Live event coverage continues. Live stream.
Primer: The 2009 inauguration of Obama — plus Democratic majorities in Congress — meant a shift in the power dynamic in Washington, DC. How are creative industries faring so far in this administration? Rumor has it that music is enjoyed and revered in the White House, but these are also trying times for policymakers. Can a pro-arts agenda be balanced with pressing economic and infrastructure concerns? Does the cultural community have a role to play in recovery? What legislation will make it out of committee and onto the floor? Top staffers from the House and Senate will discuss the key music-technology-policy issues playing out on Capitol Hill, and how musicians are engaging.
- Shawn Chang Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee
- Matthew C. Hussey Telecommunications Legislative Assistant for Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
- Maggie Juliand Legislative Assistant for the Office of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
- Benjamin Staub Professional Staff, House Judiciary Committee
- Daniel Swanson Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee
- Jean Cook Director of Programs, Future of Music Coalition (moderator)
Long introductory speeches from each panelist. Lots of attention towards Performance Rights Act, including hybrid, ‘sliding scale’ proposals currently under discussion. Also, arts-related causes and spectrum inventory.
Jean Cook: Spectrum issues, what are the implementation details?
Matthew C. Hussey: Spectrum a ‘scarce resource,’ so an issue they are watching. A ‘crowded space’ in urban areas, but ‘they do understand that FCC is trying to work through these,’ but legislation is ‘not something we’re getting that deep in’ because of the FCC. Also issues tied to unused spectrum, maximization, something that is being investigated. Idea is to see how they can provide a good regulatory system that allows easier use, no overhauls, etc.
Shawn Chang: Concurs that the FCC has the technical know-how to handle this sort of allocation. Supportive of bill that would improve reallocation processes, want to make sure that federal agencies have the proper resources to make transfers in an efficient way.
Jean Cook: What do ‘arts folks,’ arts community come to you to discuss?
Maggie Juliand: Arts have a big impact on local communities. References ‘Sweet Home New Orleans’ organization, and if you break it down to a local level you can see that it has a real effect. Explaining the full impact is important, important to keep arts funded at a higher level, esp. in the current economy. That is a positive message to share with members. And, until you can hook a member to something that makes sense for their communities, it is hard to create the impact.