The Nashville Music Council, a 50-person-strong collection of industry leaders, assembled with Mayor Karl Deal on Tuesday to present its goals for making Nashville a global music capital.
"Simply put, Nashville has the potential to be the epicenter of the new music business," Mark Montgomery, co-chair of branding and jobs, tells Billboard. "It will take focus, leadership and funds, but the time is right and there is no better positioned city to do this than us."
At Tuesday's event, reports MusicRow, Dean laid out the NMC's four focuses: music education, branding and jobs, live music and creative talent. "Nashville's music business attracts the kind of creative people our city needs to build a strong future," he said.
Dean created the Nashville Music Council -- then called the Music Business Council -- last year. Such high-profile artists as Jack White and Emmylou Harris are on the council along with a who's-who of professionals representing many areas of the industry.
One of the council's goals is to further expand the city beyond country music. In fact, one of the Mayor's original goals was to expand the annual CMA Music Festival to include genres other than country. The council helped attract the annual National Folk Festival, which will start a three-year stay in Nashville in 2011. And it plans to work with the city and Visitor's Bureau to find ways to help grow existing festivals such the Americana Music Festival, The International World Bluegrass and Gospel Music Week.
The council is also intent on attracting the people who will fuel entrepreneurship and creativity. Journalist Craig Havighurt attended the meeting and writes about how the council is considering ways Nashville can become a creative capital.
Tim DuBois, the new top guy at the Nashville ASCAP office spoke for the related subject of making Nashville "the friendliest, most supportive city in America for creatives." He pointed to several ideas in the works or on the table: A one-stop online resource center or portal that aggregates all the disparate information about getting established in Nashville from entities like the trade associations and the songwriters' groups. Affordable housing initiatives might include a hostel for songwriters getting established or passing through town. They're also looking at some new sectors poised for growth like music supervision and copyright administration. And they may propose "creative zones" that would offer tax or other incentives for new businesses in certain parts of town.
As for music education, the council has set the goal of creating the best music education system of any public school system in the country. To start, the council has hired a consultant to work with the school system to create a master plan.
A full list of the council's goals can be read in this post at the Nashville Scene.