Georgia looks to invest in music to help boost economy
Amid recent bad news for the arts, there's a bright spot that has emerged in at least one state: Georgia. Backed by industry supporters, including The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, the state's Congress passed the Georgia Music Investment Act on March 30. The bill, which is now waiting for a signature from Gov. Nathan Deal, provides tax incentives for creators to make music in the state, including live performances, studio recordings and scoring projects.
GRAMMY winners Kristian Bush of Sugarland and engineer/mixer Phil Tan supported the bill, which is anticipated to bring an additional 10,000 music-related jobs to Georgia. "Simply put, it's a job creator," Tan told Billboard. "Local industry folks have worked very hard for this, knowing how important it was to get this done. This is a very important step."
According to Bush, an Atlanta Chapter Governor, the bill will also spur potential employment opportunities for the "unbelievably talented" students graduating from esteemed Georgia music institutions such as the University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University.
Pro-music steps such as the Georgia Music Investment Act are in alignment with the kinds of legislative initiatives The Record Academy's Advocacy department undertakes on Capitol Hill, including the upcoming 2017 GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, which sees hundreds of music professionals from across the country visiting lawmakers to discuss important issues facing today's music creators. And issues you can bring up with your local representatives.
Let's hope other states, and ultimately, the entire country, remember what Georgia already knows — music is an integral part of the fabric of American life, from economics to education and beyond.