Madison music study to kick off with January 19 event

The city- and county-supported project aims to examine local music’s economic impact and racial equity problems.

The city- and county-supported project aims to examine local music’s economic impact and racial equity problems.

As we reported in November, the City of Madison and Dane County are supporting a couple first-of-their-kind studies of Madison’s music community. Madison’s Urban Community Arts Network—which has spent years advocating for racial equity in the arts and especially for local hip-hop artists—will be teaming up with a London-based consulting firm called Sound Diplomacy to assess the economic impact of music in Madison and the barriers to racial equity in local music. Dubbed the Greater Madison Music City Project, the effort will hold its public launch with an event on January 19 at noon. It’s the first in a planned series of events intended to gather input from people across the local music community, and will feature some performances from local artists (lineup TBD). People interested in attending can Register here.

The Greater Madison Music City Project builds in part on recommendations from a city task force that examined the chronic exclusion and over-policing of local hip-hop events. It’s also looking to address how music could drive tourism, and how Madison could improve its poor economic infrastructure for local musicians. That’s an unwieldy mix of goals under one heading. UCAN president Karen Reece told me earlier this year that she wants to make the process as open as possible in order to bring in people who usually feel left out of such discussions. 

There’s some more information in a press release from the project. Reece and Madison MC Rob Dz also discussed their efforts to create greater equity in local music during a live-streamed teach-in in August, co-hosted by Tone Madison and Coney Island Studios.

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