How The Recording Academy Supports Music Creators Through Advocacy
"If you believe all music creators should get paid fairly, yes."
So goes the slogan in the Recording Academy's new brand campaign, "We Are Music," reminding us of the passion, talent, and hard work music is made of, as well as the need to fight for fair compensation for those who create it.
"We Are Music" is highlighted by a striking 60-second film directed by world-renown photographer/videographer and GRAMMY nominee Danny Clinch. The film shows snippets of the creative process featuring the campaign's diverse lineup of music creators, which includes singer/songwriter H.E.R., multi-instrumentalist/producer Chad Hugo, producer/engineer Ann Mincieli, director and composer Rickey Minor, and producer/engineer Swizz Beatz.
Fortunately, one of the core components of the Recording Academy is its Advocacy efforts on behalf of artists, songwriters and studio professionals across all genres, styles and levels, giving a voice to those whose livelihood depend upon earning a living making music.
The only membership organization representing all music creators, the Academy maintains a tireless, year-round presence on Capitol Hill tracking and researching important legislation, building bridges of communication with industry stakeholders, and lobbying diligently on behalf of creators' rights. Most importantly, the Academy empowers its members from across the country to present a compelling, 24,000-member-strong lobbying corps for music creators' rights and music advocacy. From congressional-hearing testimony by Academy witnesses to online advocacy tools to the music industry’s only annual national and local grassroots advocacy days, the music community's point of view is heard by leaders from the Capitol to the White House.
Right now, the Recording Academy's Advocacy team is focused on the Music Modernization Act. This comprehensive music reform bill has passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and in the Senate Judiciary Committee thanks to united support from the music community. Next, the MMA goes to a full Senate vote, making now the most important time to let your Senators know the importance of supporting this bill.
Over the years, the Advocacy team has also played a major role in passing legislation to protect artists and music fans by cracking down on online ticket scalpers, making it easier for musicians to travel on domestic flights with their instruments, protecting federal funding for the arts and music education, and giving producers copyright protection through the Allocation For Music Producers Act — which was included in its entirety in the MMA.
Success stories such as these require continuous work, and while the Academy's advocacy efforts are never-ending, they take on a heightened line of visibility in the music and legislative communities twice each year for GRAMMYs On The Hill and District Advocate.
GRAMMYs On The Hill brings together dozens of GRAMMY winners, nominees, and Academy leaders for a two-day event that honors artists and legislators who have positively impacted the music community. Academy members also meet with their members of Congress for a day of grassroots lobbying. This year more than 100 music professionals visited lawmakers to encourage them to pass the MMA and usher in a better system for all stakeholders in the music and tech industries.
Similarly, District Advocate mobilizes music makers to sit down with their congressional representatives at home in their local communities and discuss current music policy issues. Last year, Academy members from all 50 states met with their Congressional representatives to let them know music creators are an important part of their voting constituency. And for members looking to add their voices to the chorus, save the date for this year's District Advocate day: Oct. 24.
As the Academy launches the "We Are Music" campaign to honor the craft and community that bring music to life, the organization's Advocacy & Public Policy work stands tall, continuing to raise the voices of the music community to a roar too loud to ignore.