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Seattle Becomes “City of Music”

After years of Seattle and music going hand in hand, the city has now made it official. During a celebration Wednesday (October 29) night at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, the city’s mayor, Greg Nickels, helped launch Seattle City of Music, a citywide initiative that aims to “enhance music as an economic, educational and recreational force in meeting the needs of the city, and to build Seattle’s role in music nationally and internationally,” says the press release.

“Seattle has long enjoyed a reputation as a distinctive city that embraces the inspiration and innovation of its music scene,” Nickels said in the release. “Music of all genres, whether classical or hip-hop, rock or jazz, thrives in our city. We don’t just make or listen to music, we live it.”

“To solidify Seattle as a home to music business, musicians and live music,” the Seattle City of Music initiative has laid out a 12-year strategy, which includes improving musicians’ standard of living, establishing more music education programs, ensuring venues and festivals flourish, creating new music-related jobs and strengthening the music community overall.

To help run the project, the city has formed a formal commission dedicated exclusively to music and commissioned a new economic impact study to help guide its future efforts.

“The economic impact study reveals once again that music is more than just entertainment, it is a vital part of Seattle’s economy and cultural identity,” said Ben London, local musician and director of the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter, in the news release. “The City of Music effort is an exceptional way to celebrate our success and leverage it to create a music community and industry for the future.”

Along with several representatives from Seattle record stores, labels, studios, radio stations, venues and other music-related businesses, also on board for the project is Sup Pop, whose annual $13,000 Loser Scholarship will now run in conjunction with Seattle City of Music.

“This is a proud day for the city and those businesses, musicians and live music venues that make Seattle their home,” Nickels said. “Music is a part of Seattle’s identity; it gives our city soul.”