Amazingly, the Future of Music Policy Summit is just one week away, and here at the office we’re hustling hard to make sure all the last minute details are in order. This is FMC’s fourteenth summit event, and my fifth, and after looking at this amazing lineup I think it’s the most exciting installment yet. The schedule is so packed with brilliant people that it’s hard to pick out highlights, but here’s a few sessions I’m going to be sure not to miss. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time!
In Conversation: Astra Taylor & Katie Alice Greer
Tuesday, Oct. 28 4:20 PM – 4:50PM
Astra Taylor is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker (Zizek, Examined Life) and writer of this year’s most important book on cultural production, technology and democracy, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power & Culture In The Digital Age. (Somehow she also finds time to tour as an auxillary member of Neutral Milk Hotel). Katie Greer is a singer and lyricist in DC punk band Priests, whose new record Bodies, Control, Money & Power explores similar themes with a playfully dialectic edge (full disclosure: I recorded part of it). We’re turning over the stage to two of the most incisive critical voices in their respective mediums.
DIY? Do It Together!
Tuesday, Oct. 28 1:30 PM – 2:15PM
Much of the conversation about how to scrape out a living in the contemporary music economy is framed in individualistic terms: we’re told it’s about developing your personal brand, figuring out your role in the marketplace, and competing for an audience’s attention. While that often results in good practical advice, it’s also important to look at how much power musicians can wield when they work together, to share resources and strategies, use their collective power to gain leverage, and organize for change. That’s why I’m excited about this session that tackles those issues head on. American Federation of Musicians and Content Creators Coalition will discuss the varied approaches they’ve taken to turn music communities into a force for change in a session led by legendary Nashville session bassist Dave Pomeroy; guitar hero and Content Creators Coalition president Marc Ribot, AFM local 99 president Bruce Fife, and AM local 802 executive board member Andy Schwartz.
In Conversation: Harry Shearer & Greg Kot
Tuesday, Oct. 28 2:30 PM – 3:10 PM
Maybe you know him as Principal Skinner. Maybe you know him as Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap or Mark Schubb of The Folksmen in A Mighty Wind. Maybe you know him from Le Show, the satirical news & comedy radio program he’s hosted since 1983, or as director of the documentary film The Big Uneasy. Harry Shearer has had one of the most wide-ranging resumes in the entertainment business, and at our summit he’ll be joined by veteran journalist and fellow podcast megastar Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune and Sound Opinions for what promises to be a dynamite conversation. Get ready to turn it up to eleven.
John Abodeely: President’s Committee on Arts & Humanities
Tuesday, Oct. 28 11:15 AM – 11:35 AM
As deputy director of the White House’s special office dealing with issues of cultural exchange and creative economy, John Abodeelly has a birds’-eye-view of all the newest and most exciting ways artists and governments are working together. I’m excited to hear what’s working in collaborative strategies for musicians to collaborate with policy makers. I’m especially looking forward to hearing about the Committee’s signature initiative Turnaround Arts, which encourages struggling public schools to implement arts education as part of their larger turnaround efforts.
Making it Work In Denver: Youth On Record, Collaborative Partnerships & Public Sector Engagement
Monday, Oct. 28 1:30PM – 2:15PM
A practical example of how schools and musicians can effectively partner is found in Denver’s Youth On Record. In just four years, YOR has grown into the largest music provider for Denver Public Schools where they deploy 20+ local musicians to teach in alternative high school classrooms. Through a model partnership that brings together the local music community, public schools, the nation’s leading housing authority, and the philanthropic sector, Youth on Record has quickly become an example of what’s possible when musicians and nonprofit/public sector leaders embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and band together around a common cause. How can this sort of collaboration be effectively replicated? Join FMC’s Michael Bracy, Youth on Record’s Jami Duffy and Adrian Molina, Ismael Guerrero of the Denver Housing Authority, and Margaret Hunt of Colorado Creative Industries to hear straight from the source.
Plus, as always, there’s some great evening events like our traditional Sunday Night Pho welcome dinner, a monday evening cocktail party and FMC Honors awards banquet, and NPR Music’s All Songs Considered Listening Party. Check out the full schedule and register today!
Photos: Astra Taylor by Deborah Degraffin Reid / Katie Greer still via Pitchfork