NOLAmotion Blog

August 3, 2008

The REAL Louisiana Music Commission

Filed under: Louisiana politics,Music,Politics — nolamotion @ 11:49 am

With the State of Louisiana annually funding the Tipitina’s Foundation at a higher rate than it ever budgeted for the Louisiana Music Commission, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Tip’s has become the state’s de facto music commission. That’s fine because the foundation has done an amazing job establishing it’s model and growing it for the benefit of all concerned. Not only does the foundation create an invaluable networking opportunity for musicians via it’s offices and workshops, but it also provides jobs within its growing structure. And in an industry in which real, full time jobs are harder and harder to come by, this is no small feat.

I say kudos to Roland and Mary Von Kurnatowski, Bill Taylor and the staff of Tipitina’s Foundation. While the state neglects its own formal music responsibilities via a budget-less, office-less, website-less and functionally broken music commission, the foundation keeps chugging along, helping musicians connect with resources and, most significantly, each other as they struggle in the ever-more-difficult business of music. My hat’s off to Tipitina’s as they continue to grow.

Not that the Louisiana Music Commission is totally dormant. They’ve been planning, studying and meeting for more than 2 years now, having actually accomplished nothing. This is in sharp contrast to the work of the LMC in years past.

In our first two years, 1992 to 1994, with a total annual budget of $56,000, the LMC was a busy and productive entity. We created and produced two commercial radio shows, developed a live television show (LTV that went on to air 100 unique episodes featuring a total of nearly 300 musical guests), created New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration, secured the launch ceremonies for the Louis Armstrong stamp, saved the Aaron Neville Christmas Special which resulted in securing a $10,000 donation to Farm Aid (held at the Superdome that year), and more. Here’s a copy of a report from back then. It was on the agency’s website. But, as I’ve noted before, the url and 8 years of web postings were thrown away during the Blanco years. Interestingly, Gov. Jindal has reappointed one of the contributors to the LMC’s demise.

The LMC recently met in Shreveport and announced plans to try to attend MIDEM (a very costly undertaking) and to study Branson and Austin–all things that have been done before. They continue to be mired in outdated perceptions of the music industry based on the tired and often self-serving rhetoric of the commission’s reappointed chair, Maggie Warwick. And now, after 2 years of dawdling I believe it’s time for everyone to admit that the LMC is dead and that Tipitina’s Foundation is the best hope for Louisiana’s musicians seeking to improve their lives and business models.

But what do I know.

Here are more links to past pages on the defunct LMC site:

Unsolicited Quotes and Press: 1992-95

Unsolicited Quotes and Press: 1995-98

LMC Site Map Page Here is the overview of all the pages that were lost, including a vast Louisiana music News archive from 1997-2005

Here is a link to 43 LMC Press Releases issued between 1999 and 2003. Have you seen any of the releases issued by the current LMC?

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