2022: Texas Music Office Year in Review
Greetings and Happy New Year! As we all give thanks for making it through another unprecedented year, the Texas Music Office (TMO) staff and I have recommitted ourselves to assisting our beloved Texas music industry community.
I would like to thank Steve Ray, Chip Adams and Jenny Perkins of the TMO staff - and our hardworking 2022 fellowship interns, Maria Carmona, Hudson McLeroy and Caroline McCain - for all that they have contributed during the past year. I’d also like to thank Governor Greg Abbott and his staff - as well as Adriana Cruz, Director of the Governor’s Office Economic Development Division, and her entire team - for their continued support of the TMO and the entire Texas music industry.
Public service during these unique times within the music industry - and the world at large - is an absolute honor. Our most important work in 2023 will find us all continuing to serve to assist on rebuilding one of the most influential music ecosystems in the country, our great state of Texas, as we work toward returning to the economic high-water mark, we were tracking in the first quarter of 2020, pre-pandemic.
Over the last few months, we’ve worked with economist Jon Hockenyos of TXP Inc. to update our biennial economic impact study and determine the state of the music industry since our last report was issued in 2021. Our 2023 Economic Impact Study – which we will be releasing this month, shows that: by the end of 2022, the music industry in Texas, including music businesses and music education, created nearly 90,000 permanent jobs with $4.6 billion in annual earnings, and generated over $10.8 billion in annual economic activity, comparable to the results pre-pandemic. The ripple effects associated with the direct injection related to music businesses and music education brought the total impact (including the direct effects) to more than 192,000 permanent jobs, $9.4 billion in earnings and $26.6 billion in annual economic activity. Texas also realized $470 million in tax revenue from these impacts.
Houston, Selma, Edinburg, Harker Heights, Bryan, McAllen, Wimberley, and Salado were all certified as Music Friendly Communities in 2022, after months of stakeholder workshops and collaboration with the office, bringing the total to 38 certified cities across the state. Since 2016, we have boldly continued expansion of our Music Friendly Communities (MFC) program to foster best practices among music communities, to create a more interconnected industry, and to grow local jobs in Texas.
With collaboration between communities being a key component of the MFC program, the TMO hosted the 4th annual Texas Sounds & Cities Conference in Fort Worth, bringing together MFC Liaisons and potential MFC cities from across the state for a day of panels and lively round table discussions at the new Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall and the iconic Billy Bob’s Texas in the Stockyards. A huge thank you to all our Music Friendly Community liaisons for continuing to work hard on behalf of their local industries. A more connected Texas music industry is a stronger one, and events like our annual Texas Sounds & Cities Conference are a great tool for helping to bring our cities together.
Throughout this year, I had the pleasure of being a part of some significant conferences and round table discussions surrounding our industry, music friendly communities, and concert safety. I spoke to approximately 1,000 individuals at: Texas Sounds & Cities (Fort Worth), Music Cities Convention (Tulsa, OK), IEBA (Nashville, TN), Americana Music Festival & Conference (Nashville, TN), and CD Baby DIY Conference (Austin). Due to these speaking engagements, the visibility of the TMO has risen greatly, as our office is the only standalone state music office, with the first Certified Music Friendly Community Program in the country. We are proud to be the gold standard for future state and city-based music offices across the U.S. and are happy that other communities and states want to emulate our unique office and programming. As a result of this rising visibility, I have been called upon to share the office’s experience with other states such as North Carolina and Georgia, that are interested in creating their own state music office. Texas is leading the way in working to support the commercial music ecosystem, and we welcome all new partners who are interested in following the TMO’s example.
As part of our outreach strategy for this year, we were fortunate to have partnered with Kessler Presents, BMI and Visit Fort Worth to promote Texas music business opportunities nationwide at events such as Americanafest (Nashville, TN), Folk Alliance International (Kansas City, MO), and South by Southwest (Austin, TX). We are also incredibly grateful to the continuing grant support from the Cain Foundation to make these events happen for our constituents.
The TMO continued its marketing and communications outreach, including monthly newsletters, website news posts and social media engagements, reaching more than 2 million constituents in 2022. The TMO’s industry directory continued to streamline and grow too: at the end of FY 2022, the TMO had 15,842 confirmed businesses in the Texas Music Industry Directory hosted on the TMO’s website.
Finally, the TMO’s Education & Community Grant Program, funded through the sale of Texas music specialty license plates, continued to provide opportunities for the next generation of Texas musicians: $22 from the purchase of every Texas music specialty license plate goes directly to providing music instruments and lessons to school children in need around the state. In addition, this program partners with non-profit organizations to foster the development of young musicians throughout the state so they can continue the development of their craft, regardless of financial challenges. In FY 2022, our grant program issued $7,724 in grants to underserved communities for music programming and music education throughout the state.
I am personally honored to serve in my role as Director of the Texas Music Office, working daily to foster a welcoming environment for job creation, economic growth, and Texas music businesses and individuals like yourself. We’ll continue our meaningful dialogue between Texas cities large and small as we never cease to work on improving communication and creating opportunities for industry professionals statewide. I look forward to continuing public service for the Texas music industry in 2023, and the opportunities for recovery, growth, and positive change that it affords.
All our best from the Texas Music Office…and Happy New Year.
Brendon Anthony, Director
Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor