Last May, MOKB Presents and HI-FI collaborated with local leaders in the music business to discuss the economic and social impact of music performance in Indianapolis. After the success of the Music Cities Indianapolis Forum at HI-FI, a local steering committee has been working with Indy Chamber, the City of Indianapolis and the London-based Sound Diplomacy create a formal music strategy for Indianapolis. The first part of this strategy was announced today, beginning with an intensive research and data gathering program by Sound Diplomacy to catalogue our local assets and essential data to help us see the future of music in Indianapolis.
Josh Baker, MOKB Presents Founder and Music Cities Steering Committee Member, notes, “This is a very important moment for music in Indianapolis. I can’t recall a moment in time when we’ve had this level of support from our cities’ leadership. We are creating the discussions, ideas and legacy that will impact our city over the course of the next 5, 10 and 20 years. I highly encourage everyone to collaborate, participate and embrace what is taking shape.”
Sound Diplomacy & Indy Chamber: Music Cities Indianapolis Press Release
The Indy Chamber, alongside Central Indiana Community Foundation, City of Indianapolis, and Visit Indy, announced today the launch of Phase I of the Indy Music Strategy, an economic development initiative focused on the city’s diverse and growing music industry. To advise this initiative, Indy Chamber has selected Sound Diplomacy, a London-, Berlin- and Barcelona-based music policy consultancy and global expert in developing long-term and self-sufficient music strategies. Sound Diplomacy hosted its first-ever U.S. Music Cities Forum in Indianapolis in 2018, centering Indianapolis in the Music Cities conversation and providing both a catalyst and a foundation for bringing this project to life.
Music Cities Indianapolis: Phase I of the Indianapolis Music Strategy will focus on the creation of a music vision for the city followed by an ecological impact assessment, which will include regulatory assessment – an in-depth exploration of current local policies impacting music – and benchmarking of Indianapolis with like-minded cities in the U.S. and abroad.
“The Indianapolis region has significant music assets, including a history, community of artists, and institutions and venues, that we must include more and more in our economic development strategy,” noted Indy Chamber President & CEO Michael Huber. “Culture and quality of life are top priorities in today’s talent-driven marketplace, and supporting the arts enhances Indy’s appeal to people and employers alike. Through this first phase of the Indy Music Strategy, we’ll begin to dive into Indy’s opportunities and challenges to become a ‘music city’.”
The Indy Music Strategy is led by the Indy Chamber and a steering committee including Visit Indy, Central Indiana Community Foundation, City of Indianapolis, MusicCrossroads, MOKB Presents, Live Nation, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Big Car, Musical Family Tree, MIBOR, Create Fountain Square, Chreece Presents and other stakeholders who are prioritizing investment in the music industry.
“Much like our city’s sports strategy, our MusicCrossroads initiative has helped attracted major music events and governing bodies to relocate to Indy,” said Chris Gahl, Senior VP of Marketing and Communications at Visit Indy. “Yet, Indy’s vibrant music scene is still an under-told story, so we are excited to be part of this process in support of driving even more visitors to Indy.”
Phase I of the Music Cities Indianapolis project is slated to be complete by August of 2019. Sound Diplomacy project team members will be on the ground in Indianapolis in May, building the regulatory assessment and meeting with key industry stakeholders. While fundraising for Phase II and III is ongoing, this work will provide the economic impact of the music industry alongside a complete strategy and recommendations for moving forward.