INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Chamber says it will continue on to the next phases of an effort designed to tap into a music strategy to serve as an economic development catalyst. In partnership with the city of Indianapolis, the chamber says it will continue to engage with global consulting firm Sound Diplomacy on a report that Develop Indy Regulatory and Permitting Ombudsman Jim Rawlinson says will investigate the "ecology and economy" of the music scene and its potential economic impact. The chamber is beginning a fundraising process to cover a proposed budget for the effort. The progression follows a strategic forum in May that involved citywide stakeholders and the recent launch of the city's new Create Indy program, which will provide grants to "emerging cultural economies."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Rawlinson said the music and cultural push is a play for talent. "Quality of life is our number one goal doing economic development these days," he said. "It's all about talent attraction and retention and creating that quality of life where people want to be somewhere and they want to stay somewhere. Music is one of those things, restaurants are those things, breweries are those things. And so, music is something we haven't focused a whole lot on and we feel like there's a lot of opportunity."

The Indy Chamber, driven by Chief Executive Officer Michael Huber, say creative sectors can serve as a point of engagement in areas like design, food, music, film and new media and sports. In a Perspectives piece following the May forum, Huber made the case that the sports-focused strategy that brings millions of dollars and international attention to Indianapolis today began in the 1970s with major questions surrounding if it will pay off. Huber said music can play a role in growing the economy.

You can connect to more about the "Music Cities" Cultural Initiative by clicking here.