Leadership Music Connects Creative, Business Sides of Nashville's Music Industry
Tootsies Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville, TN
Nashville's famous music scene is made of much more than just country. Thanks to initiatives like Leadership Music, singer-songwriters and indie rockers are making big names for themselves on Nashville's many stages.
"We try to bring together both the creative and business sides of the music industry," says Kira Florita, executive director of Leadership Music.
The success of Nashville’s music industry doesn’t happen by chance. Organizations such as Leadership Music help keep the industry healthy by promoting understanding among its key players.
Modeled after the Leadership Nashville program, Leadership Music brings together selected leaders in the music industry for a nine-month program that creates awareness about all the aspects of the industry. The first and last meetings are weekend retreats, and six monthly meetings take place in between.
"We start with a songwriter/publisher day, because it all starts with a song," says Kira Florita, executive director of Leadership Music. "Then we have an artist day, studio/audio day, record company day, broadcast day and touring day."
Leadership Music’s mission is to nurture a knowledgeable, issue-oriented community of music industry professionals and to expose participants to areas of the business with which they are unfamiliar.
"Say a songwriter is being affected positively or negatively by a decision of a record company," Florita explains. "The Leadership Music program would help them be more understanding about things that affect their career."
Throughout the program, industry leaders exchange ideas and viewpoints, make site visits around the community, hear from speakers and participate in hands-on exercises. Since its inception in 1989, Leadership Music has produced in 640 alumni, ranging from Grammy Award-winning artists and songwriters to top executives of BellSouth (now AT&T), Bank of America and the Country Music Association.
"We try to bring together both the creative and business sides of the music industry," says Florita, a 2000 alumna of the program. "Leadership Music is something that’s unique to Nashville, and it has had a significant impact on the good health of the music industry here."