Invest Atlanta, in partnership with City National Bank, 902 Hip Hop, The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Recordings (FACTOR), and Spotify Secret Genius, recently hosted the Creative Industries Exchange program to help rising leaders in the music industry acquire new knowledge and improve their leadership capacity.
Four emerging music business executives from Atlanta traveled to Toronto for one week during the beginning of May, where they were able to learn from international and influential music business executives. During the week, the executives learned tactics to strengthen their businesses operations, developed new ways of thinking about business to lead with new perspectives, and gained a deeper understanding of an international music industry. In addition to the music executives, one producer and one songwriter participated in the Exchange with support from Spotify Secret Genius and City National Bank.
“Not only do we want Atlanta to continue to be a launching pad for creative businesses, but we also want to be more intentional in providing the local Atlanta creative community opportunities to grow and expand with support from the city,” said Nathan Regan, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for Invest Atlanta. “Hosting the Creative Industries Exchange was a first step in building a new network and creating international opportunities. As a result of the program, the executives have been able to obtain new clients, secure international partnerships, and recruit talent to the City of Atlanta.”
Participants were involved in a variety of programming, including visits and meetings with Universal Music Entertainment, SOCAN Music, SAC Songwriters Association of Canada, Sony Music Entertainment, Apple Music, YouTube, and Google Play. The participants were also involved in a three-day music summit during Canadian Music Week, where they shared their backgrounds and expertise through podcasts, panels, and interactive classes.
“The Creative Industries Exchange allowed for a unique and innovative global partnership to happen,” said Melissa MacMaster, Founder and Owner of 902 Hip Hop. “Bridging the gap between the Canadian and U.S music industry was a way to create new business opportunities for the Atlanta executives and build a strong network of industry relationships that they can continue to foster and grow.”
“I learned so much in one week hanging with this group and appreciated the opportunity to contribute my career experiences,” said Jhordan Gibbs. Gibbs is the Co-Founder of Milk & Cookies Festival, which produces 20-25 concerts annually with touring artists, and was the first Talent Relations Manager for the Atlanta Hawks.
“Both Atlanta and Toronto are young cities taking center stage. I am tremendously proud to have been a member of an executive team that represented the great City of Atlanta in Toronto,” said Rachel Jackson. Jackson is the Director of A&R at RocNation, where she scouts and develops talent, coordinates record deals, and manages creative music processes.
In 2018, Invest Atlanta launched the Creative Industries Loan Fund in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment. The program offers loans with low-interest rates and flexible repayment plans for independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs in the City of Atlanta to assist with production, post-production, distribution, marketing outreach, touring, prototype development, product development, and sales and attraction for their creative projects.