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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘From Scratch’ Panel Recap

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship. Click here to view more recaps of panels from the summit. 

The morning featured a panel entitled From Scratch: Imagining and Implementing New Programs and Partnerships, which discussed lessons imparted by successful music industry leaders on topics including identifying the needs in their communities, strategies to persuade partners and funders, and methods of benchmarking programs for sustainability.

The discussion was moderated by Gene Meneray of the The ELLA Project, and included panelists Elizabeth Cawein, Founder/Director of Music Export Memphis; Enzo Mazza, CEO of the Federation of Italian Music Industry (FIMI); Kelly Symes, Ontario Festival of Small Halls; Madalena Salazar, IMTour, Western States Arts Federation.

The panel kicked off with a conversation of the importance of engaging both the music and wider community when building up the programs. Kelly Symes discussed on how for an initiative like the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, securing community buy-in was an essential component of the process.

Elizabeth Cawein similarly touched on the role of audience development for a project like Music Export Memphis, which acts as an international export office to create opportunities for Memphis musicians to showcase outside the city.

Another major topic of discussion was the role of funding for non-profit initiatives, and strategies that can be utilized to help ensure proposed funding is robust enough for the program’s needs, and consistent enough to start building towards sustainability.

Madalena Salazar described how the US-based organization IMTour worked to diversify their funding sources to not only rely on the National Endowment for the Arts, but to also utilize fundraising and other strategies.

The panelists also touched on the positive impact that fostering strategic partnerships can have on a growing organization. Enzo Mazza discussed the important role that local political support had on the organization FIMI in its early stages, and how this attracted the interests of other prominent companies. Mazza highlighted how media organizations in particular were crucial to FIMI’s success, as the support of companies like VH1 helped lead to sponsorships by other major companies.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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