The MMF-US was proud to be one of the host organizations for the 1st Annual Recording Arts Day on Capitol Hill. Recording Arts Day was conceived by the Recording Academy as an industry-wide effort to promote the significant contributions of the recording arts and sciences on our economy and culture. The MMF-US joined with other music industry organizations such as the Recording Academy, Recording Artists Coalition, AFTRA, AFM, National Music Publishers Association and the RIAA to host this event.
The day began with a Legislative Breakfast with several Members of Congress where we stressed the importance of the music industry to the US economy and culture, as well as the importance of music education for our children. It was noted that sound recording industries account for more than $15.5 billion in annual revenues, arts and entertainment industries account for 2.6 million jobs, and American copyright industries account for 6% of the nation’s GDP and 4% of the US workforce. In addition, music education has been proven to significantly improve math skills and increase SAT scores by more than 100 points. Several Members of Congress also spoke about the importance of the music industry and music education for children. Each host organization also received a few minutes to describe their organization. I spoke briefly about the work the MMF-US has done with regard to furthering artists’ rights and educating new managers about the intricacies of the music business.
After the Legislative Breakfast, we were organized into smaller groups for meetings with specific Members of Congress in their offices. My group included colleagues from Sony BMG, AFTRA and the Recording Academy. We first met with Representative Joseph Crowley, a Democrat whose home district includes parts of Queens and the Bronx and then met with Representative Vito Fossella, a Republican whose home district includes parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn. In these small meetings, we were able to further detail the importance of the music industry to the US economy and the balance of trade, describe how internet piracy has cost Americans tens of thousands of jobs, and again stressed the importance of music education for our children.
After lunch, the next program was The Power of Music (to promote music education), hosted by Gloria Estefan. There were several performances with Gloria and various music students from Danville (Ark.) High School, a Grammy Foundation Signature School.
Next up were Senate briefings where Sen. Norm Coleman and Sen. Russ Feingold spoke about the importance of the music industry and answered questions from our group.
The crowning event of the day was the Grammy’s on the Hill dinner given by The Recording Academy. The Recording Academy honored Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Gloria Estefan and the Danville (Ark.) High School Music Department. In addition to the usual speeches and a silent auction, there were performances by Jon Secada and Crystal Gayle.
The 1st Annual Recording Arts Day was a resounding success. The MMF-US would like to thank Neil Portnow, Daryl Friedman and April Canter of the Recording Academy for their hard work and dedication in putting this event together.