Throw the VP of Sub Pop, a Stranger writer and Jason Finn of Presidents of the USA into the same room, and you’re bound to have a "free-thinking conversation"—just like the one the mayor’s new City of Music commission had at its inaugural meeting Wednesday.
The 21-member commission, announced on Monday, is designed to support the City of Music agenda: "to create action over the next 12 years [through 2020] that enhances the climate for our music industry, and to propel Seattle’s leadership role in music throughout the nation and the world." The city recruited everyone from record label execs to local entrepreneurs, nonprofits chiefs to a creative director of the Seattle Symphony. It’s a diverse group, to be sure (see the full list below), and according to James Keblas, head of the Office of Film + Music, the brainstorming has officially begun.
“The group really got going in a discussion about music education— there was overwhelming enthusiasm about improving music education in grades K-12 and beyond," Keblas said over the phone yesterday. "A lot of these people are having kids, and they see their kids in an education system without music… . It’s personal."
They also discussed ways to engage the private sector—to partner with big corporations and small business alike—and get the community involved. "They want to make this an open process," Keblas added.
The commission is slated to meet nine times a year, with their next session scheduled for July. I plan to follow up with Keblas, the self-described "implementer of the commission’s ideas," after each meeting, so if you have any questions about the commission’s agenda and forthcoming work plan, send them my way by comment or email. Encourage them to think big.
- Jason Finn – musician, Presidents of The United States of America
- K. Wyking Garrett – director, Seattle Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council/UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center
- Kyle Hopkins – head of music acquisitions, Microsoft X-Box/ On-Air DJ, KEXP.org
- Megan Jasper – executive vice president, Sub Pop Records
- Alex Kochan – vice president, AEG Live (Showbox Venues)
- Marcus Lalario – Entrepreneur / Nightclub Owner
- Tom Mara – executive director, KEXP 90.3 FM/KEXP.org
- David Meinert – owner, Fuzed Inc./National Trustee: The Recording Academy (Grammys)
- Larry Mizell, Jr. – writer, musician, on-air DJ at KEXP.org
- Griff Morris – principal, content licensing and vendor management, Amazon MP3
- Marcus Womack – product management, iLike Inc./iLike.com
- Kate Becker – co-founder, Vera Project; director of development, Seattle Theatre Group
- Elena Dubinets – vice president of artistic planning, Seattle Symphony
- Holly Hinton – content and online product manager, Starbucks Entertainment
- Jason Hughes – co-owner, Sonic Boom Records; owner, Sonic Boom Recordings
- Ben London – executive director, the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter
- DeVon Manier – CEO, Sportn’ Life Records
- Mike Meckling – president, SNMA/Co-Owner, Neumos and Moe Bar
- Jon Stone – executive director of festivals, One Reel
- Annette Taborn – executive director, Pacific NW Blues in Schools
And now, a little drum solo by Jason Finn.