WBEZ | Chicago music office cultural affairs http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-music-office-cultural-affairs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Does Chicago finally have a Music Office? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-03/does-chicago-finally-have-music-office-105840 <p><p>Does Chicago finally have an office of the sort that champions local sounds and facilitates the music community&rsquo;s interactions with city government in lesser burgs such as Austin, Memphis, Nashville, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland?</p><p>Maybe, though the folks staffing it aren&rsquo;t calling it that yet, and they&rsquo;ve done very little so far to make anyone aware of it. They are, however, planning a big coming-out party&mdash;a Chicago Music Summit&mdash;in September, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/turnitup/chi-chicago-music-summit-20130228,0,6028188.column">according to a story by my <em>Sound Opinions </em>colleague Greg Kot in today&rsquo;s <em>Chicago Tribune</em></a> that marks the first public announcement about the office or the event.</p><p>This blog was harshly critical of the lack of specifics regarding the vibrant but always challenged local music scene in the expensive and much-ballyhooed Chicago Cultural Plan.</p><p>The most concrete suggestion to improve relations with a city bureaucracy that often seems determined to make things as difficult as possible for the local music industry&mdash;small clubs and promoters, independent labels and record stores and of course the musicians themselves&mdash;long has been a musical equivalent to <a href="https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/provdrs/chicago_film_office.html">the Chicago Film Office</a>.</p><p>Segments of the music community have been calling for such an office for decades. These calls grew louder and more desperate after the city&rsquo;s tone-deaf crackdown on local venues following the E2 disaster in 2003.</p><p>The financial justification for such an office was provided in a 2007 study by the University of Chicago that called our town &ldquo;a music city in hiding,&rdquo; dealing with a government that generally ignored an industry generating $84 million annually and employing 13,000 people. Still, the Chicago Cultural Plan never mentioned a Music Office once.</p><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not calling ourselves the &lsquo;music office&rsquo; just yet,&rdquo; musician-turned-city employee Dylan Rice told Kot. &ldquo;Right now it&rsquo;s just me and David Chavez&mdash;we&rsquo;re an army of two.&rdquo; (Rice&rsquo;s official title is director of creative industries-music; <strike>while his boss</strike> he oversees Chavez, <strike>a.k.a. the new <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-03-21/chicago-music-loses-michael-orlove-97514">Michael Orlove</a></strike>, program coordinator of creative industries. <strong>CORRECTED: </strong>A spokesperson for the Department of Culture Affairs and Special Events emailed to noted that &ldquo;David reports to Dylan, and David is not the new Mike Orlove. They do not program the DCASE music events for Performing Arts.&rdquo;)</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1ricechavez%20J.jpg" style="height: 251px; width: 620px;" title="Dylan Rice and David Chavez, from their Websites." /></div></div><p>Call them what you will.<strong> </strong>Rice, <a href="http://www.dylanrice.com/bio.html">a Utah native who&rsquo;s been kicking around the Chicago music scene since the late &rsquo;90s</a>, and Chavez, a well-respected DJ, former talent booker at the HotHouse and the force behind <a href="http://soundculturechicago.com/about/">Sound Culture Center for Global Arts</a>, say they will bring 500 musicians and industry types together for a day of educational panels and showcases at the Cultural Center on Sept. 20 as a first step toward building bridges and creating something like South by Southwest in Austin.</p><p>&ldquo;Our main job is to create policy and programs that support the growth of the music industry, and also to provide assistance with city processes&mdash;a customer service function,&rdquo; Rice tells Kot. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t issue permits and licenses, but we can help venue owners and concert promoters get them.&rdquo;</p><p>Noble as that is, Kot goes on to note that it&rsquo;s news to many people. Several key players in the local music industry weren&rsquo;t even aware that the city had at long last decided to put someone in such a position.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s hoping that Rice and Chavez actually will be able to create a functioning Chicago Music Office, making real all that optimistic but nebulous consultant-speak in the Cultural Plan, as well as fulfilling Mayor Rahm Emmanuel&rsquo;s so-far empty rhetoric about loving Chicago music.</p><p><strong><u>Earlier reports in this blog about these issues</u></strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/cultural-plan-music-specifics-nonexistent-100949">July 16, 2012: The Cultural Plan on music: Specifics nonexistent</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-03-27/chicago%E2%80%99s-indie-festivals-face-increased-challenges-97668">March 27, 2012: Chicago&rsquo;s indie festivals face increased challenges</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-01-25/cultural-affairs-update-music-out-cold-now-95802">Jan. 26, 2012: Cultural Affairs update: Music out in the cold (for now)</a></p></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 10:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-03/does-chicago-finally-have-music-office-105840