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Angela Puerta, trying to help musicians in a local music scene

This is from the episode of the podcast with Musician Angela Puerta.

I got the chance to meet musician Angela Puerta on my podcast and she told me about how she is also involved in a committee to help bring more diversity to the music scene and festival line-ups. 

Of course, as a musician myself, I was very curious to find out more about what they were trying to do!

As a person myself who's been playing music in town here since the mid-90s, I know that there have been different types of committees that have tried to do this in the past. I guess I'd like to know what your plan is? Right now playing in town here it's not lucrative.

I've experienced that a lot because I started singing with a band realizing that you know like 500 dollars being split by eight, ten people you end up with very little money. 

Where are you playing for five hundred dollars because even I don't know where that is?

Festivals. If you play let's say Orton Park or Fete De Marquette that's kind of what you want. Now to give you the answer like, what we're gonna do. 

The main idea is to determine what the economic impact in music is right now. First of all and by that, I mean how much a concert brings to the economy. In reality when I mean the economy I mean how much in sales, for drinking beverages, how much in hotel rooms, how much obviously in tickets and other expenses that go beyond just the concert per se. 

For example one of the things that we want to work on is the inclusion part of it. You have concerts, who is opening for that big artist? Who is taking part of that money right? We want local musicians to open. So that might be one of the potential outcomes. 

So we need partnerships. We've been talking to Frank Productions, The Overture Center, and different organizations that see music as a big piece of their economy. Especially the tourism part. So making them work with us as well. 

Why don't we have local musicians and standardize the payment for them? Because that's that's one of the biggest problems that in so many cases there is not an awareness about the value of music! 

I've received emails like, 'Hey do you wanna play and you get an amazing exposure?' People offer you exposure to play at a bar. They pretend that they will pay you in exposure. 

So what are people expecting from a musician? You spent so much money on equipment. it's a lot of money. I have to spend time practicing. So those things are not really a value for people or they just forget about it. They just see the product right? They just see those three minutes, four minutes, that you are sharing your art. But it's like how much would you charge for a song that is just five minutes? 

If you go to a lawyer, the lawyer is not going to charge you for five minutes. So we want to build awareness. We want to raise the voice of local musicians especially musicians who don't have the access to stages and by that I mean diversify. Not only rock, not only blues but hip-hop artists.

It's a big work because it's not only a social type of work it's an economic work. It's a plan that we have with this consultant firm. We don't have the expertise that they have. They have worked in many cities around the US and around the world and they know how to gather the data, how to interpret the data. 

So we want to work with them and see and see what comes out of this. We want to partner with different organizations in Madison we make sure that we work collaboratively because that's something that we are missing right now. How we can raise the voices of the underserved populations, the stigmatized like hip-hop. We bring local artists to the big venues in very well paid stages so they get the exposure and they get paid very well. 

We have a long way to go but it's a matter of also raise awareness of the importance of music in our health and in our tourism.

Listen to the whole podcast with Angela Puerta

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