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Greater Madison Music City (GMMC), a local music and creative network, has partnered with global consultant Sound Diplomacy to act on the recommendations of the 2019 City of Madison Task Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment and incorporate music into Madison’s COVID-19 recovery planning.

While the GMMC core team convened in early 2020, the work intensified as COVID-19 has shuttered venues, canceled festivals, and created economic hardship for the city’s music and creative industry.

Madison Task Force chair, President of Urban Community Arts Network, and GMMC lead, Dr. Karen Reece, said, “We began this work due to discrimination creating unequal access to stages for Hip-Hop artists and other artists of color. Racial equity will remain the focus of this work and our success will require broad community involvement with partners from music, government, private business sectors.”

To date, this project was allocated $45,000 from the City of Madison Room Tax Commission with additional financial support from Dane Arts, City of Madison Planning Department, Arts Wisconsin, Madison Public Library, and other resources.

While GMMC encourages greater involvement across arenas, the core team has engaged in initial discussions with musicians, community partners, businesses and other stakeholders.The team encourages anyone interested to reach out to become involved.

Initial support from the City of Madison and Dane County has helped to jumpstart the project. Dr. Linda Vakunta, Deputy Mayor said, "For meaningful change to occur, it is critical that a wide swath of community and music industry leaders come together with a shared vision of how to foster the music sectors recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. When we rebound we will need a plan for a vibrant, equitable scene where musicians thrive, music businesses flourish, and audiences abound." Mark Fraire, Dane County Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs said, “In alignment with Dane County’s continued efforts to support the local economy during this pandemic and to honor diversity, inclusion, and equity in all arenas, Dane Arts supports this effort to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to generate a stronger more robust music industry.”

Featuring performances by local musicians, GMMC will host a virtual event Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at noon. Visit to register.