Two of Northwest Arkansas’ top nonprofits are working together with a London-based firm to create and deliver a strategy to increase the value of the region’s music ecosystem.
The Northwest Arkansas Council is working with the Walton Family Foundation on the initiative, which will be guided by a company based in London, Sound Diplomacy.
The global advisory firm advises “cities, regions and countries on using their assets to build robust music scenes,” according to a news release. The firm will send representatives to the region to do field research, lead roundtable discussions and conduct interviews with people in the public and private sectors about the project. It’s part of a strategy to put Northwest Arkansas on the music industry’s map.
In recent years, the region’s music ecosystem has grown significantly, with such facilities as the Walmart AMP outdoor amphitheater in Rogers and Haxton Road Studios and The House of Songs Ozarks, both in downtown Bentonville. The opening in 2020 of The Momentary, a visual and performing arts venue near the 8th Street Market in downtown Bentonville, is also highly anticipated.
“Northwest Arkansas has a storied musical history and is an important driver of the region’s economy and livability,” Mike Harvey, the council’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We want to make sure that we have a robust ecosystem in place to realize our potential as one of America’s music destinations.”
The research visit is scheduled the week of Sept. 24-28. A public input event will be held Sept. 25 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Information about the audit will also be updated regularly at this link. The firm will present its findings and a music strategy for the region sometime in the second quarter of 2019.