Seattle Office of Film + Music

Fourth Annual City of Music Career Day Biggest (and Best) Yet!


On Wednesday, April 22nd, over 300 high school juniors and seniors and college students from across the city and greater metropolitan area attended the fourth annual City of Music Career Day at Seattle Center.  A Seattle Music Commission initiative, Career Day is an annual, one-day, free educational program that provides future leaders of Seattle’s creative community with direct access to music industry professionals through networking, experiential learning, engaging workshops, and performance. This year’s event was the largest to date and also marked the first City of Music Career Day event produced collaboratively by the Office of Film + Music, Office of Arts & Culture, EMP Museum, and One Reel.

Mayor Murray set an inspiring tone for the day with his opening comments on how Seattle’s rich musical legacy set the framework for its current climate of musical exploration, creativity, and innovation. Office of Film + Music Director Kate Becker and Office of Arts & Culture Director Randy Engstrom also addressed the crowd and set the stage for keynote speakers Ryan Lewis (producer/musician) and Zach Quillan (manager, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) to talk with KEXP’s John Richards about living and working in the music industry in Seattle.

Students engaged with a wide variety of industry experts, learning about music career opportunities in performance, management, concert production, arts organizations, record label operations, retail, licensing, journalism, and broadcasting, through targeted breakout sessions. Sessions featured working musicians Hollis Wong-Wear, Tomo Nakayama, Erik Blood, and Vitamin D along with industry professionals from Rhapsody, DigiPen, AEG Live, Amazon, and others.

Following the breakout sessions, students met one-on-one with mentors and talked with representatives from organizations including KEXP, The Recording Academy, Barsuk Records, Brown Paper Tickets, Sub Pop Records, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Votiv, Fremont Abbey Arts Center, and many more.

The jam-packed day concluded with performances from Shaprece and Tomo Nakayama and, for the first time, an “After Party” where students networked with their peers, sharing their experience of the day and swapping stories. EMP Youth Advisory Board member Marco Schurgurensky DJ’d the After Party which featured City of Music Career Day cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes. Feedback from the student attendees has been fantastic, and plans are already in the works to make City of Music Career Day 2016 even bigger and better.





On Saturday, January 31st, the Office of Film + Music’s Director, Kate Becker, and Creative Industries Advocate, Mikhael Mei Williams, participated in the day long City of Music: Black Music Summit at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Orchestrated by Seattle Music Commissioner Wyking Garrett, this event is an evolution and direct outreach program of the Music Commission’s annual City of Music Career Day held each spring at the Seattle Center. The goal of the Roadshow events is to engage local communities around equity and opportunities in Seattle’s music industry and to provide a framework for discussion around ways to ensure Seattle’s vibrant music scene is accessible and open to everyone.

Over 150 people attended and participated throughout the day long event, including six Music Commissioners. Panels covered a variety of topics including the state of Black Music in Seattle, how to make a living in today’s music business, and how music can be used to activate and enrich neighborhoods. Panelists featured a mix of working artists and performers, promoters, venue owners and operators, and music and cultural organizations and included Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces/Sub Pop Records; Ouwar Arunga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Arunga Music, LLC; Jazmyn Scott, The Town Entertainment; Ricardo Frazer, Seattle Music Commission/Zaki Rose Agency; LaTanya “Sista Luv” Horace, Singer/Songwriter; Tendai Baba Maraire, Shabazz Palaces/Chimerunga Renaissance; Larry Mizell, The Stranger/KEXP; Lara Davis and Liz Johnson, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; Evelyn Allen, Exec. Director Village Spirit Center for Community Change; Suntionio Bandanaz, 206Zulu and many others.

The event generated lively conversation and discussion around challenges facing the Black music community and how artists, musicians, promoters, and others working in the industry could better connect to create more opportunities to make a living in music. The event involved a high-level of active participation and collaboration and the ideas, strategies, and feedback that resulted from the summit will help inform the direction of the City of Music Initiative as it progresses.

