A2IM will kick off its presence at the upcoming National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers annual convention in San Diego by holding the "Crash Course" on June 7, the opening day of the meeting.

A2IM day, which is designed to bridge gaps between the independent music community, distributors and retailers, will include a full day of programs on issues impacting the independent label community, followed by "Speed Dating one-on-one meetings.

NARM Conference attendees get in free, while non-NARM conference A2IM attendees who want to attend the "Crash Course" can register for $25. For more information contact Al Verik ([email protected]).

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will issue a proclamation declaring April 18 Record Store Day in New York City. The proclamation will take place at J&R Music and Computer World, the store headed by National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers chairman Rachelle Friedman.

NARM is sponsoring Record Store Day this year, with more than 1,000 records stores around the globe celebrating the day (Billboard, April 18).

NARM President Jim Donio, who will participate in the NYC festivities at J&R, said in a statement: "In today's challenging marketplace, it is refreshing to recognize our many retailers' thriving and successful businesses. Independent retailers around the world encompass a passion and enthusiasm that truly enhances the commerce and enriches the culture within their communities. We believe NARM's support will energize and inspire local retail partners and organizers to continue celebrating music across the globe."

In addition to the prestigious proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg's office, J&R will present live music and offer special promotions throughout the day, including free performances and autograph signings by national recording artists.

Across the United States, hundreds of other live performances and signings will be featured at participating retail outlets throughout the country. All confirmed musical appearances are listed at recordstoreday.com.