A quick look at what Seattle is doing
March 21, 2009 by CMC
Continuing our ongoing snapshot look at what other city governments are doing to support their music communities, we now look to Seattle. Seattle’s been busy on the music front lately. Primarily through the office of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, the city has used political action and clear, sustained policy direction to make music a force for positive economic and cultural development. This work has culminated in the “Seattle City of Music” marketing campaign, with Mayor Nickels proclaiming, “Music is a part of Seattle’s identity; it gives our city soul. We don’t just make or listen to music; we live it.”
- The aforementioned “Seattle City of Music” site and supporting campaign.
- Robust office of Arts and Cultural Affairs (much like Chicago)
- A sixteen member Seattle Arts Commission appointed by the Mayor and City Council.
- Creative engagement with music community to address shared public safety concerns
- Mayor’s Office music blog providing consistent communication from the Mayor’s Office to Seattle residents (and Seattle music fans elsewhere) on day-to-day Seattle music issues, includinwww.chicago-music.orgnews stories to music listings to policy and legislative announcements.
- Mayor’s Office-presented “happy hour”, a City-sponsored monthly film and music industry networking opportunity at different Seattle music venues
- City-sponsored free noontime music performances year round at City Hall.
- Seattle On Hold plays music by Seattle musicians on the City phone system and website.
- Prioritization of music in Seattle economic development strategies (and see here).
Some of these initiatives don’t make sense for Chicago, others we’d be wise to emulate (and in some areas Chicago’s kicking-butt where Seattle isn’t doing much). But as hope we’re making clear w/these posts, as the independent advocate for Chicago’s music community, CMC is working to see what other music cities are doing, learn from them, develop our own innovative strategies, and thereby improve Chicago.
And yes, we do realize Austin is the temporary center of the music universe right now with SXSW. Like we said, Chicago’s music community can learn from others…