Seattle Music Commissioner and Black Music Summit organizer Wyking Garrett kicking off the program.


“State of Black Music” panel featuring Jazmyn Scott, Ouwar Arunga, Ishmael Butler, Music Commissioner Wyking Garrett, Dr. James Gore, Music Commissioner Ricardo Frazer, and Erinn “Ms. Urban 411” Renee


City of Music Career Day Roadshow – this Saturday, Jan. 31st
January 28, 2015, 11:47 am
Filed under: Music, Seattle City of Music Initiative, Seattle Music Commission

Black-Music-Summit_webMusic is a $2+ Billion industry in Seattle with over 20,000 jobs represented. African-Americans and the Central District have played a significant role in the development of Seattle’s rich musical legacy – from jazz and blues to funk and hip hop – yet have minimal representation in the industry economics and policy influence.

The Black Music Summit “A Motown in Seattle?” will take place this Saturday, January 31st from 11 am to 6 pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. This event is free and open to the public.

Register online now

The purpose of this summit is to bring together stakeholders—musicians, artists, promoters, venue owners and operators, members of the media, educators, and other industry participants—to increase awareness of available opportunities and strengthen networks for action. The goal is to address the current state, and future growth, of Black Music in Seattle and the Central District and explore the opportunities and challenges in the context of Seattle’s City of Music Initiative to make Seattle a global music mecca by 2020.

The Roadshows were developed as an outreach tool for the annual City of Music Career Day to provide information, assess challenges and opportunities, and provide access to the music industry in underrepresented communities. These events showcase talent in these hyper-local communities and bring neighborhoods together to celebrate their vibrant and rich musical histories and cultures.

The Black Music Summit “A Motown in Seattle” program schedule features the following:

  • 11:00am – 12pm Industry Stakeholders Meet & Greet Brunch
  • 12:15pm Welcome & Opening Statements
    • Kate Becker, Director Seattle Office of Film & Music
    • Randy Engstrom, Director, Seattle Office of Art & Culture
  • 12:30 State of Black Music in Seattle
    • Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces/SubPop Records
    • Ouwar Arunga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/Arunga Music, LLC
    • Dr. James Gore, Ariel Media/Jackson St. Music Program
    • Jazmyn Scott, The Town Ent.
    • Erinn “Ms. Urban 411” Renee, C89.5FM The Gospel Show/Rite Marketing
  • 1:45pm – 2:45 Feast or Famine: Making Money In Today’s Music Biz
    • LaTanya “Sista Luv” Horace, Singer/Songwriter
    • Darryl Crews, Executive, Sky Movement (Tacoma, WA)
    • Tendai Baba Maraire, Shabazz Palaces/Chimerunga Renaissance
    • Larry Mizell, The Stranger
    • Lara Davis, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
    • Mark Henderson, International Musican & Band Leader (Hong Kong)
  • 3:15-4:15 Using Music To Activate Neighborhoods Roundtable
    • Royal Alley Barnes, Executive Director, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
    • Evelyn Allen – Exec. Dir., Village Spirit Center for Community Change
    • Felix Ngoussou, Owner – Lake Chad Cafe
    • Liz Johnson, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
    • Jason Davidson, Owner – Cortona Cafe & Parklet
    • Robert Stevens – African American Veterans Group of Washington State/23rd Ave ACT/Garfield Community Council
    • Savior Knowledge, Union Street Business Association
    • Heidi Jackson, CEO Hidmo Cypher
    • Suntonio Bandanaz – Artists, 206Zulu
  • Young Artists Roundtable facilitated by Freshest Roots
  • 4:30 -5:45 Music, Technology & Marketing presented by Hack The CD

The Roadshow events are produced by Seattle Music Commissioner K. Wyking Garrett of UMOJA PEACE Center in collaboration with the Office of Film + Music, Seattle Music Commission, and the Office of Arts & Culture.

