On February 29th, the City Clerk received a request from District 7 Councilman Cris Medina for the City of San Antonio to consider creating a Live Music and Entertainment Division and also to create the San Antonio Music Commission. Sobre Sound met with Mr. Medina to discuss details about his proposal at the newly renovated convention center yesterday.
"I'm a son of a music family and was around a lot of conjuto music, country and tejano. I played guitar and was even in a band," the councilman told Sobre Sound. "And while my live performance days may be behind me, it doesn't mean I'm done with the music community. I was inspired by what I saw in Nashville, and how the city was involved in helping cultivate an environment for the music scene to thrive and I thought, why not San Antonio?"
As the music industry overall continues to evolve and adapt to the 21st century, many changes are taking place and San Antonio is no different. The timing of this proposal is critical. Right now is the time for San Antonio's music community to coalesce and make the most of the wave of opportunity in this City on The Rise. A central voice and resource for local music is important, becasue (to borrow a phrase from Andy Langer) we don't have competing agendas, but rather shared interests.
Take the River Walk for example, there's the Chamber of Commerce, The Area Tourism Council, Restaurant Association, and others that lobby, advocate and work to enhance an environment for the River Walk to thrive. While the DCCD, Arts Foundation, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and others have great programs and grants accessible to the music community, they lack the administrative influence to push ordinances or leverage funding for music related infrastructure.
One item briefly discussed yesterday with Mr. Medina and his Communications Director Sophia Erian, is the possibility of public discussions with a panel of various music community stakeholders. In order to move the CCR to the next step, need for such a commission must be something demonstrated. Public discussions and the involvement of venue owners, musicians, promoters and other professionals working in the music industry is necessary for progress to be made.
There are a number of city departments and entities that pool resources and advocate for incentives for different segments of our city. Today's music business and even personal musical experiences are very fragmented and highly customized. With many informal standards, the music business operates in an orbit unlike most other billion dollar industries. A San Antonio Music Commission won't solve every challenge facing our music community, but with a centralized voice and public advocate, SA music could get the professional boost that any industry could use.
. We will keep you updated as this story unfolds.