The Washington Post has a story today that looks at how independent music scenes can transform local economies, focusing on Omaha, NE, where the city invested in an indie rock club with the hope that it would kick-start the economy.
It’s an experiment in arts investment for other mid-sized cities to watch, a government-backed indie rock weapon against urban decay.
At the center of the research behind the story is Michael Seman, a “music geographer” who is a senior research associate at the University of North Texas’s Center for Economic Development and Research. Seman is also a singer and guitarist in the Denton band Shiny Around the Edges. In a accompanying interview on the Washington Post‘s website, Seman talks about his field (music geography) and how music can help struggling towns and economies. A taste:
Music scenes can act as branding agents, spur urban redevelopment and emerge as industries in their own right. I’ve also found that music scene participants are civic-minded and often become involved in philanthropic pursuits, run for political office, and seek employment in city departments.