Should Georgia invest in its music industry?

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By Shachar Oren

Shachar OrenWelcome! We are pleased to see you here! This new site took months to create and we are very happy to launch it at last. It involved a real labor of love, with a lot of good work by the entire GMP Board, and with great contributions by Cara Pastore of f22studio (all photography), Frank Dreyer (creative – some of you know Frank as rocker Heinous Beinfang, and as the graphic designer from Ichiban Records circa mid-90s), and Patrick Vanderhorst (webmaster extraordinaire).

What motivates a group of artists and business folk to invest so much time and effort into a site, you ask? Why, the love that binds us together, of course – our love of music! Which brings us to the subject mater of this first blog post, and indeed the subject mater of our organization: Should Georgia invest in its music industry? This site aims to explain why the answer is a resounding YES, and goes further to explore how. We hope you join us in this journey – and get involved in our work. Because we need your help.

Georgia boasts an amazing music legacy (we will expand this page over time – there are so many musicians to cover!). Georgia has a very strong music education foundation, a strong creative community, and a strong and growing music business community. As you may know, GMP embarked on its mission to advocate for the Georgia music economy several years ago, and in 2011 released an Economic Impact Study that documented the impact music has on our local economy. We have lobbied for music tax breaks, we engaged local music education institutions on multiple levels, and we have established an ongoing event series that helps us all meet each other and network. Three years ago we celebrated Georgia’s first official “Music Day” at the GA Capitol. Our membership has been growing. We made significant gains towards our goals in the last few years, and yet there is much more to be done.

We are facing significant challenges. Several other states are competing very aggressively and winning over both talent and opportunities – using tax breaks, financial incentives, and investment in local infrastructure supporting various silos of music businesses. And we are seeing the impact – we are seeing our talent draining onto those markets. It does not bode well for our community, our business, our economy, our art. GMP’s mission is to change this. We advocate for music and for our music business on the government level, education level, and community level.

We just completed a detailed white paper that takes a deeper dive into the issues listed above, and explores the strategic directions we are embarking on. It will be published within days and available as a free download (watch for announcements!). Please invest a few minutes into reading it – and if you like what you see, please join us. There are many ways for you to get involved:

  1. Join our free email list from the bottom of our home page. We will keep you upraised of events, meet ups, important news, etc.
  2. Join our meet-ups, come say hello, listen to interesting speakers at our events, and network with peers. Visit our Events Page regularly for updates and register to the events you can attend.
  3. Join GMP – you can do so online with ease.
  4. Become a Sponsor.
  5. Stay involved. When you hear from us about various initiatives, legislative or otherwise, please support our efforts by letting your congressmen, mayor, governor, etc. know about your point of view.

Help us reinforce to our community and our representatives the reasons why we all feel that Georgia’s music community is a national treasure worth nurturing. Help us explain to Georgia the many reasons why it should indeed invest in music, and illustrate the best ways for Georgia to do so. Yes, it is not only about the wonderful art that we all love and enjoy daily – it is also about jobs. A lot of jobs.

And most important, keep supporting your local musicians and keep the music flowing.


Shachar Oren is Founder and CEO of Neurotic Media, a Senior Consultant to the GMP Board, a member of The Recording Academy, and an alumni of Georgia State University’s Music Industry department.