BrandArena: Recording Academy Launches 'Summer of Advocacy' to Promote Positive Social Change

Saturday 27 June 2020

Recording Academy Launches 'Summer of Advocacy' to Promote Positive Social Change

Today, the Recording Academy announced a summer 2020 call-to-action initiative to help provide pandemic relief for music creators and music businesses, and to promote positive social change through legislation. The seven-week-long effort will culminate with the Academy's 7th annual District Advocate event.

During the Recording Academy's "Summer of Advocacy," members will connect directly with their legislators to work to improve the conditions for music creators and music businesses. Black communities have been particularly hard-hit, and data shows the recovery is too slow. As Black music is a cornerstone of the music industry, Academy members will highlight this disparity in the recovery.

The initiative will feature various calls-to-action during the summer months, leading up to a nationwide day of advocacy on Aug. 12, when Recording Academy members will meet with members of Congress virtually in support of key legislative issues affecting the music industry. Starting June 26, members of the Recording Academy can register to take action in the first step of the largest advocacy movement for music creators.

Thousands of Academy members — both working professionals and creators — will activate across the country in the coming months in fighting for fair protections for music creators, a safe return for music performances, and an equitable recovery across all communities and a bipartisan approach to bringing harmony to our citizens.

"We are grateful to Congress for the provisions in the CARES Act that helped freelance creators," said Harvey Mason jr, Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "The Academy has proven before that when the voices of creators are heard on Capitol Hill, legislators listen. Now we call on Congress to improve the provisions to ensure creators fully benefit from the intent of the law, and that underserved communities get their fair share of the aid."

The livelihoods of artists have been particularly devastated by the pandemic. Music creators watched their incomes disappear as concerts were cancelled, bars and restaurants shuttered, and recording studios closed. The median income for a professional musician is less than $25,000 a year, and independent music professionals will be among the last to return to work as the nation gradually reopens. Data also shows that black-owned businesses and workers are not benefitting equally in the recovery, and this disparity must also be addressed.

Recording Academy members taking part in District Advocate will ask members of Congress to ensure specific actions are taken to protect the creative workforce and are included in the upcoming round of stimulus, specifically:

Continued COVID-19 relief for all music creators
Academy members secured important provisions in the CARES Act. Now it's time to expand and improve upon that relief as the next stimulus package is written. Provisions must help freelance music creators and benefit underserved communities equally.

Tax relief for music and its makers
Performers and concert spaces from coast to coast are suffering. Real tax provisions have been written to help bring the music back to recording studios and concert venues. Let's get that passed into law.

District Advocate, along with the Recording Academy's annual GRAMMYs on the Hill in April (cancelled this year due to COVID-19), are the Recording Academy's premiere advocacy events, and are credited by bipartisan legislators with helping to pass the Music Modernization Act into law — the largest update to music legislation in the past 40 years.

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