City launches Greater Madison Music City program to build recovery plan for local music industry

MADISON, Wis.– The city of Madison is launching a new organization that aims to broaden access to stages for diversity and strike down discrimination in the local music industry.

Greater Madison Music City Program launched in early 2020, but their goal intensified as COVID-19 closed music venues and discouraged gatherings.

“If that was the case a year ago, it’s even worse now,” Angela Puerta said. “In music we struggle a lot, especially in Madison. We have lost many musicians and that was prior to COVID-19. So, the situation is more difficult right now.

Puerta is mixing her two worlds as a local musician and city planner to help Madison create a music tourism economic recovery plan.

“Though this equity lens, (we’re) making sure that all musicians are involved, that musicians can potentially make a great living by doing music, which is something that is not happening that much in Madison,” Puerta said. “So, we want to reinforce that part and help music venues.”

The project is launching on Tuesday with over an hour of online music performances and information on how the Greater Madison Music City Project aims to build a stage for struggling artists and music venues.

“We can support those musicians who are struggling,” Puerta said. “We can give them a platform to perform.”

The project received $45,000 in funding so far, from the City of Madison Room Tax Commission, Dane Arts, City of Madison Planning Department, Arts Wisconsin and Madison Public Library.

Greater Madison Music City is looking for more support from future stakeholders and community feedback.

The City of Madison is recording metrics for different areas of it’s COVID-19 relief recovery plan, including art and music venues on an online dashboard. That dashboard has not been updated for 2021.