Making a Music City Home | Innovating Music Podcast

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Innovating Music Podcast

Listen to innovators, change agents, entrepreneurs, creators, and researchers who all are making big leaps, nudging change, creating differently, or watching what is happening from a unique POV.  Dr. Gigi Johnson from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music explores with our guests how tech is transforming how we create, collaborate, and create communities around music in a connected age — in our home towns and in communities across the globe.

This Episode

Jesse Elliott helped create The Music District to support and work with music ecosystems in Ft. Collins, CO. He shares his earlier work with Richard Florida, his journey as a musician and a creative community organizer. Jesse shares the challenges and unique pilots that have worked locally, and his work with other communities globally.

Photo: Ty Hyten

Guest: Jesse Elliott, Director, The Music District

Jesse Elliott, Director of the Music District, is a lifelong champion of collaborative creative efforts, social entrepreneurship, and the power of music and storytelling. He is the founder and songwriter of two rock and roll bands, These United States and Ark Life, who have released 6 albums and performed live 1,200 times in the last decade, from SXSW and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and your favorite local dive. Before music recaptured his heart, Elliott wrote books and speeches with economist Richard Florida, co-founded a community nonprofit at the University of Iowa, helped shoot a documentary on water rights in southern Mexico and Guatemala, and ran an Italian deli on the Jersey Shore. With his company Range Music Ecosystems, Elliott and his co-founder Dr. Bryce Merrill researched and wrote the music strategies for the City of Denver and the State of Colorado, and brought together international thinkers on music and community for the City of Austin, the Biennial of the Americas, and more.

The Music District brings together the art, business, technology, and community of one of humanity’s longest-standing sources of inspiration, communication, and collaboration. Equal parts creative laboratory, industry incubator, and town hall, the 57,000 square foot campus serves as a bridge between city and university, mountains and plains, in the free-wheeling innovation cauldron of Fort Collins, Colorado. Touring artists, scrappy start-ups, experienced technicians, global scholars, forward-thinking investors, and the hungriest music fans in the country will all find a home at the Music District. Seeded by Bohemian Foundation, which also puts its love, people, and money into other community, civic, and global causes, they will then bring that home to the wider world. Great songs, companies who care, and a commitment to the social fabric that makes life worth living are all at the heart of the District’s ambitious mission.

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