Texarkana seeks Music Friendly certification
TEXARKANA, Texas — A city representative and interested residents on Monday heard from the Texas Music Office about how Texarkana can become certified as an official Music Friendly Texas Community.
The Music Friendly Texas Program aims to assist cities in developing and supporting local music, said Chip Adams, TMO community relations and outreach specialist. Forty Texas cities have been certified to participate in the program since 2016, and the office’s goal is to reach 50 by year’s end.
“What we’re doing is helping our cities better understand their local their local music industry and help create a system for each city to listen to and react to their local music industry stakeholders,” Adams said, adding that the program helps cities connect with one another to share ideas.
The TMO — the only standalone state music development office in the U.S. — maintains a Texas Music Industry directory and provides musicians education on subjects such as business basics, copyright and digital marketing.
Next steps for the city include naming a liaison to the TMO, forming an advisory board and approving a memorandum of understanding between the city and the state. The City Council must approve both the advisory board’s membership and the MOU.
The board’s purpose is to help “the city show that they understand their local music industry. They validate it as a legitimate industry for their city. They want to better understand it. They want to help create a more supportive and connected community,” Adams said.
Music Friendly Community benefits would apply only to Texarkana, Texas, but the city is free to involve stakeholders in Texarkana, Arkansas, he said.
The Texas music industry accounts for 90,000 permanent jobs, $4.6 billion in annual earnings and $10.8 billion in annual economic activity, according to the TMO.
The office has not determined the city-bycity economic impact of Music Friendly Texas certification. That would require a third-party analysis, Adams said.
“That would be a bigger expenditure, but it’s definitely something I want to see,” he said.
For more information, contact Keith Beason, city community engagement and parks projects manager, at 903-798-1715 or keith.beason@ txkusa.org.