In an effort to unite the independent community on Music Row, a group of executives has formed the Nashville Independent Recording Assn. (NIRA). The non-profit group seeks to recruit members from amon

In an effort to unite the independent community on Music Row, a group of executives has formed the Nashville Independent Recording Assn. (NIRA). The non-profit group seeks to recruit members from among the independent labels, artists, producers, record promoters, booking agents, musicians and songwriters working in Nashville.

The fledgling group has assigned a board of directors, registered its name with the state and implemented bylaws, and is now opening itself up to general members.

The group's architects hope to bring recognition to independents through such activities as awards shows, concerts, club events and Internet and radio promotions while also giving its members a chance to network and collaborate.

The group's founder and president, Deborah Danker, runs International Sourcing Plus and is involved in merchandising, consulting and public relations. Veteran Music Row figure and recording studio owner Gene Kennedy is the group's VP. Dan Wunsch of Nashville Music Guide is the secretary. The board of directors also includes photographer Barry McCloud, Ken Woods of Ken Woods Promotions and attorney Tim Roablhoff, the group's counsel.

NIRA will hold its meetings on the second Tuesday of every month. The next meeting is April 13 in the main conference room of Freedom Hall on the Belmont University campus.

Outside of Nashville, other independent labels and distributors are taking exploratory steps to found a new trade organization modeled after U.K. body the Assn. of Independent Music.