In our last newsletter, we told you about a series of free events we’re holding in New York State to help musicians understand some of the tricky issues that affect how they create, perform and distribute their art. The first forum took place in Buffalo on April 2, and was standing-room only. The all-day seminar featured panel presentations and discussions on a range of subjects, including online promotion and distribution, access to media outlets such as radio, compensation in a digital age and protecting net neutrality. And there were snacks! Check out this blog post about the event.
We’ll be addressing many of these same topics at the final three forums in Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Here are the details:
Rochester: Monday, April 28, Bausch Auditorium, Rochester Museum and Science Center, 3 PM-8:30 PM
Syracuse: Tuesday, April 29, Jazz Central, 1 PM-7PM
Albany: Wednesday, April 30, The Clarion Hotel, 3 PM-8:30 PM
Thanks to the American Federation of Musician locals, the Rochester Arts and Cultural Council, Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation and the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse for helping to make these forums possible.
If you’re planning on attending, be sure to RSVP. Here’s a link to where you can do just that.
To be perfectly honest, we’re a little weary of hearing about benefits for musicians who have suffered health calamities. It’s great that everyone can pitch in to help an ailing artist, but it really doesn’t strike at the heart of the problem, which is the fact that an appalling number of musicians are currently without health insurance.
What’s worse is when a musician dies from a preventable illness. This was the case with Raleigh, North Carolina multi-instrumentalist Drew Glackin, who passed away last January from what should have been a treatable thyroid condition. But Drew didn’t have health insurance, which not only prevented the early detection of his ailment, but also left his family with considerable medical bills.
Drew was a member of alt-country institutions The Silos, and he also recorded or toured with Tandy, Gingersol, Susan Tedeschi, The Hold Steady and Chris Mills, among others. So he definitely made a lot of friends in the course of his career. Some of these friends are holding two benefit concerts in his honor that will raise awareness about the importance of health insurance for musicians. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go directly to Drew’s family to help cover funeral costs and medical bills, and other half will benefit FMC’s HINT (Health Insurance Navigation Tool) program - an initiative that provides free, professional guidance to musicians seeking advice about health insurance plans.
The two-day event, entitled "Get the HINT: a Future of Music Coalition Benefit Concert in Memory of Drew Glackin," will serve as a tribute to a great musician and friend. Scheduled to perform are Tres Chicas, Patty Hurst Shifter, Kenny Roby, Chip Robinson & Heavy Beat Outfit, Port Huron Statement, The Silos, BJ Barham, Tandy, Chris Mills, Glory Fountain, Quarry Hill, Joe Swank & the Zen Pirates, Lou Ford and The Cartridge Family. If you’re in the Raleigh, NC area, we encourage you to attend this weekend of events and show your support.
Here’s the official MySpace page for the benefit.
Press release for the events
HINT website, with video explaining the program
We couldn’t be more excited about an upcoming compilation CD to benefit our ongoing Rock the Net campaign. The disc comes out in June via Thirsty Ear Records and features Wilco, Bright Eyes, They Might Be Giants, Portastatic, Aimee Man, Matthew Shipp, Paloar, DJ Spooky, The Wrens, Guster, BC Camplight, David Bazan (ex-Pedro the Lion), David Miller, Free Form Funky Freqs and The Classic Brown. In other words, a little something for everyone.
Check out this Pitchfork news teaser about the release.
FMC is also celebrating the one-year anniversary of Rock the Net, which now has more than 800 band and indie label members. We’ll be holding RTN concerts and events to throughout the ear, so stay tuned for more info. And if you haven’t already, sign up for the campaign.
FMC continues our podcast interview series with the sharpest minds in the music, technology, law and policy space. This month, we spoke with manager extraordinaire Peter Jenner, who’s worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, the Clash and Marc Bolan of T. Rex. Peter currently represents Billy Bragg, whose recent opinion piece in the New York Times about artist compensation for digital distribution (or lack thereof) inspired lots of impassioned blogging. Peter talked to us about how musicians need to be paid for their recorded work, dropping a couple of F-bombs in the process. (If this kind of language offends you, keep in mind it’s delivered in an awesome British accent.)
Podcast interview with Peter Jenner:
Billy Bragg’s New York Times Op-Ed
You may have heard about the FCC’s recent hearing on net neutrality at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, which was a “do over” of an event in Cambridge, Massachusetts back in February. Both hearings were part of the FCC’s investigation into Comcast’s network management practices - specifically, their restriction of files exchanged through legal BitTorrent technology. Interestingly, Comcast didn’t show up for the Stanford hearing, but plenty of net neutrality supporters made statements about the importance preserving the open Internet.
On April 22, the Senate Commerce Committee took up the issue with a hearing that showed strong support for net neutrality from the independent writers, producers and filmmakers, including Justine Bateman (who is apparently still a crush of someone at FMC that we won’t name).
Although no rulemaking consensus was reached, both events showed that government is indeed engaging on the issue. It’s great that the policy community is gathering ideas and info; we just hope they make the right decisions about our online future.
Calling all composers: our friends at Columbia University’s Research Center for Arts and Culture have put together a survey aimed at composers of all styles and backgrounds, in order to get a sense of the needs of this particular musical community.
Here’s the official spiel:
New Music Needs Your Voice
The American Music Center (AMC) and American Composers Forum (ACF) have teamed up with Columbia University’s Research Center for Arts and Culture to conduct the first major study of living composers. The study aims to gather important data to guide our efforts in better serving and advocating for composers of all styles and backgrounds. If you are a composer, you can be a part of this important research. We invite you to contribute to the study by filling out the online survey at the link below. The survey is estimated to take 20 minutes of your time. Your participation will broaden the study’s reach and give us a better understanding of current trends in the field. Thank you for helping us to help composers.
Head here to take the survey, which runs through May 15:
Attention Colorado readers: As you may know, FMC makes all of its events free for musicians. We also do our best to offer free musician access to the events we participate in. It’s all because we believe artist voices need to be heard in discussions about the future of music. Case in point: the upcoming National Performing Arts Convention, which takes place in Denver on June 10-14. If you’re a musician and would like to attend, you could be in luck, as FMC snagged a handful of free registrations for artists.
NPAC is a major convening of people and organizations in the fields of music, dance, opera, theater and other disciplines. The event brings 5,000 members of the performing arts community to Denver to participate in a wide variety of panels, breakout discussions, workshops and art-making sessions.
Some of the breakout sessions look pretty interesting, too. “The Art of Living or Living for Art: A Survival Guide for Artists” and “Fun With Critics” are but two that caught our eye.
Email jean [at] futureofmusic [dot] org to find out how to apply for a scholarship. [Caveat: FMC and NPAC cannot pay travel or lodging expenses. We may, however, be able to provide info about other organizations that could help in this regard.]
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have any questions.
Donate to the Future of Music Coalition
Secure online donations are accepted at any level at https://www.futureofmusic.org/donate.cfm