Music Export Memphis partners with Sound Diplomacy to bring Music Cities Convention to Memphis in 2017

By November 17, 2016 No Comments


Conference to focus on equity, access in Music Cities

(MEMPHIS, TN) – Music Export Memphis is excited to announce a partnership with London music policy consultancy Sound Diplomacy that will bring the Music Cities Convention to the Bluff City in 2017.

The convention, launched in 2015 at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK, will convene twice in 2017: first in Berlin in April, followed by its Memphis iteration in October. The formal title for the Memphis event is Music Cities Convention Memphis: I’ll Take You There (Music, equity and access in cities).

The conference is being made possible by generous support from the Memphis Music Initiative and the Soulsville Foundation.

MMI Executive Director Darren Isom expressed the organization’s enthusiasm about plugging in to the growing international conversation around what makes a “Music City.”

“We are thrilled to help bring Music Cities Convention here to Memphis, one of America’s oldest and most important music cities,” Isom says. “And we are particularly excited that as we engage in the important conversation of ‘What makes a city a music city?’ the Memphis iteration of this conference will focus on issues related to equity, access and inclusion. These concepts are core to MMI’s mission and our work to create meaningful opportunities for minority youth to engage in quality music experiences in and outside of school. While Memphis’ musical legacy is world-renowned, our contemporary identity as a music city often goes unrecognized. We look forward to sharing this dynamic identity and our work here in Memphis with next year’s Music Cities Convention’s international attendees.”

Music Export Memphis will serve as the local partner to Sound Diplomacy in producing the 2017 event.

“Ever since I attended MCC in Washington, D.C., last fall, I’ve been working toward bringing the conference to Memphis,” says Music Export MEM founder Elizabeth Cawein. “I was truly energized after that experience, and particularly invigorated by my broadened understanding of what makes a Music City. With the energy in Memphis right now, I knew I wanted to bring this conversation here. I’m thrilled that the countdown is on to Music Cities Memphis.”

Cawein worked closely with the Memphis Convention and Visitors’ Bureau to land the conference.

“The Music Cities Convention is an example of the strength and importance of the Memphis brand know around the world, Memphis music,” says MCVB CEO Kevin Kane. “The economic value and brand recognition has sustained us for decades and will continue to serve us for many years to come.”

Shain Shapiro, CEO of Sound Diplomacy, called Memphis a natural fit for Music Cities Convention.

“Memphis is one of the world’s most interesting music cities,” he says. “American music history is framed on a few places and spaces, and many of those are in or around Memphis. It was a natural choice for us. Terrific heritage, amazing alternative scene, active industry and a willingness to facilitate a global discussion, Memphis makes sense. We’re thrilled to be bringing Music Cities Convention to town.”

The Convention will take place at a downtown location to be announced on October 26, 2017. It is expected to draw attendees and presenters from around the world, and convention activities will include visits to Memphis music sites.

Learn more about past Music Cities Convention events here.

Music Export Memphis is a not-for-profit initiative focused on exporting Memphis music to the world. By creating opportunities for Memphis musicians outside the city, Music Export MEM will drive impact in talent attraction, business development, tourism and the music economy. As we export one of our greatest assets, we’ll create invaluable national and international showcasing opportunities for our musicians (empowering them to be our city’s strongest ambassadors) and give outsiders a taste of the personality of the Bluff City designed to entice them in for a short trip or a long stay.

Sound Diplomacy is the leading global advisory on music cities strategies and market development. As strategists for cities, developers, large private sector organisations and governments, Sound Diplomacy provide cutting edge research and market expertise in placing music and music business strategy in city, urban and development plans.


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