The Daily Hustle: 2/14/11
City Council looks to boost artistic presence
By Eric Pickhartz,
10:56AM, Mon. Feb. 14, 2011
Greetings from the Hustle intern, I'll be taking care of the daily grind on this Valentine's version of the Hustle. Austin's City Council is collaborating with local artists for an ambassador program fit for the Live Music Capital. Read more for the scoop.
In an attempt to further broaden Austin's musical horizons, the City Council is planning to create a Creative Industries Ambassador Program, which will designate artists from the area as promoters and campaigners for the city and its local music and arts scene.
Council Member Laura Morrison first concocted the idea after traveling to Austin's Sister City, Oita, Japan. A joint resolution passed between the two cities alluded to the importance of music as a way to augment international relationships and encourage a common appreciation of the arts as a viable business opportunity.
“It is important to understand that local artists and musicians are small, independent businesses of their own,” said Morrison in a release. “The ambassador program will provide our local talent opportunities to gain experience and expand their consumer base while promoting Austin on a national and international scale.”
Austin's not alone in this type of endeavor, proven by the Memphis Music Foundation established in 2009. Its emphasis is on sending Memphis artists to music industry gatherings, including South by Southwest.
Austin's international presence should be bolstered by the efforts, and its designation as a live music mecca can only be reinforced through the Creative Industries Ambassador Program.
Council Member Morrison and a panel of Austin's arts scene movers and shakers will hold an open discussion at the Gibson Guitar Showroom (3601 S. Congress, Suite G400) on Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30pm. Along with the Chronicle's very own Margaret Moser, panelists include Cookie Ruiz (Exec. Dir. of Ballet Austin), Rebecca Campbell (Exec. Dir. of Austin Film Society), Rose Reyes (Austin Music Office Dir. for ACVB), Joah Spearman (Austin Music Commisioner), Brad Spies (Marketing for SXSW), and multi-tasking musicians Bob Livingston and Troy Campbell.
We're sure this has absolutely nothing to do with Friday's news.