2018 Music Policy Forum Agenda



Friday AM: The Future is….Access

In a world of boundless content, the critical questions for local music ecosystems to thrive are who gains access...access to capital to develop new musician-friendly products and services, access to consumers via analog and digital platforms, access revenues that are generated by new platforms and access to the essential tools of creation and distribution. We will explore how policy debates, new venture funding strategies and other approaches get to this question of access.

  • 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM - Welcome and overview

    • Anna Celenza - Music Policy Forum & Georgetown University

    • Michael Bracy - Music Policy Forum

  • 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM - Protecting Our Venues: Strategies from Canada and Europe to Value and Defend Grassroots Music Venues

    • Erin Benjamin - Music Canada Live

    • Mark Davyd - Music Venue Trust

    • Rebecca Gates - Musician and Organizer, Portland, OR

  • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM - In conversation

    • Dessa - Singer, Rapper, Writer

    • Lauren Onkey - Senior Director, NPR Music

    • Jessica Rosenworcel - Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

  • 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM - Building the Music Capital — Washington DC

    • Aaron Myers - Musician and Organizer, Washington, DC

    • Chris Naoum - Listen Local First

    • Anna Celenza - Music Policy Forum, Georgetown University

    • Audrey Fix Schaefer - Communications Director, I.M.P.

  • 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM - Local Engagement, Global Reach and Cultural Heritage: Music Museums, Halls of Fame and Archives

    • Ashlye Keaton - The Ella Project, MPF Board (moderator)

    • Greg Lambousy - New Orleans Jazz Museum

    • John Troutman - Music Curator, Smithsonian Museum of American History

    • Andrew Mosker - National Music Centre, Calgary  

    • Dwandalyn Reece - National Museum of African American History and Culture

Friday Lunch Blocks:
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM


  • Bridging the Gap: Effective Models of Local Governments in Partnership with Local Music Communities

    • Hosted by Music Canada

    • Join Amy Terrill and Ramlah Ismail, authors of Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors, as they share insights about the various structural models that are being deployed around the world to facilitate the growth of local music economies.  In this interactive workshop, you’ll have a chance to hear and discuss the pros and cons of these models, as well as lessons learned from interviewees in the close to 20 cities that contributed to the report.

  • Cultural tourism and institutions

    • Hosted by The Ella Project and the New Orleans Jazz Museum

    • As discussed on the main stage, public-facing institutions of all kinds use music as a way to engage audiences, attract tourists, and improve quality of life. In the United States, museums, archives, libraries, halls of fame, and other physical or virtual spaces promote cultural continuity and pride of place. What common challenges and opportunities face these institutions? How can we align priorities of arts and humanities councils, tourism boards, noncommercial radio stations and higher education to maximize their effectiveness? Are there best practices (or lessons learned) that can be applied? Join Gene Meneray from the Ella Project and our presenters from the Smithsonian Institution, New Orleans Jazz Museum and National Music Centre in a frank and provocative conversation about maximizing these cultural treasures.

  • Protecting our Venues: Lessons learned from Canada and Europe

    • Hosted by the Music Venue Trust and Music Canada Live

    • We heard it loud and clear: the United States is way behind our friends in Canada and Europe in protecting and defending our grassroots music venues. How can the US step up our game? What lessons can be applied from successes (and challenges) faced overseas to inform our advocacy on behalf of venues in the United States?

Friday PM Session:
The Future is...Data

Simply put, it is not possible to make informed business or policy decisions without access to data. From new business models to robust understanding of consumer behavior to next-generation research methodologies that can inform effective policy decisions, intentional and strategic application of data is essential to healthy music ecosystems. We will explore next generation business models, research methodologies and difficult questions about how do we gather data, who controls it and how can it be shaped in positive ways for the music community.

  • 2:30 PM - 2:40 PM - Welcome and Program block Themes

    • Music Policy Forum board members

  • 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM - Artist compensation: how technology and evolving marketplace is transforming how artists get paid (and WILL get paid in the future)

    • Jacoby DuBose - Dub, Washington, DC

    • Maryann Lombardi - Chief Creative Economy Officer, Washington, DC

    • Amit Nerurkar - face-less

  • 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM - What Can Music Learn from Sports: Lessons Learned from Nielsen

    • Ethan Olson - Director, Marketing & Commercial Solutions, Nielsen Sports & Entertainment

  • 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM - Research 2020: A conversation about where are we now and where will be 2 years down the road

    • Michael Seman - University of Colorado, Denver

    • Kwende Kefentse - Musician and researcher, Ottawa

    • Jean Cook - Musician and researcher, Washington, DC

    • Economic and demographic forces continue to reshape the urban landscape across the globe. These forces are increasingly responsible for the loss of the spaces dedicated to the rehearsing, performing, and socializing that drives music communities. At the same time, advances in technology, cultural planning, and regional policymaking are addressing how space is managed within the urban landscape, and how places dedicated to music are created – whether for a one-day event or uses stretching far into the future. Join Kwende Kefentse, Michael Seman, and Jean Cook as they discuss new frontiers in research about how the production and consumption of music is planned for and sustained in regions. Topics covered will include applying new research methods for spatially analyzing scenes and neighborhoods, urban redevelopment, all-ages DIY music venues, temporary urbanism, and the “Arts and…” movement.


