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January 29, 1998

From 1992 to Today:

Louisiana Music Commission Initiatives and Activities Generate More Than $9 Million Impact

(NEW ORLEANS LA) January 29, 1998--Ellis L. Marsalis Jr., Chairman of the Louisiana Music Commission (LMC) today announced that the small state agency has generated more than $9 million in economic impact and activities in its work to promote and develop Louisiana's music industry.

Citing a laundry list of projects, initiatives and unprecedented international press coverage, Marsalis stated that, "Music is a vital component of Louisiana's economy, and the Louisiana Music Commission is setting new standards for promotion and development of our world renown music resources."

"The average state employee works 9 to 5," noted LMC Executive Director Bernie Cyrus. "But music is our life; therefore, we often burn the midnight oil. And there are more things going on in Louisiana's music industry than most people imagine. The demands on the LMC staff are considerable, we get more than 5000 calls a year, but we want to do much more. Because of our efforts, Louisiana music is being broadcast on worldwide shortwave radio, there are shows on television and radio is expanding its support Today, we are dominating certain genres of music."

"We've posted our plans on the world wide web, including our Strategic Plan," noted Marsalis. "We want people to read about us and help us maximize the impact of our music resources." The LMC has formulated a Strategic Plan with initiatives for developing more outlets for local music, better technical support for local music businesses, and for educational initiatives to not only transmit the state's rich cultural music legacy to middle school students, but to develop the workforce as well.

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Allen Toussaint, praised the LMC's efforts while taping a recent Christmas television special produced by Bernie Cyrus. "We've been blessed with a lot of creativity in Louisiana," Toussaint said. "but not much business savvy in our industry; however, we've learned our lessons. And Bernie Cyrus and the Louisiana Music Commission are leading the way."

The LMC has been modestly funded over the years. Since 1992 the LMC has received a total of less than $600,000 from the state on which to operate. "We believe we're the most cost-effective agency in government," said Chairman Marsalis. "And these numbers are conservative." The list of economic impact items noted by the LMC include:

The Louisiana Music Commission, according to La.R.S. 25:315-317, exists "to promote and develop popular commercial music and its related industries in Louisiana." This broad mandate allows the LMC to work on diverse issues such as live music, education, business infrastructure, broadcasting and production. It is the responsibility of the LMC to develop a marketing plan for the promotion of Louisiana music resources, an education plan to preserve our musical legacies, to develop the work force that serves the industry, to initiate broadcasting and multimedia initiatives, and to implement general business initiatives for the Louisiana music industry. The LMC operates as an agency within the Louisiana Department of Economic Development.


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Louisiana Music Commission
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600 Fax: 504-838-5280

Email: lmc@louisianamusic.org

©1997, 1998 Louisiana Music Commission
We encourage the dissemination of these news stories. Please credit the Louisiana Music Commission as the source.