Artists, makers, and musicians alike came together tonight for an open forum with Sound Diplomacy - a music and culture consulting firm hired by the City of Huntsville to help foster and grow an already burgeoning creative scene in the city.
The forum was held at Yellowhammer Brewing's Lost Highway Bierhall, which was filled to capacity. The meeting marked the start of a 'musical audit,' where the consulting firm will take inventory of artists, musicians, venues, and policies in order to help steer the city in a more artist-friendly direction. Many of the local artists who attended also voiced concerns about the current state of affairs in the local scenes.
Local artist Ruthie Borden Lay, of the Dixie Danger Dolls, says, "One of the things I got from the meeting was that every scene seems to have a lot of the same problems: Attendance, bands being paid, venues. It seems to be all across the board as a blanket. The issues have kinda been the same... We need to change the culture to where people come out on a weeknight, to where people will come out and see a local band, and see a touring band that might not be their favorite, but it's a way for Huntsville to stop being that 'just in between Nashville and Birmingham and Atlanta."
The City of Huntsville reportedly paid $165,000 to Sound Diplomacy for the audit, which will take place over the next 14 months.