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The Orion Ampitheater, Hunstville, Alabama

How can music improve your community and create jobs?

Center for Music Ecosystems‘ Shain Shapiro believes that municipal economic development strategies lack an understanding of the multibillion-dollar music business.

“This is changing,” he writes in “Governing” magazine. Music creates jobs and attracts talent in many places, including:

These places include:

  • Huntsville, Alabama has embarked on a music and economic development plan. It has led to the creation of a city-funded “music officer” position. The city has also invested more $40 million in constructing The Orion Amphitheater due to open May 13, 2022.
  • Fort Worth, Texas has embedded music in its workforce development strategies. It also has funded a music office through the city’s convention and visitors bureau.
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana’s regional economic development engine has “Make Fort Wayne a ‘Music City'” as one of its strategic priorities.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma has created Play Tulsa Music to retain talent and invest in local performances.

But these are exceptions, rather than the norm.

“Music, as a workforce, remains undervalued, underinvested and poorly understood,” states Shapiro. “Few economic developers are exploring, in a deliberate and intentional way, how music can improve their communities and create jobs.”

“This is despite the fact that the music industry is growing faster than most other sectors. Its output is one that all of us, no matter who we are, consume all the time.”

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