2018 Year in Review
Greetings and Happy 2019!
2018 was an incredibly busy year for the Texas Music Office (TMO), with the office collaborating with community partners, expanding the office’s Music Friendly Communities Program, and pursing business development opportunities…with the combined efforts culminating in long term growth for the Texas music community.
Our work expanding opportunities for Texas artists and music businesses wouldn’t be possible without the assistance and enormous support from Governor Greg Abbott, Chief of Staff Luis Saenz, Economic Development & Tourism Director Bryan Daniel, and his entire Economic Development & Tourism team. The entire Office of the Governor staff all play an important role in helping us meets the needs of our constituents, and we’re very appreciative of their teamwork. And as always, I would like to thank the TMO team – Marketing & Communications Specialist Marc Fort and Programs Specialist Steve Ray – for their continued hard work in 2018.
Following through on the business development mandate that Governor Abbott outlined at the beginning of his first term when he moved the TMO into the Economic Development and Tourism Division, the TMO was proud to announce in November 2018 that Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) - the global leader in performing rights management - is expanding its presence in the Lone Star State and will open its first Texas creative office in Austin, Texas in early 2019. The announcement came after multiple business development meetings in Austin, Nashville, and New York City wherein the TMO highlighted the enormous music business opportunity in Texas; the new office will allow BMI to work directly with Texas’ talented songwriters, composers, publishers and emerging songwriters and artists and help enhance their ability to earn a living by writing music. The BMI office is being opened with the support of Governor Abbott and entrepreneur Gary Keller, co-founder of the Austin Music Movement, who signed on as a key sponsor of BMI’s Texas music initiatives.
Throughout the year, the TMO expanded its Music Friendly Community program with 5 new cities receiving the designation, including: San Antonio (pictured right), Denton, Lindale, Stephenville, and Conroe. And the TMO witnessed the program start to really take on a life of its own, as Fort Worth (the 1st city to receive the designation) began a new program giving out grants to Fort Worth artists for tour support. Likewise, MFC partner city Denton made musician healthcare their focus and signed up more than 35 artists for healthcare coverage…literal life changing work.
The TMO continued bringing Texas music to national audiences, with activations at the Key West Songwriter’s Fest, Folk Alliance International, Americana Fest & Conference in Nashville, a House of Songs international songwriter’s collaboration in Arkansas, South by Southwest, and at the Newport Folk Festival.
Other key business development collaborations including the TMO’s participation in the Austin-Toronto trade mission, the Canadian Music Publishers Association Music Tech Summit, and the All ATX Leadership Class (which included the TMO’s Steve Ray).
In 2018, the TMO provided $19,500 in grants to 7 Texas nonprofits, which in turn paid for music instruments and music lessons for under-served Texas school kids, as well as for paying Texas artists to perform at free community concerts. Anheuser-Busch made a generous donation of $5,000 after collaborating on a Josh Abbott Band benefit concert for the grant program. The TMO grant program is primarily funded through the purchase of the Texas Music specialty license plate through the Texas DMV.
The Texas Music Office staff joined the University of Texas at San Antonio's third annual Music Biz Day at the UTSA School of Music to discuss the state of the Texas Music industry and opportunities for growth. All three TMO staffers spoke to college and high school music students about career opportunities, helping foster the next generation of Texas music business professionals.
I am personally honored to serve in my role as Director of the Texas Music Office, working daily to create a welcoming environment for job creation, and economic growth for Texas music businesses. We look forward to all of the Music Friendly Community-certified cities gathering together for the first time in Fort Worth this Spring…for the first MFC Summit, wherein best practices, networking, and future collaborations will be shared and discussed.
I look forward to this New Year and the opportunities for growth and positive change it affords.
All our best from the Texas Music Office…and Happy New Year.
Brendon Anthony, Director
Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor