AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Music Office director Brendon Anthony is ready to put some “runs on the board.”
That was the challenge Anthony laid out last summer, as he traveled the state to introduce himself as the first new leader of the office in over two decades.
The Dallas Morning News reports the goal at that time was to listen and learn from industry experts – about 1,100 of them so far.
But even then, people were pining for substantive results. And now Anthony can share some.
“When I traveled around, my answers could only be, ‘I’m hearing you.'” said Anthony, who’s trying to tie the office more to economic development. “Now I can go back to those people and say: ‘I’ve heard you. I feel like our office can be most effective in these ways.'”
Anthony, who used to play fiddle for country star Pat Green, took over the gig last February from longtime director Casey Monahan. And though Anthony admitted that “change is never an easy thing,” he said that it’s “often a very positive thing.”
With more than 6,600 miles logged on Anthony’s SUV in the last 12 months, here’s a look at three things the music office has been working on:
Establishing a Texas music foundation: Despite a thriving music business in Texas, Anthony has noticed that industry leaders in Dallas don’t necessarily talk to those in Houston, who don’t necessarily talk to those in West Texas – and so on.
So Anthony wants to cultivate regional music councils, which could send representatives to an annual Texas music industry summit. The idea, which could come to fruition in the next few months, could help improve communication across the state, he said.
“We can find some common threads that we can all use to make the Texas music industry work better as a whole,” he said.
Re-branding the office: Anthony is about to launch a marketing blitz to tout the music office’s new brand – revamped logo and all.
Part of that has come through online, where the office is taking advantage of Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to allow the office to use social media. The office has also sought to update a longstanding part of its mission by cleaning up its music industry directory.
And the new image will also be apparent when the office soon launches a new Texas music license plate.
Rebooting the educational grant program: One key role for the Texas Music Office has been an educational grant program – $1,500 grants for instruments and instruction. But Anthony wants to widen the program’s scope.
The new license plate could help provide a cash infusion, but Anthony plans to solicit private donations for the first time, as well. With a bigger pool of funds to work from, he hopes the office can offer bigger grants to a bigger pool of recipients.
“We can start helping many different nonprofits in many different ways,” he said.