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History of the Music City Music Council

In 2009, Mayor Dean and a handful of industry leaders conceived a new forum dedicated to growing and diversifying Nashville’s world-wide reputation as Music City. The city’s veteran music business people and artists, plus selected new generation entrepreneurs, were invited to pool their resources and personal networks to investigate obstacles and opportunities for all aspects of the entertainment business, including creative enterprises, publishing, artist development, technology, media and support/logistics.

Mayor Barry strongly supported the Music Council and recognized the vital role it played in Nashville. Mayor Barry continued the role of the council and even appointed Justine Avila, the first full-time executive director for the organization mentioning “I’m looking forward to working with Justine, Joe and the Music City Music Council as we continue to build up and support the music industry that has been so critical to Nashville’s success over the years.” Mayor Barry will serve as co-chair of the Music Council, as former Mayor Karl Dean did before her.

The all-volunteer Music Council has played a role in several economic development successes to bring more entertainment-related jobs to the city, including Sony/ATV’s expansion to downtown with 60 new jobs and Eventbrite’s expansion into Nashville.

MC2 Accomplishments

MC2 has provided recommendations that inspired projects to better our city as a whole, including:

Music Impact Study

This comprehensive study of Nashville’s music and entertainment industry shows it has a $10 billion annual economic impact on the Nashville region. The report also found that the Nashville area has more music industry jobs than any other U.S. city in relation to population and total employment, even more than New York or Los Angeles. The music industry helps create and sustain more than 56,000 jobs in the Nashville area, supporting more than $3.2 billion of labor income annually.

Music Makes Us logo

Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project

A sweeping initiative to modernize the music education curriculum at Metro Schools by focusing on music literacy and student participation. The contemporary curriculum includes such things as songwriting classes and mariachi and includes new technologies, including recording studios and a student-run record label.

Ryman Lofts

Ryman Lofts

Nashville’s first affordable housing apartment building designed specifically for artists is located on Rolling Mill Hill.

The Nashville Music Business Story

Nashville earned the name Music City in the first half of the twentieth century and spent the next sixty years making good on that world-famous nickname. The term was coined by WSM radio announcer David Cobb in 1950 as he surveyed a town full of recording artists, songwriters and publishers who spanned all music, from classical, pop and jazz to country, bluegrass and gospel. As music spread via radio, recordings, television, the internet, satellite radio and wireless devices, Nashville has evolved along with the industry and always been a center for the creative core of the business – songwriting and record production. The city’s studio infrastructure is as good as any in the world, and too often hidden from view Nashville logistics companies – bus companies, case companies, instrument technicians and the like – keep the city’s $6 billion music industry on the road and in the groove.

The 21st century has been full of challenges and chaotic with change. But Music City’s deep talent pool of record executives, producers, song pluggers, video directors and others is adapting and launching new business models. The world has noticed, with one nationally known sociologist/economist dubbing Nashville the “Silicon Valley” of music and counting more than twice the music business experts per capita as any other city. With festivals as big and diverse as Bonnaroo and the CMA Music Festival on top of a vibrant downtown music venue scene, Nashville is truly a complete Music City.