Music is a primary pillar of Mayor Tommy Battle’s workforce development strategy, commitment to quality of life, and his desire to provide more inclusive cultural and creative offerings for current and future residents of Huntsville.
Huntsville was the first city in America to embark on a comprehensive, data-driven journey to strategically amplify its music economy. This visionary understanding of music’s role in placemaking led Mayor Battle to direct his administrative team to assess how the music industry could further enhance the Rocket City’s economy and quality of life.
Huntsville’s music scene, uniquely and equally inspired by its Southern surroundings and high-tech innovation, plays a leading role in the City’s long-term strategy for smart growth.
With this in mind, Huntsville set out to answer this central question: how could the City known for its stellar rocket propulsion propel itself to the forefront of the music universe? The goal – to create a more dynamic music environment, from education to creation, production and performance, in a way that strengthened Huntsville’s growing economy.
The City partnered with international consulting group Sound Diplomacy in late spring 2018 to find the answers and to create the road map to achieve this goal.
Sound Diplomacy completed its directive, conducting an extensive Music Audit that assessed the strengths and opportunities of Huntsville’s music offerings. Concluded in August 2019, the plan has been called “the most innovative music strategy in the United States.” The Rocket City’s bold commitment to music affirms the role of the arts in supporting a vibrant economy, sustaining a healthy community and building a well-rounded City.
The audit paved the way for the creation of the Huntsville Music Board, a governing body tasked with implementing and prioritizing the road map provided by the audit to nurture the City’s growing music industry. The board’s formation was followed by the hiring a full-time Music Officer, Matt Mandrella, in 2022 and the creation of the Huntsville Music Office.