MDIA instructor Josh Antonuccio and student representatives from Brick City (MDIA’s student record label) and WIMI (Women in Music Industry) recently traveled to Washington DC to participate in the Future of Music Policy Summit hosted by Georgetown University.
The Future of Music Coalition, a D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for the rights and proper compensation of artists in the evolving industry, held its first policy summit in 2000, and since then has been bringing musicians, producers, major label representatives and government officials together to discuss and debate the most pressing policy issues for content creators and policy leaders in the music industry. Many of the pressing issues discussed included music streaming, data, artist compensation, touring, artist management, and artist advocacy. In the past 15 years, Georgetown has hosted major players in music and policy at FMC summits, including musician and author Patti Smith, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Fugazi singer and Dischord Records co-founder Ian MacKaye, R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs and various senators, Federal Communications Commission officials, and White House representatives.
“This was an incredible opportunity for OU students to get first-hand insight into the policy issues facing today’s artists and industry professionals,’ Antonuccio said. In addition to the Summit schedule, Ohio University students were given exclusive opportunities including a lunch with Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin, who interviewed students for her industry podcast “The Future of What”. Students also attended an NPR Music Listening Party hosted by Tiny Desk Concerts Host/Producer Bob Boilen.
In panel discussions participants discussed their perspectives on the industry and engaged in lively dialogue and debate about how to best approach the ever-evolving industry. In one particular panel discussion called “Herding Cats in Theory and Practice: Musicians Making Impact,” Grammy-Award-nominated artist Tift Merritt, American Federation of Musicians Executive Board Member Andy Schwartz and Downs, among others, discussed how musicians could make an impact on policy discussions. In another, five music managers, including former Pink Floyd and The Clash manager Peter Jenner of Sincere Management, explored the complicated decisions they have faced in the increasingly digital music world.
Brick City President / WIMI Coordinator student Meghan Baas found the educational and networking to be consequential for her preparation to enter the career field. "Attending the Future of Music Policy Summit in Washington, DC was an incredible opportunity not only because of the enlightening panels, but also for the intimate networking experience. Music industry legends and emerging professionals were equally approachable and accessible, allowing me to make valuable connections and gain insight that will help to advance my career in the music industry.”
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