Madison receives $50K grant to create more equitable music scene

Wisconsin State Capitol

MADISON, Wis. — Efforts to create a more equitable music scene in Madison will soon get some extra help thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway announced Thursday the city has been approved for a $50,000 Our Town grant from the NEA. It’s one of 63 grants approved nationwide to support the integration of arts and culture into community-based equity efforts.

“Madison is working to tackle issues of systemic racism in the music industry, to attract more music tourism, and to build on our strengths as a music city,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, “Being awarded NEA funding during this critical time for musicians and others in the music industry will help us achieve more equitable economic recovery in the arts.”

The grant will allow the Greater Madison Area Music Project, a city-run equity initiative, to measure the economic impact of the city’s music scene and identify barriers to equal access, according to a news release. The findings will build on a 2019 report from the City of Madison’s Task Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment. From there, city leaders will develop a plan to “overcome barriers to racial equity as well as guide our COVID19 economic recovery efforts.”

“This grant will allow us to complete a systematic review of policies and practices that perpetuate inequities in our music ecosystem that has never been done before,” GMMC Chair Karen Reece said. “Community members will remain engaged in every step of the process, interpret results, and drive decision making.”

More information about Greater Madison Music City Project is available online.