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Music Cities Awards applicants: "Best Initiative Using Music for Economic, Social or Community Dev."

The Music Cities Awards are presented by Saxony - State of the Arts. This is a global competition designed to acknowledge and reward the most outstanding applications of music for economic, social, environmental and cultural development in cities and places all around the world.

As the announcement of the nominees (on August 3rd) and the awards ceremony (October 18th as part of the Huntsville Music Cities Convention) are getting closer, we're excited to share the amazing and inspiring group of applicants for each of the contest categories.

Scroll down to discover this year's applicants for "Best Initiative Using Music for Economic, Social or Community Development", a group of candidates spread across 5 continents.

ARTpolis Community Arts & Music Lab (Germany): The ARTpolis Community Arts & Music Lab promotes an open, participatory, transcultural, integrative and transformative approach to shaping cultural coexistence. This is done through participation-oriented offers, measures and event formats in public space, to stimulate exchange and transformation processes and to promote the communication of values of an open, democratic, inclusive and diverse society.

Rad Music International (Greece): Rad Music International is a cultural club operating in Lesvos, Greece. The organization works together with people on the move, locals and international volunteers to provide intercultural activities, such as music and dance classes, educational programs, arts classes as well as workshops. Building bridges between different cultures through music, dance and Art.

The Indian Music Diaries (India): The Indian Music Diaries is a multi faceted editorial that provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Apart from being an editorial platform, it hosts and curates various interactive sessions and workshops for its community.

Last Tour & Fundación Industrias Creativas (Spain): Bilbao BBK Live is one of the most important festivals on the Iberian Peninsula and in Europe, held every year in mid-July in northern Spain, in the Basque Country, in the city of Bilbao. Creative Industries Foundation have recently taken up the baton to develop, together with de BBL festival, the open access editions called Bereziak, Hirian and Herrian, which aim to spread the festival ́s spirit to other spaces such as the city centre, Bilbao ́s most forgotten neighbourhoods and other territories out of the urban areas.

Radio 254 (Kenya): Radio 254 is an online platform and radio station that broadcasts both audio and video Kenyan content 24/7 via the internet. Radio 254 is focused on transmitting 100% Kenyan music and content 24/7 in an intent to promote Kenyan music and culture.

SIM São Paulo (Brazil): Sim São Paulo is a festival that celebrated 10 years of existence in shirts 2023 edition with an artistic programme presented in more than 20 venues in the city of Sao Paulo. It also hosted the São Paulo International Music Week, a music business/community event focused on highlighting music’s role for social and economic development, which gathered more than 1,600 delegates and an attendance of more than 20 thousand fans.

Sound of Soul Recording Studio and Multimedia Institute by CED Society (India): CED Society is a multifaceted, non-profit outreach center supporting disabled and disadvantaged women, located in Dehradun, India. In 2018, CED Society launched the Sound of Soul Recording Studio and Multimedia Institute, a professional recording studio dedicated to empower disabled and disadvantaged women through musical and artistic expression.

The Ella Project (U.S.A.): With the mission "We believe in the importance of the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, and we empower the creators of their culture in a way that is just, equitable, and serves the artists, patrons and our diverse community," The

Ella Project provides pro bono legal assistance, arts business development, and cultural advocacy in their home city of New Orleans, LA.

City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division, Economic Development Department (U.S.A.): The City of Austin Economic Development Department's Music & Entertainment Division delivers programs and services to innovate and grow Austin's commercial and nonprofit music and entertainment industries. The Division provides resources to promote job and compensation growth, sector development, nightlife compatibility, and talent export.

Muntem un Festival / Festival BOCA by NouPOP Asociación (Spain): Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Barcelona, non-profit association NouPOP is spearheaded by director Marushka Vidovic, and Aileen Morrissey. NouPOP manages an innovative educational and cultural program for underage teens called Muntem unFestival (Let's Put on a Festival), in which participants from public secondary schools are guided through the process of designing and producing their own music festival for their peers.

Music To Life (U.S.A.): Music to Life (MtL) is a U.S.-based nonprofit, born from the activism and music of Noel Paul Stookey (of the 1960's folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary) and his daughter, Liz—to connect socially conscious musicians with the resources needed to realise their bold visions for community change. MtL offers a coordinated ecosystem of services where musicians of all genres can find community, training and technical assistance around their calling as change agents. Their Musician Changemaker Accelerator (MCA) helps artists turn their creative ideas into sustainable, music-driven programs for communities facing persistent racial, environmental or economic injustices.

Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (U.S.A.): The Center for Creative Entrepreneurship is a creative hub that has built out a system to improve economic, social and community impact in Chicago by creating educational resources, developing industry events to stimulate collaborations and partnerships, and cultivating a network of local and global music artists, tech companies, service organisations, trade commissions and ancillary industries that can support Chicago's music ecosystem.

Festival Selvámonos (Peru): Selvámonos is a Peruvian non-profit cultural organisation established in 2009 to address the issue of cultural, social, and economic centralization in the country. Its main endeavour is organising a the Festival Selvámonos music and arts festival in Oxapampa, located in the Amazonian region. Over the years, Selvámonos has honed its focus on four key objectives: decentralising and democratising access to culture and the arts, promoting cultural and economic development in peripheral areas, supporting emerging and independent musicians, and raising awareness about environmental sustainability.

Yoknapatawpha Arts Council - Arts Incubator (U.S.A.): Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) supports arts programs as a community building tool. The Arts Council operates the Arts Incubator which provides artists and creatives with the tools and resources to become sustainable in their craft. The year-long program provides mentorship, financial support, and access to studio/performance spaces, and administrative support.

Millennial Raga by Mitra Manch (India): Mitramanch is a dynamic organisation dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of Indian classical music and dance. Their primary objective is to support and showcase young artists and provide them a platform to shine and inspire others. Through a series of events and concerts, they foster a nurturing environment that encourages the growth of budding talents.

Bulawayo Arts Festival by Nhimbe Trust (Zimbabwe): Nhimbe Trust is a non-profit non-governmental organisation working at the intersection of culture and development to foster political, social, and economic justice. Through research and advocacy the organisation advocates for a wide range of initiatives that have a bearing on the exercise and enjoyment of cultural rights and their concomitant leverage rights.

The Music Cities Awards Ceremony will take place on October 18th as part of the Huntsville Music Cities Convention. The last Early Bird Price tickets for the event will be available until the end of July. Head here to get yours.

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