Meet the Two City of Music Interns
January 15, 2015, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Music

The Seattle City of Music Internship, a Seattle Music Commission program produced in partnership with Sub Pop and KEXP, launched in December 2014 with an open call for applicants to participate in the inaugural year. Over 100 applications were received and, after a rigorous interview and selection process, two City of Music interns were selected.

Bella Pham and Geran Landen were chosen as the inaugural City of Music interns and began their 12-month internship January 5th.


Bella is a junior at Seattle University where she’s majoring in Strategic Communications and working part-time as a DJ at the college radio station when she’s not holed up in the library focused on her studies.

BellaFInalClose 2


Geran is also a student at Seattle University where he’s majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Biology. Geran works as the Music Director for Seattle University campus radio station and spends his free time immersed in Seattle’s music scene – researching new bands and attending concerts.



The year-long City of Music internship program is divided into four experiences with each intern spending three months at four music focused businesses – KEXP, a Seattle-based non-profit radio station; Seattle Theatre Group (STG), a non-profit arts organization which operates historic theaters; Sub Pop Records, a record label that has been signing artists and selling records since 1988; and Rhapsody, an online music service.

The hope is that Bella and Geran will come away from the internship with a broadened perspective on Seattle’s music scene and the many organizations that maintain its importance as a staple of the city’s culture (and  that they’ll have had a rockin’ fun time in the process!)

Congratulations Bella and Geran!

Mayor Proclaims November 28, 2014 Foo Fighters Day in the City of Seattle
November 26, 2014, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Music



Twenty years ago, Dave Grohl formed and founded the Foo Fighters and recorded its self titled album in Seattle at Robert Lang Studios with local producer, Barrett Jones. On November 28, HBO will debut its Seattle segment of Foo Fighters Sonic Highways dedicated to the Seattle music scene, past and present.

Seattle is proud to be a part of Foo Fighters’ musical journey and honored to be featured in both the Sonic Highways documentary and new Foo Fighters album of the same name. The Foo Fighters are greatly appreciated for their contributions to the Seattle music scene over the last 20 years and for showing the world through their documentary the diversity, history, and importance of the Seattle music scene. Today, Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed November 28, 2014 to be Foo Fighters Day in the city of Seattle.

Welcome Mikhael Mei Williams, Creative Industries Advocate
November 6, 2014, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Music


The Office of Film + Music (OFM) welcomes Mikhael Mei Williams as our new Creative Industries Advocate. Mikhael is very well-known and respected in the music industry, having worked for both AEG and One Reel, among other organizations. A Seattle native, Mikhael credits the city’s vibrant art, music, and entertainment landscape as the impetus for her career in marketing and communications with a specific focus on promoting the creative economy. She is a strategic marketing, communications and management specialist with a proven track record planning and leading comprehensive communications and promotional strategies – from public and media relations outreach; to marketing, branding and advertising campaigns; to gala and special events planning and management – for diverse arts, cultural and entertainment organizations. She’ll be focused on growing and supporting creative industry and nightlife businesses, staffing the Music Commission and its initiatives such as the City of Music, and enhancing OFM communications. Welcome, Mikhael!

Goodbye Rachel White, Film + Music Creative Industries Manager
October 30, 2014, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Music


When Rachel White interviewed for the Film Permit Liaison with the Office of Film + Music in 2006, she told then director James Keblas “I am kind of a big deal.”  And she was right.  This week we say goodbye to Rachel as she leaves the office and launches her photography business, Off White Photography.  In her eight years with the Office of Film + Music, Rachel did everything in the department at some point (film, music, nightlife, startup, special events, photography).  After transitioning from Film Permitting to Music, Rachel was the driver of the City of Music Initiative and the City of Music Awards (she got Quincy Jones!), which would not have happened without her.  Rachel helped create the Seattle Music Commission, which she has managed since 2010, as well as the Experience the City of Music at Sea-Tac Airport Program.  Rachel’s work over the past eight years has helped shape the music and nightlife industry as we know it today.  Fare thee well, Rachel!  We love you and will miss you.



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