The Ella Project was honored to participate in this year’s Music Cities Think Tank, hosted by Sound Music Cities at SWSW in Austin. This two day think tank brought together
music policy leaders from across North America to discuss issues including developing music friendly municipal policies, new revenue streams for musicians, the evolving role of non commercial radio, and more.
We’re excited to continue these conversations to bring the most progressive, music forward
public policies to New Orleans. Along with Austin, we met with music policy experts from:
See more about the Think Tank here.
This fourteen hour program focuses on business management, grass roots marketing, and developing a plan for visual artists to advance their art careers. Working through small group work and presentation, the Business Boot Camp is designed for up to 20 individual artists. Artists should leave with a greater understanding of how to think of their art as a business, how to confidently promote themselves and their artwork, and how to further develop a strategy for getting their work into the public. Gene Meneray, Co-Founder of The Ella Project, is the lead instructor. Additional instructors include Katie Odell, gallerist and social media manager, and Ashlye Keaton, entertainment attorney and Co-Founder of The Ella Project. This workshop was developed with support from the State of Louisiana’s Office of Cultural Development, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ella West Freeman Foundation.
Saturday The Artist’s Career
The Artist as Business Person
Quotes from previous attendees:
The Ella Project respectfully submits the following recommendations to the next administration with an overarching goal to promote a healthy ecosystem where music and culture may continue to thrive in New Orleans.
As New Orleans moves towards its next municipal election, we see an opportunity to re-envision the city’s cultural policies and strategies. We see cities across the globe developing cultural strategies to develop neighborhoods, enhance education, and improve their quality of life. We see many of these communities using intentional models to create a cultural climate that New Orleans has developed organically and often without the aid of city government. To the contrary, our city has often been indifferent at best to our cultural creatives and the overall role they play in New Orleans.
Moving into our next 300 years, we believe that New Orleans’s cultural community and assets will be critical to the sustainability of New Orleans as a place for residents to live and tourists to visit. We see an opportunity for city government to play a key role in flipping the paradigm so that music and culture is embraced and supported instead of ignored and restricted.
To accomplish this, we encourage you to envision New Orleans as a city where artists and musicians are self-empowered socially and economically, where the means of production and distribution will be rooted in the community and decision makers, and where urban planners and business leaders will appreciate the importance of creatives to their long-term interests. The relationship between the makers of culture and the mainstream power structure will be reversed. The default policy will be to encourage city-wide music and cultural performance and tradition with limited exception, justified only by reasonable, consistent and clear considerations and measures that are not selectively enforced.
We seek a further shift of thinking regarding the public sector’s relationship with the cultural community. As respected members of their communities, artists and creatives often have a deep understanding of their neighborhood’s issues, often run grassroots arts education programs, and often participate in cherished neighborhood traditions. We believe that creatives can play a major role in working with policy makers on education, public safety, healthcare, and housing.
To achieve our goal of promoting a healthy ecosystem for music and culture in New Orleans, we recommend the next administration implement the following:
Fund local musical acts on tour by piggybacking on the State’s Music Ambassadors program. Use existing tourism funds (as the State does) to provide a stipend to qualifying musical acts performing outside the state borders in a qualified venue. Supplement the State’s $1,000 stipend per qualifying musical act with an additional $500 from city funds.
Download the The Ella Project Music and Culture Policy Platform.
The Ella Project, OffBeat Media, and The Recording Academy (GRAMMY) announce a public forum on music policy Monday, September 11th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the historic Carver Theatre at 2101 Orleans Ave in New Orleans. All major candidates will be in attendance. The forum will be moderated by author and former Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie. Panelists include Jan Ramsey, Publisher and Editor in Chief of OffBeat Media, Fred Johnson, Co-Founder of the Black Men of Labor, Melissa Weber (DJ Soul Sister) & Larry Blumenfeld, journalist and music critic. This forum is free and open to the public.
As both the City and the music business have changed dramatically over the last eight years, New Orleans is primed to assert its commitment to its cherished culture and place music in the forefront of its overall quality of life, business and community development strategy. Candidates will address their policies for:
RSVP’s are requested but not required. Please rsvp through our Facebook site here.