Is Indy a 'Music City?'

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(Image of Fountain Square in Indianapolis courtesy of Sound Diplomacy.) (Image of Fountain Square in Indianapolis courtesy of Sound Diplomacy.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

An event Tuesday in Indianapolis will focus on developing a music strategy for the city by discussing its impact on tourism, economic development and policy. Indy Chamber Chief Executive Officer Michael Huber says the U.S. Music Cities Forum will help civic and creative stakeholders learn from influential leaders from other cities with high-profile music economies. The gathering is organized by the Indy Chamber and Sound Diplomacy, an organization based in the United Kingdom that advises governments and businesses on developing "healthy music ecosystems to create vibrant, exciting communities."

Sound Diplomacy founder Shain Shapiro says the forum will detail why music is important to Indianapolis. As the city competes to attract and retain talent and fight for investment from companies like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Shapiro says it's important to recognize and support an arts and cultural scene and boost the "nighttime and evening economy" that comes with it. "By adding it all up like we would in any sector," Shapiro told Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, "we can understand where our strengths are, where the deficiencies are, what needs to be done to improve it and how to manage it better in the process." He says the discussions will help leaders understand which other sectors could benefit from the music scene.

Huber says the music economy is growing rapidly in Indianapolis and it's important to learn from the success of others. He says Indianapolis needs to do a better job of telling its music story -- from the jazz scene of the early and mid-20th Century to its current hip hop scene. "We also need to do a better job of connecting the things -- the pieces of who we already are -- to different industries." Huber says it is key to tell the story to existing companies and community members that might not realize the assets, talent and history of the Indianapolis music scene, and the U.S. Music Cities Forum can help do that.

You can connect to more about the forum, which will take place Tuesday at the HI-FI and Fountain Square Theater in Indianapolis by clicking here.

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