Maggie Vail Named Executive Director of Cash Music

Maggie Vail
Westin Glass

The Kill Rock Stars and Bikini Kill Label vet takes over the reigns of the non-profit organization.

Maggie Vail has been named the executive director of Cash Music, a non-profit organization helping to build open source digital tools for musicians and labels. She joined the organization in 2011 after working at the Kill Rock Stars label for 17 years.* 

"I am beyond honored to take on the role of executive director of CASH Music and continue the vital work that Jesse started," Vail told Billboard. "It’s more important than ever that we ensure artists are able to build sustainable careers. Musicians power movements and we need as many voices as we can right now."

Cash Music was founded in 2007 out of Providence, Rhode Island by Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses, Donita Sparks of L7, and Jesse von Doom as a “new way of empowering artists and evolving past the mechanisms of industry that put musicians last.” 

The organization, which relocated Portland, Oregon in 2011, was run by von Doom who that same year brought in Vail to help run the platform and oversee the non-profit’s educational efforts.

The news came via a post on Medium over the weekend by outgoing executive director von Doom who is going to work for the Mozilla Foundation as its digital director. Von Doom noted that it's a “bad time to be a small nonprofit” with revenue and contributions down concluded that after working for Cash for ten years "a change in leadership is for the best of the organization." He said, however, that he will remain on Cash Music’s board where he pledged to "vigorously support Vail."

Vail will continue to run Bikini Kill Records which she started n 2012 with members of Bikini Kill as well as DJ on XRAY.FM as DJ Magic Beans of Strange Babes and play bass in the band Hurry Up.

In his parting note, von Doom advocated for people to purchase music directly from artists and fight for a “fair and inclusive” internet and also signed off with a rallying cry for people in the music industry to, “stop letting startups fool you over and over again, building the longest daisy chain of middlemen the world has ever seen. Collaborate on open technology and use your shared strength to compete.”

*Correction appended: The original version of this story erroneously stated that Maggie Vail "ran" the Kill Rock Stars label while she worked there. Kill Rock Stars was actually run and co-founded by Slim Moon who ran it from Feb. 1991 to Oct. 2006 and it has since been run by Portia Sabin.