It’s June! In the words of Manrepeller's Leandra Medine, it’s just about time to #lovesummerhateeverything else. I, for one, cannot get on board with this sentiment. I live in New York City; a muggy sweaty mess of a city that is basically unbearable the second the temperature hits above 70. What I can get on board with this June is New York Music Month, an entire month dedicated to the thriving local music scene, with both industry and public facing events for amateurs and professionals alike. Music Month boasts everything from panel discussions, festivals, and live shows all around the city reflecting every genre of music and the creators who make it.
This year’s Music Month kicked off with an encouraging announcement from the NYC Mayor’s Office. A few weeks ago, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) announced that it would be dedicating $500,000 to grants for local female-identifying producers, composers, engineers, solo musicians, ensemble bands and orchestras. Creators can be given up to $20,000 to put towards recording a previously unreleased body of music or visual including albums, EPs, and music videos. Recipients of the grant will be announced in March of 2020.
Anne del Castillo, the newly minted commissioner of the MOME, said that this grant was motivated at least in part by a USC Annenberg report that found just 10% of Grammy nominees from 2013–2019 were female. This doesn’t come as a shock, seeing as how the Grammys have been unable to avoid criticism surrounding this topic in recent years. In fact, this sort of criticism probably lead to Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy and Resident Mansplainer, being replaced by Deborah Dugan as of July of this year.
Let me start by saying I love hearing news like this. There’s enough nonsense in the world that often makes me cringe at even the idea of checking the news, and I was pleasantly surprised when this news story appeared at the top of my feed in my morning perusal of Billboard. The fact that the disparity in recognition for women creators is being acknowledged on this high of a level is reassuring. I do, though, have to say that monetary support is not the only answer to this problem. Monetary support has to be followed by actual action and recognition for women creators shouldn’t be reserved to one month out of the year. My hope is that actions aimed to balance out this type of gender disparity in the music industry (and let’s face it, all industries) are eventually unnecessary, but for now let’s celebrate this small victory.
Do you live in NYC? Is there a NYMM event I shouldn’t miss out on? Is there a female-fronted band you think I need to know about? Hit me up on socials or comment below! Happy Music Month to all.
PS: I would be remiss not to mention that June is also Pride! So happy Pride to all my LGBTQ+ friends and allies. Celebrating you today and every day.
#TheCrush Report is a monthly recap of what's happening in the biz by music publicist Chloe Cardio. You can follow Chloe onInstagram and Twitter.
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