Saturday AM Session:
The Future is...Collaborative

The music community includes a complex web of businesses, curators, scenebuilders, policymakers, researchers and advocates who are “in service” to the music community. A thriving and evolving non-profit sector works adjacent to commercial businesses to draw attention to musical genres, musicians and other cultural treasures. In the United States, these institutions are often under-resourced and fragile. How can we do a better job of documenting the role of this noncommercial infrastructure and develop more effective systems and processes to strengthen and protect this ecosystem?

  • 10:00 AM- 10:10 AM: Welcome and Program Themes

    • Music Policy Forum board members

  • 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM: International Clash Day: Case Study in Grassroots Community and Audience Engagement

    • Dashel Schueler - KEXP, Seattle

  • 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM: Music, Musicians, Education and Community engagement: A conversation

    • Martin Perna - Antibalas

    • Jeffery Tribble - The MusicianShip, Washington, DC

    • Michelle Hoffman - Director of Education and Community Engagement, Washington Performing Arts Society

    • Gabriel "Asheru" Benn - Hip Hop Artist, Educator, Founder of Guerilla Arts Ink, LLC 

    • As music education is threatened in traditional public K-12 schools, non-profit and presenting organizations are playing an increased role in connecting youth with musical culture. This dynamic cuts many ways including providing young people with access to music and culture and creating opportunities for musicians to supplement their income by doing something they love. At the same time, these initiatives should supplement, and not replace, robust programs inside public schools. What can we learn from some of these initiatives? What can we do better? And how can the field of music education be better resourced as a whole?

  • 11:30 AM - 12:15 pM:  In conversation - Nancy Baym and Erin McKeown  

    • Erin McKeown - Musician

    • Nancy Baym - Researcher, Author

    • Musicians and audiences have more ways to connect than ever before. This can build bonds of affection, heighten intimacy, and maybe even make a musical career sustainable. On the other hand, when intimacy becomes the commodity, the work of music and fandom changes in ways that aren't always for the best. What does "work" mean when you're selling your self as much as your art? How should fans behave when they can reach the artists they love so easily? Join author Nancy Baym and musician Erin McKeown as they delve into these questions and more in a discussion of Baym’s newest book, Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection.

Saturday Lunch Blocks:
12:15 PM - 2:30 PM


  • In music cities, space is still the place, and data still matter: A conversation with Kwende Kefentse, Michael Seman, and Jean Cook

    • Michael Seman - University of Colorado, Denver

    • Kwende Kefentse - Musician and researcher, Ottawa

    • Jean Cook - Musician and researcher, Washington, DC

  • Capital to Capital: What Washington and Ottawa can learn from each other

    • Hosted by Listen Local First

Saturday PM Session:
The Future is….Incremental

The complexity of the shifting music ecology is not something we should shy away from - it’s something we should embrace. And one way to embrace it is through incremental, actionable activities that help support our ecosystems while simultaneously redefining the vision for public and philanthropic engagement with these structures. In this programming block we will focus on specific, on-the-ground activities and programs that are supporting local scenes while inspiring broader thought and action.

  • 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM: Introduction and framing

    • Music Policy Forum Board members

  • 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM: True Adventures in launching a music strategy

    • Amy Terrill - Moderator

    • Josh Colle - Toronto City Councillor  

    • Lynn Ross - Cultural Planner, City of Vancouver, BC

    • Allison Harnden - Nighttime Economy Manager, City of Pittsburgh

    • Nik Ives-Allison - General Manager, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition

    • More and more cities around the world are beginning to deliberately formulate plans designed to foster and grow their local music communities. Usually developed in conjunction with active participants in the scene, these strategies are typically multi-year, comprehensive documents that boldly define paths to a more prosperous, vibrant future for the sector.  But planning is one thing. More importantly, how do we turn strategy into results? Moderated by one of the world’s best known thinkers on music strategy development, this panel features practitioners from cities at various stages between vision and implementation.

  • 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM: Curating the Scene: Music Journalism’s Role in Local Music Ecosystems

    • Kevin Erickson - Future of Music Coalition (moderator)

    • Tom Mara - Executive Director, KEXP, Seattle, WA

    • Natalie Hopkinson - Writer and cultural scholar, Washington, DC

    • D.L. Chandler - Music journalist, staff writer, Hip-Hop Wired

    • We live in an unprecedented time of information and entertainment options - music is in direct competition with streaming video services, podcasts, games, social media and a host of other platforms that demand our time and attention. Further, the digital music revolution has exploded the music marketplace - there is simply more music available via more formats than any time in history. At the same time, the traditional platforms for music journalism and criticism are evolving and, in many cases, fading away. In an era when the music community is in desperate need for curators to help provide information and context about scenes, events and emerging artists the field of music journalism is undergoing a massive transition with no certain end points. What is the role of music journalism and criticism in a local music ecosystem? How is that role being filled now and, importantly, how will it be filled in the future? And is it possible to sustain a career as a professional music journalist or critic?

  • 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM Acknowledgements and Closing



Friday, October 26 -
Saturday, October 27



Lohrfink Auditorium
Georgetown University




$300 for two-day registration

$175 for one-day registration

Free for speakers and GU students

Friends and family discounts available