can communicate the concerns of the local music industry.
Then, it pushes that point of contact to interact with the local music community so it can also promote community development, enhance music education in the area and work to bring the local music industry together.
By being part of the program it is expected that the local community will improve its branding around music, enhance artistic growth in the area, foster new music tourism and music export efforts and generate a significant economic impact.
We think that this is a very exciting program that could serve as a reference to develop similar initiatives in other parts of the world. We invite you to take a closer look at Music Friendly Texas Program and reach out to the team behind the Texas Music Office if you need any further information about it.
Finally, we want to remind you that the waiting list to apply for the 2024 Music Cities Awards is already open. Make sure to sign up to be part of the competition.
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