The Aug. 31 announcement that the Grammy Museum Foundation has approved an agreement with Georgia Music Accord to bring a Grammy Museum to Atlanta is yet another example of the power and influence Fulton County’s music industry has, and the county government had a major role in the process.
“Fulton County’s music economy is in the top 10 in the nation, and you have more music output than New York and Seattle. Fulton County is responsible for 34% of the entire music ecosystem in the state,” said Shain Shapiro, group CEO of Sound Diplomacy, the London-based music policy consultancy firm that partnered with the county and state on a study of Fulton’s music industry.
Shapiro spoke at the Fulton Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 16 recess meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the study’s findings were released.
In July 2019, Georgia Music Partners, in partnership with the county and Sound Diplomacy, announced the launch of a six-month comprehensive study of recording studios, rehearsal spaces, music venues and music festivals in Fulton.
Georgia Music Partners is an Atlanta-based nonprofit working with state officials to foster growth in the music industry through an increase and jobs and tax incentives for music companies. The county and state each contributed $250,000 for the study.
In June 2019, the board approved a separate $250,000 feasibility study (with the state also chipping in the same amount) for a possible Grammy Museum to come to Fulton. The original Grammy Museum is in Los Angeles and will not move to Atlanta. Instead, a second one will be built here.
The museum is devoted to the music recording industry, and the Grammys are the annual awards the Recording Academy hands out. Atlanta’s museum would also include educational programs for students across the state.
“The goal is to grow the ecosystem in Georgia, retain the talent and celebrate what’s here,” Tammy Hurt, president of the Georgia Music Accord and vice-chair of the Recording Academy’s board of trustees, said in a news release. “We have homegrown talent here, and we have the industry here. We have such a vast diversity of talent here. It’s a story that has to be told.”
Al Nash, CEO of Select Fulton, a nonprofit that works with other organizations to bring economic development to the county, and Fulton board Chair Robb Pitts pushed for the museum to come to Fulton.
“We are one of the best places to create a music career or start a (music) business,” he said. “If you read what’s happening right now, a lot of the production to fill the content for all the streaming and (TV) programs is done here. The other component is the (video) gaming world. A lot of (music) production for that content is happening here also.”
A location for Atlanta’s Grammy Museum has not been determined yet.