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Legislators And Artists Join With Recording Academy To Launch Congressional Caucus

Posted in News on May 6, 2004
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, joined by BMI affiliates Clint Black and Brenda Lee, and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Mary Bono (R-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Mark Foley (R-FL), recently announced the landmark formation of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus. The press event took place on April 19 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville preceeding the GRAMMY Town Hall meeting, and was attended by members of the music community, and U.S. and local politicians.

Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Mary Bono (R-Calif.), Clint Black, Brenda Lee and Neil Portnow. photo courtesy of the Recording Academy, 2004

Co-chaired by Reps. Bono and Hoyer, the caucus will seek to advance and protect the rights of musicians, songwriters, singers, producers and other recording professionals. Caucus members are united in their belief that support for the individual recording professional is essential to the creative life of the nation, and will therefore work to address issues such as intellectual property, new technologies, music preservation, music education and other music-related topics.

BMI Senior VP of Government Relations Fred Cannon, said “We are extremely happy to have this new caucus which will strengthen the creators’ position on a national level. The leaders of the caucus are keenly aware of the issues -- Rep. Bono has her songwriting and publishing catalogs registered with BMI. The support of artists like Clint Black and Brenda Lee is also vital to this mission of assisting songwriters and publishers in their future challenges.”

The Recording Academy worked with the members of Congress to advise them about issues that are of concern to the music community. Portnow recently traveled to Washington to meet with numerous members of Congress to serve as an advocate for the creative individuals that comprise the Academy's membership.

As part of the Academy's GRAMMY Cultural Policy Initiative, the GRAMMY Town Hall is the first in a series of high-level discussions with music industry leaders and policy-makers tackling challenging topics and important issues that affect the artistic environment. A 60-minute forum with moderated and audience Q&A, topics included pending legislation in Washington, D.C. that affects the music community; file sharing and new business models; public education about the value of paying for music; radio reform; broadcast decency and artists' responsibility; and public funding of the arts/arts education.

Launched late last year, the GRAMMY Cultural Policy Initiative is a major advocacy initiative designed to utilize the Recording Academy's unique resources to advance the rights of the music community through advocacy, education and dialogue.

Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers.