- Joy Styles is represents District 32 in Southeast Nashville on the Metro (Nashville-Davidson County) Council.
- Nashville Mayor John Cooper has proposed a new music, film and entertainment office.
- The Metro Council is considering an Entertainment Commission.
- These will help elevate Nashville’s brand.
You can see it everywhere you turn in Nashville: artists and creativity on display.
It is in the murals across the city, theatre at Tennessee Performing Arts Center, public art such as “Stix,” the wooden poles at the Korean Veterans Parkway traffic circle, and, of course, the life blood of Nashville: music.
Songs that spill out of the honky-tonks on Broadway, and the life-changing songs that are written on Music Row. We are, after all, Music City, U.S.A.
But our description as Music City is expanding now in a great way. In addition to creating, producing and showcasing music, we also have video gaming, virtual reality, film and television projects coming to Nashville.
Monolith Studios is now building a 40-acre complex in Hendersonville. This team provided the virtual reality components for the Star Wars Disney+ show, “The Mandalorian.” We are steadily becoming a destination for all things entertainment, and with that expansion comes the need for infrastructure and investment to be ready for these new opportunities.
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Create pathways for talent to say in town
In Tennessee, we have 28,000 workers and over 1,500 businesses in entertainment. Over the last 10 years, we have grown 57% in film and video production, and music production is up 37%.
Annually, the state only provides $2 million in incentives, and that is not enough. Last month, state Sen. Heidi Campbell proposed an amendment to the state budget of an additional $5 million dollars to draw projects to Tennessee.
While it did not pass, unfortunately, these new projects demonstrate that we need to have more collaboration and investment on both the state and local level.
To that end, Mayor Cooper announced during the State of Metro in April that we are working together to create an Office of Music, Film and Entertainment that amongst other things, will streamline the process for permitting as well as engage Nashville regionally, nationally and internationally.
With all of our talent, we need to create pathways for workers to remain in town for work and not have to travel.
“Kudos to Mayor Cooper, Council Members Styles and Syracuse for their work in creating the Office of Music, Film and Entertainment,” Senator Campbell said. “The entertainment industry is a huge economic driver in our state and we look forward to working with municipalities to support the growth opportunity in this space.”
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Proposed entertainment commission would elevate our brand
This office will contribute to generating revenue for the city and the state, and perhaps encourage Governor Lee to add more funding next year for entertainment in the budget.
It would be great if we can also create soft incentives as an additional advantage to working in Nashville.
This office is long overdue and allows us the opportunity to fully celebrate, support and encourage our film and entertainment communities, in addition to music.
So many in town have wanted to get this office off the ground, and over the next few months we will be working with stakeholders to make this a sustainable reality.
To increase the success of our soon-to-be new office, we have filed an ordinance to create the Nashville Entertainment Commission.
This commission would be made up of representatives from the music, film, gaming and entertainment industries, which would assist in marketing and promoting our city, draw new productions to town and work with the new office to elevate our brand.
Music City, U.S.A. is who we are. Always will be. But now, we are taking our other name, NashVegas, to whole new level. Get ready.
Joy Styles represents District 32 in Southeast Nashville on the Metro (Nashville-Davidson County) Council